Steve Banik, professionally known as STACKTRACE, is an American producer, musician, DJ and engineer based in Madison, Wisconsin. Production credits include Logic, Wiz Khalifa, Do or Die featuring Rick Ross, Emilio Rojas, G-Side and several others. Performed on the Tonight Show and Good Morning America.
Specialties: Piano, Fender Rhodes, Synth, B3
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Interview with STACKTRACE
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Interpolations, keyboard parts.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Q-Tip, DJ Premier, Pete Rock.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Hip Hop and RnB.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: K Michelle. She has a great voice and she favors piano in her tracks.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started taking piano lessons at age 5. When I was 16 I got my hands on a Korg 01/W and started creating non-acoustic music. Shortly after I got the Korg, I hooked drum machines to it and started producing hip hop for artists in north central Indiana. I released an EP in 1993. From 2003 - 2008 I lived in Nashville where I toured with several major label artists. I performed on the Tonight Show in 2005.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: MacBook Pro, MIDIMAN, Korg CX3, Technics 1200 and an ISDN line.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen to their SoundCloud. If it doesn't grab you after the 2nd song, find someone else.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Because I produce Hip Hop, people think I'm a "beatmaker." There's much, much more to it than that.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: What are your rates? A: What is your budget? Q: Can you make this sound like X? A: I think so. I'll send you a sample and you can answer that. Q: Can you get it to me tomorrow? A: If we double the rate, possibly.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: When something I write or something someone else writes gives me the chills. I know I'm on to something at that point.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I like both.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I have two people I'd recommend. Contact me for more info.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My Fender Rhodes playing sounds a bit like a Neo Soul version of Herbie Hancock. Groove is always the main ingredient for me. If you're not feeling it, no one else will either.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If a track is starting to sound stale, try making a new arrangement. If it doesn't breathe new life or doesn't inspire you to continue, stop working on it and sell it on a royalty free site.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I track in REAPER and Reason.