Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
My latest work was a remix. For Jenni Lark, a songwriter from NYC. I love her voice, her songs, her songwriting.
Her song "Rock after rock" gave me thrills as soon as I heard it and then we put a remix in her album --> https://jennilark.bandcamp.com/ Here you can listen to both versions.
What are you working on at the moment?
One very dark sounding electronic remix, a very powerful pop album of a famous national (Italian) singer, mastering an electro-dub album, co-songwriting and producing the album of an emerging independent artist, my own records.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Lachi is a great producer. And she is a very talented musician too!
Analog or digital and why?
Because there are things about both that you just can't do without.
Analog is warm and big. Sometimes noisey and has not "total recall", plus cabling can get very intense if you need to do weird stuff.
Digital is for every comfort you might need, plus it sounds very "analoguey" if you know where you want to go.
And you don't have to stack piles of tape!
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
The songs will deliver the right vibes.
They will translate consistently on all devices and fit the idea of genre but we'll always try and push a little towards "new".
What do you like most about your job?
Approaching to different musical personalities. Plus I love that learning from what I do and staying contemporary are required for my musical and personal development.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
- How much time I will spend on mixing.
If the song is not very intensely overlayed and has not a very difficult arrangement 1 day is the time to have a good mix. Plus some extra hours to fix some details.
- Do you think we can have this reggae track sound like "Korn"
Yes we can. That's fun.
- Do you think we can ahve this metal track sound like "Korn"
Yes we can. That ain't so much fun though. Most likely we'll end up preferring Korn to your metal track forever and ever, sorry :)
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Doing the magic means to show the beauty, not to apply maquillage.
There is no magic doable on poorly conceived material (aside from restoring).
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What their needs are for the music I'm going to work with, what are the referrals for the genre if there are some, what they feel about their own music.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Be aware of the sound that you feel for your music. That's the path for making great songs and to start a good collaboration!
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Sansamp, 1176LN, Roland Juno, Fender Telecaster, SM57
Oh and a steinway grand piano sorry they're 6!
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Aside from me playing with tape machines and instruments at 10, it all started in 2005 with the first local indie bands. Then it expanded as I dove more into production and then studying with Tchad Blake opened my eyes.
Since then so much work has been done in various studios (mine and others') in various countries (mostly UK, US, Germany, Italy).
How would you describe your style?
Soulful. Fat sounding, gritty in intentions but clean and loud.
I love when music sounds organic. Also on electronica.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Because she is SO much herself in everything that she does and writes.
And that "herself" is so crazy and talented. She's not afraid of pushing the limit.
Her darkness and voice drive me crazy, plus she has an un-imitable sense of groove.
Because god is on Earth now.
His Telefon Tel Aviv have litterally changed my life.
No need to explain why if you've ever listened to them!
Can you share one music production tip?
Of course: Distort everything. And learn to use side-chain. These things can do miracles to make a song sound more organic and soulful.
The first thing comes from the past, when analog mixers and pre's were driven like crazy to achieve a warm and full sound (the famous Neve sound for example).
The second I've learnt from the modern electronica and fits so well also on rock and metal... but you have to be creative!
What type of music do you usually work on?
Rock, Indie Rock, Electronica, Techno, and Pop.
I love to work on everything that has a soul and get inspired from a lot of genres.
I'm a classic piano player who studied classic spanish guitar also and started playing and singing in extreme metal bands and today I'm playing progressive rock and electronica techno and idm...
What's your strongest skill?
Mixing and Remixing is what I'm asked to do most often.
Mixing can go from just "technical" to "very creative".
Plus I've spent a lot of years editing and triggering Metal (because I'm a metalhead myself) so I'd say that kind of process too, even if I usually prefer not to go heavy on it.
What do you bring to a song?
There are songs which just need some polish/editing and that's it. The sound is already well defined and full of character.
There are songs which need to express their potential yet, and I usually start and bring out the "liveness" of the execution while trying to maintain the cleanness. I love character, when the sounds pop litterally out of the speakers. So I always try and bring heart to a song. This might happen just with mixing, or with editing out takes, or even reinforcing things by re-writing entire musical parts.
I ride the faders till the sections of the song talk to each other, and the original message of the song is empowered.
What's your typical work process?
It always depends on the song I'm working at, on the genre, on the artist's energy.
It may change a lot depending on the lyrics of the song, on what the song itself conveys.
Some stuff I usually do on most of my work is start and build a strong rythmic section.
I like it when it grooves and has consistent low-end.
Some times, instead, it's just the vocals who need all of the attention first and I start to build from there, but basically the real rule is to feel the soul of the song.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My studio is a analog/digital hybrid.
2 modded Yamaha Steinberg MR 816
SSL style Handmade Summing Box + Mixbus
Joemeek Vc1 & Vc6q Pres
Akai Tape Machine
Telefunken Tube Microphone
Oktava, Shure, AKG Microphones
Soundtoys, Waves Plugins
Cubase, Pro Tools, Ableton Live
I use a lot of Gtr Pedals for tricks
and various machines like 303, 808, 707
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
So many... Tchad Blake as for production professionals. The lowend in his stuff is amazing plus he has a distinctive character and grit to his sound that drives me crazy.
Musicians so many... Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Telefon Tel Aviv, Nine Inch Nails, Autechre, Polar Inertia, Tool, Led Zeppelin (The Bonzo Drumming aaah!), Lakker, Jimi Hendrix, Kamasi Washington, Tame Impala, Bon Iver, Björk, Radiohead, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Aretha Franklyn, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, The Beatles, Otis Redding, J. Views, David Bowie.
The music that inspires me is that full of soul. Character.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Basically mixing and remixing.
I love to give shape to the sounds until they sound fat and in your face, and that's what I'm usually asked for.
Often the client who likes what I do also asks for production (arrangement, writing, etc.) so that the album get a plus in character.
Lately I'm also doing a lot of remixing.