I turned down my 10-year sales and marketing career to help rock bands as a producer, mixing/mastering engineer, and manager. Together we bring rock back into the playlists and win raving fans who support you.
Hi, my name is René. I am a recording, mixing, and mastering engineer from Germany. As a rock band drummer, I started recording our songs, but they sound horrible. So I started studying and completed every online course about recording, mixing, and mastering I could find. I the meantime I worked as a sales and marketing manager for small and medium-sized companies.
Now I turned down my 10-year sales and marketing career to help rock bands as a producer, mixing/mastering engineer, and manager. Together we bring rock back into the playlists and win raving fans who support you.
In order to succeed as a full-time musician or band, you need to be able to earn money from your music. You need to be able to create songs that deliver true emotions. Music that moves people, music that people will share, and music that people are willing to buy. You need to position yourself and your art. You need to become more than a good musician, you need to become a brand.
Together we will create marketing strategies, build a brand and generate attention to grow a fanbase that will support you so you can make a living from what you love.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with René Ricklefs
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I like both, and it depends on the project.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: My first question is: why is this song important to you? To do my job the best possible way, I need to understand every song and "feel" it. Afterward, I want to find out how you want your song to sound. Which feeling do you want to communicate?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Talk to the people you are going to work with. Make sure you are on the same page. It is better to invest more time in finding the right one and stick to him. Your sound will stay the same, and your musical identity will be recognizable.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A mobile multi-track recorder, Solar-Panel to charge the multi-track recorder, a pair of Sennheiser HD650, and two Shure SM57. I will find stuff that makes a sound or build "instruments," write songs in the sand, record them, and listen to them when I feel like it.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have yet to learn enough and will never have... but who will? As far as I can remember, I have always tried to learn more about music. I constantly study audio engineering, and I love it. But to answer your question, I have played drums since I was 16, and I started recording songs in 2012, and in the meantime, I learned to play several other instruments like alto saxophone, harmonics, ukulele, and bass. That's the great thing about music. You always continue learning. We recently partnered with a recording/rehearsal space. They have four rehearsal studio rooms and a control room. This allows us to record great-sounding and affordable demos for newcomer bands so they can share their music and grow a fanbase.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with the FooFighters, LinkinPark, Johnny Cash, Audio enslaved person, Atreyu, Three Days Grace, Emery, Eminem, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, NIN, and many more. Although these artists are very different, to me, they have the most essential thing in common: Their music means a lot to me, and you can feel that to them.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: It all comes down to a great source! - that is not only true for music. Every photo, film, lyric, or even product - if the source is "true", valuable, and has great quality, it will always beat "mass-productions" or overly edited and filtered art. Get the best source available and you will get the best result possible.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually like to work on rock, grunge, alternative, metal, country, or pop-songs. But as long as there are emotions and meaning in the song behind which I can stand I'd love to work and support artists and bands on their way to musical success.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is musical empathy and transparent communication. I believe a good recording, mixing, and mastering engineer is another bandmember, and bandmembers tell each other what they like and what needs to change.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I'll bring transparency, clearness, and most important I magnify the desired emotion of the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First, I'll get to know the musicians behind the song. What's the song about, and what emotions should the song transport? Then I'll get to work. I will mix and "Pre-master" your song. After you confirm the "Preview-mix," I will master the song and send it to the band/artist. Usually, we have 2 to 3 reviews until the piece is perfectly mixed and mastered and the artist/band is happy.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: We own a small studio which we built ourselves in our attic and we partner with a rehearsal-space where we have 4 rooms in which we can record with different drums several amps and a brought network of session-musicians. We built our own acoustic absorbers, bass traps, and optimize the setup constantly.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I appreciate all musicians and musical craftsmen who work for the music. To whom the feeling and the art are important. To name just a few: Dave Grohl, Cameron Webb, Butch Vig, Alan Parson, Rick Ruben and many more!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: As a producer and audio engineer, I help bands record, mix, master, release, and market their songs and albums. My mission is to support musicians and bands so they can make a living with the art form we all love - music that moves and inspires people.