I create music in virtually any style with authenticity. State of the Art recording facility, fully loaded with everything I need to achieve any sound from industrial, electronic pop, to epic orchestral. I'm a singer and multi-instrumentalist.
I have deep knowledge of a variety of musical styles. From hip/hop to epic orchestral to modern pop or industrial. My gear is state-of-the-art allowing me to achieve anything out there and a lot of what nobody has heard before. My background composing for movie trailers, keeps me tuned into what clients want, listening, not only to what they ask for, but also what they want to achieve with final product.
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Interview with Marc Jackson
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Tough one. I got a thrill when Jennifer Nettles sang a song I wrote on the CMA Country Christmas special. Millions of people watching. That one comes to mind. There are others.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A third song from my upcoming album by My Rich Friends.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I believe Jeffrey Casey is on here. I'd recommend him.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Can you get me something by tomorrow?" My answer is "If that's when you need it, Yes."
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I prefer to work with grooves. Doesn't matter the genre at all. I like feeling a groove with what I work on. My personal music would be electronic alternative, boarder line industrial (sort of). I have done production for movie trailers for a long time. So I'm not intimidated by any style. Wait, let me think. No that's right. Any style is good.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I'll tackle any style at all. I always find what I love about a genre and that's what goes into it. When I work on my own projects I really like hard grooves like industrial and electronic stuff. I'm a huge fan of Massive Attack. I also love chart-ready pop songs.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Probably digging into what a client wants and why. I break down the project in my mind quickly. I identify how to bring something to life and start piecing that song together often before I even start the project. It's a skill that more times than not, gets the client something they love in version 1 or 2. I can creatively access what I'm hearing with the tools I have.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: If I'm creating something from scratch I start thinking of tempo and vibe. Then go with what the vibe dictates. Might be a groove or just a simple melody line. I tend to get the ideas recorded quickly, plotting out the arrangement loosely. Then I take each section and decide the vibe and what I should take out, leave in or add. This happens pretty quickly. I've presented my first pass of a complete song in 5 hours before though I have taken weeks dialing stuff in when I have the time.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My main DAW is Cubase but I'm comfortable with Logic, ProTools and Ableton Live. I have LOADS of plug ins both for orchestral sounds and also synth. TONS of effects so I have yet to not be able to emulate a sound or production style. I have and play acoustic, electric and bass guitars. I play harmonica and have a 6 string banjo.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both or either. Most of what I can get done and done well is digital but if it calls for acoustic instruments I'll get it done. But I'm not adverse to either format.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I'll listen to you. That I'll bring both craft and art to the work. Authenticity with skill.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I LOVE making stuff. The happy accidents and things that surprise me. It's rarely dull work. And I LOVE the response from the client when I nail it.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I can read your mind. The less I know about what you are going after, the more I have to guess. Which sometimes works out well but when it doesn't, it's the birth of a really bad experience for both of us.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Who is your audience? What inspired what you bring to the table? What artists resonate with you? How do you envision what we do together.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't come into it expecting a button pusher. I take direction really well but do my best work when it's a collaboration. Not a dictation.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My acoustic guitar because...would there be electricity? Ok if there was power, my macbook pro, a pair of IK Media desk monitors, My Apogee Quartet, My AKG 414. And I'm good.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been making music for decades. Working with multi-media platforms since 2003.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Sooo many. By genre I'd say for pop, Sia. She's an AMAZING lyricist for pop and I love what she does. Doing a track with Massive Attack would be amazing. I would say Trent Reznor but he doesn't need my help. :-)
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I would say avoid clutter. Decide what is taking the center focus of a section and support that. Remove what doesn't need to be there. It can still have some complexity but without clutter.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I look at what the natural vibe of a song is. I look at song structure. Does it have or imply a strong arrangement? What's the hook? Then I try to support the vibe through the instrumentation I choose. When I'm producing vocals I shoot for honesty. Something that feels true. Because ultimately, that's what sells it. All the great production in the world can't replace authenticity.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Sia. Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails, Beck, HEALTH, Gaga, James Newton Howard, Prince.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Production and instrumentation. I listen for how a song needs to be represented and find the right vibe. I also direct vocal sessions quite a bit too.