I’m a classically-trained British music producer and arranger with over 20 years' experience. With a masters in music from Oxford, I've been acclaimed by people like Tony Visconti (Bowie, Bolan), Simon Napier-Bell (Wham, Ultravox), Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio Two) and many others.
I offer the following services:
Complete song production - create a professional, distribution-ready song from your rough demo or idea.
Song development - take your top line or basic melody and turn it into a fully-fledged song production.
Song arrangement - for example, turn a solo acoustic demo into a full-band arrangement (or vice versa).
Strings, orchestral and choral overdubs - arrange and record everything you need to give your songs the professional edge.
A bit about me:
Based in the picturesque seaside town of Tenby, West Wales, I work with a huge range of artists from around the world whilst continuing to produce my own repertoire of 100+ original compositions and songs.
I'm entirely self-taught on a range of instruments including guitars, bass, piano, keyboards and percussion, and specialise in virtual instruments. I specialise in pop, rock, gospel and country/Americana music.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
6 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse David A. Griffiths
I am so appreciative of David’s ability to create beautiful arrangements as he has done with my latest track. He knows exactly what instruments will make each song convey your vision!
It's a pleasure to work with David again on my new 2022 music. He has the unique ability to take your idea of the song and add the right instruments and create the right vibe to the song.
It has been another great collaboration with David on my Christmas cover song. He is immensely talented and blows me away everytime we work together. He’s always accommodating to tweaks to the final amazing product! I look forward to more collaborations in the coming year!
This is the 3rd track I’ve had the great pleasure in working with David on. His ability to add different instruments to bring a song to life and produce at such a quality level is a great experience every time to be a part of. I look forward to our next track to work on in November.
It was another perfect experience working with David on my latest track. He provides exquisite service and the quality of his work is exceptional. It’s refreshing to work with such a professional.
David is an exceptional talent and at an outstanding price. I sent David a bare bones track with lyrics and described what I wanted the track to sound like and from that and a reference track, he crafted amazing music! This song is really special to me and David perfectly captured the emotion of it. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him. He was very communicative and had a very quick turn around. I’m very excited to work on future projects with him!
Interview with David A. Griffiths
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: About 7 years ago I was asked to mix four tracks recorded by a tribute band called T. Rextasy. This was a real joy in itself because I love the music of Marc Bolan and T. Rex. After creating the initial mixes, unbeknownst to me, the band sent my mixes to the original T. Rex producer Tony Visconti for feedback. Imagine how happy I was to receive a message from him in my inbox! He praised the production and offered several valuable hints and tips that I still refer to today.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I've currently producing a string arrangement to accompany a performance by Snoop Dogg, who is featuring in a song from one of my long-time clients.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't be afraid to ask even the simplest of questions. You should feel listened to, understood and respected at every stage. Take your time when choosing and research potential producers carefully. Check out their websites and playlists - producers specialise in a multitude of styles and not everyone is necessarily right for you. If in doubt, drop them a line requesting more info. Their response time and how well they answer your questions is a strong indicator as to the quality of their work.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Mac, midi keyboard, guitar, speakers and monitor.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I learnt piano from age 5 and started out as a classical musician, joining the National Youth Orchestra of Wales in 1995. Alongside this, I was trained in composition and arrangement under renowned Welsh composer Michael Parkin. This led to me receiving a fully-funded unconditional offer to study music at Oxford in 1996 where I specialised in advanced compositional techniques. After leaving Oxford I spent a decade fronting two bands, recording several acclaimed albums and sharing stages with artists as diverse as The Sugababes, Foals and Carter USM. During this period I gradually transitioned from one side of the desk to the other, honing my instrumental and production skills as part of the process. I finally became a self-employed professional music producer in 2019 and haven't looked back.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'm a huge fan of Daniel Johnston and would love to produce an album of his songs.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I've worked in just about every genre imaginable, but I am increasingly specialising in retro pop, rock and gospel music.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Most of my clients have a rough demo or sketch of a song, and I start by discussing any ideas and requests they have for their production, e.g. instrumentation, arrangement, song structure etc. I will then transcribe the chords, melody and lyrics and map out an arrangement in Logic Pro X. Depending on the client's preference, tracks may be guitar or piano led, so I'll normally track one of these instruments first. I will then add my own guide vocal, meaning I have a complete framework for the song. Orchestration will typically include adding drums, bass, guitars, pianos and other core instruments and, if needed, full string arrangements and more. After creating an initial mix I'll send this for review and see what changes are needed. Revisions are then made, and everything is packaged up for final delivery, including mastered lossless audio files and individual audio stems.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work in Logic Pro X using a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 audio interface and PreSonus E3.5 speakers. My guitars include a Takamine G Series acoustic and a James Tyler Variax modelling guitar. In addition to live instruments I specialise in virtual orchestral instruments and choirs utilising the EastWest Composer Cloud suite. My pride and joy is my Kala U-Bass which has featured on innumerable recordings and has a distinctive warm sound, somewhere between a double bass and an electric bass.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of my work is song production, i.e. taking a rough idea or demo and developing it into a fully-fledged production ready for release and distribution. I work in a huge range of genres, specialising in pop, rock, gospel and country/Americana.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Learn when to rest your ears. Step away from the mixing desk, get a good night's sleep, come back to it the next day. Keep going and you'll never solve the problem. Come back fresh, you'll fix it in 30 minutes, guaranteed.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Without a doubt, it's the ability to listen to a short demo, read a handful of production notes, and immediately hear the finished song inside my head. The challenge is always to bring this to life, and I work relentlessly to do this.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: It depends on the song. If it's in an early stage of development I'll often be asked to create - say - a chorus melody or other musical component so as to complete the initial composition. This is a particular strength of mine, since I have a 20+ year background in songwriting. Once the initial song is written, my skill is in the structuring and arrangement of instrumentation, creating contrast, tension and release. I spent years studying the production techniques of people like Tony Visconti and Brian Eno, and this feeds heavily into the arrangement component of my work. I am also renowned for my ability to listen to my clients and understand the sound and style they're looking for. I pride myself on strong communication. It's very rare for me not to be able to make the connection needed to ensure a successful outcome.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm new to the site, so haven't had a chance to properly meet anyone yet, but very much look forward to doing so!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! Digital is wonderful because of the flexibility and potential it provides. Virtual instruments, for example, allow me to add a really convincing string section to a song at a fraction of the price it would cost to record real strings. Though in many cases you can't beat analog. In my case, by 'analog' I mean real instruments. I play as many real-life instruments as possible on all of my productions.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will always tell you if I don't think I'll be able to create the music you're looking for. If you're unhappy with what I send you I'll do everything possible to make it right.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the clients I work with. I love having the freedom to do the work I enjoy doing and the satisfaction it brings to others. Above all, I love the tingly feeling I get when a song is really starting to sound amazing.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Question: can you include (insert instrument here) in the finished production? Answer: (nearly always) yes!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Clients often assume I'm based in a huge soundproofed room with the latest and greatest equipment. This is 100% the opposite of my production ethos. I grew up working with minimal gear, recording with producers using reel-to-reel technology, based in converted barns, garden sheds and disused industrial sites. So much amazing music is produced in this way, using raw talent, authenticity and a good understanding of the principles of music production, that I tend to find I can't work in any other way.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask clients to provide YouTube links to songs in a similar style or genre to the one they'd like to create. I also ask them for details of any production styles or instrumentation they'd like me to feature. I'll also spend some time outlining the process we'll be following when working together, and providing additional explanations when needed.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I grew up listening to the warm, rich vinyl sounds of people like Elton John, T. Rex, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and this has always been the foundation of my musical style. I like warm guitars, understated pianos, soulful solos and strong vocals. In other words, everything that made up the great pop and rock songs of the 70s and 80s.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My music production has been heavily influenced by people like Tony Visconti (David Bowie's producer), Brian Eno (particularly his work with U2) and Gus Dudgeon (Elton John's producer). Above all, I am continually inspired by the musical ideas presented by my clients.