Credits include Diet Cig, Ray LaMontagne, Phoebe Bridgers, The Shins, Fanfarlo, Norah Jones, Night Beds, Nicki Bluhm, Reba McIntire, The Pretenders, Five For Fighting, and many more.
I got my start as an assistant engineer at Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, CA where I had an opportunity to learn from some of the biggest and best names in recording. As an independent engineer and mixer in L.A., I was lucky enough to work with some amazing artists and producers, including engineering tracks for LeAnn Rhymes, Reba McIntire, Eminem, Pharell, and many more. Along the way I also engineered and mixed over a dozen exclusive sessions for iTunes with artists like Ray LaMontagne, The Pretenders, Five For Fighting, The Shins, Fanfarlo, and Norah Jones. I did extensive mixing work for famed Japanese producer Tetsuya Kamuro that earned several number one spots in Japan. In 2010, I relocated to San Diego and have since engineered and mixed for hundreds of artists, both signed and independent, including Night Beds, Diet Cig, Phoebe Bridgers, Nicki Bluhm, William Wild, and Jesca Hoop.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
179 Reviews - 44 Repeat ClientsEndorse Mike Butler
5th or 6th time working with Mike and have been amazed every time, but this time was probably the best work he's done for me! Amazing communication, professionalism. 10/10 recommend.
I never thought my own music could sound *this good… Mike took my track from demo quality to Radio quality. Mike Butler’s *mixes are *NEXT *LEVEL.
Excellent as always, this is like my 4th job with him and never been disappointed!!
Mike delivers every time. Love working with him.
Mike was fantastic to work with! Very quick response time, very professional, and delivered an extremely high quality product.
Love working with Mike. I appreciate not just his technical skill but that he listens to the music and makes choices that make a song more what it is. He is also very responsive and patient.
Mike did an excellent job mixing a folk/rock song for me. I felt he really brought out the best of the song I created, and especially did a great job at balancing all of the vocal harmonies I had in there. He was also very easy to work with as well, getting things done quickly and easily worked in any changes I had. Would be great to work together on another song sometime.
Mike is responsive, professional, patient, and knows how to artfully bring a mix to life.
Man! Mike is an incredible producer and mix engineer! He brought out treasures and moments in the song I didn't even know were there. Amazing to work with, approachable, cool and swift with changes and feedback. Thanks so much!
As usual, Mike did a great job! He is very patient with feedback and executes to a T!
So many pieces to pull together in the song i sent Mike - and he NAILED it! He was patient, professional. and most importantly - this MIX sounds FANTASTIC! I strongly recommend Mike. Looking forward to working together again soon.
Mike was patient, supportive, prompt, a true professional. I sincerely appreciate what he put into this project and wish everyone were as easy to work with as Mike is. I am eternally grateful. The quality of the mixes and masters are top notch.
It was great to work with Mike. Clear, efficient communication and a quality sounding professional mix!
3 mixes in and I'm ecstatic with the results I'm getting mixing with Mike. Great communication, super accommodating and collaborative.
Mike is wonderful to work with. We've worked on a couple of things together and he's been incredibly patient, given great advice and makes great choices all around. The mixes are great, he connected me with some extremely talented musicians and again is very easy to work with. A true professional delivering a stellar product.
Mike is a gem. 3rd time working with him and was satisfied all 3 times, but this time I was especially blown away! Definitely recommend.
Great mastering as well, from Mike. Not much to say - he knows what he's doing in all aspects of mixing and mastering.
- check_circleVerified (Client)
Mike was a pleasure to work with! He provided excellent communication and clear direction for the tracks he wanted, and demonstrated a real talent and understanding for 'building' a song. Highly recommended!
Mike is very talented, quick and great to work with. Thank you!
This is the second track we've had mixed by Mike. He's quick to deliver and was patient when changes had to be made.
The result was everything we hoped for - again.
Interview with Mike Butler
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I listen to and have worked on all types of music, but I primarily mix Indie Rock, Americana, Rock, Country, Folk, and Alternative.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would say I take an organic approach to mixing records. I want it to sound larger than life and have a big impact, but I still want it to remain sounding honest and authentic. In the end I don't want the listener to hear the mix, I want them to hear the song and have an emotional reaction to it.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Oh, there are too many to pick just one! At the end of the day, I love working on great songs with great performances. It doesn't matter if its a famous artist or someone local just starting out, a great song is always a joy to work on.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: The most important thing for me to remember when I'm working on something is to always try to serve the song. Sometimes it's super fun to slap on 20 plugins and go crazy with effects, but you need to ask yourself, "Does this serve the song, or is it just serving me in this moment?"
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I really try to find the heart of the song. The place where the most impact and emotion is coming from, and build the track from there. I work to preserve the dynamics and nuances while still having plenty of power and energy. I try to let the song and material dictate where it wants to go and never paint every song with the same brush. I want what is unique and special about each song shine through.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My mix room consists of an SSL Matrix console and Pro Tools HDX system with Lynx Aurora converters.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Why not both! They are both just tools at your disposal, each has their strengths and weaknesses. I use both freely and wouldn't want to be limited to either one. My motto is, "If it sounds good, it is good.".
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To always treat their music with the same care and attention that they do. I treat it as if it was my own and never cut corners or rush through the process. I approach each mix to make it the best I've ever done, regardless if it's for a major national act, or an artist just starting out with their first recording.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love music, and I love being able to use my experience and skill to help musicians see the vision of their art through to completion. Mixing is the stage where you really get to hear what all of your hard work and dedication to a project has lead to, and I take great pride in being a part of that process.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I can make any song sound like any other song. Each song, recording, and production is unique, and created under unique circumstances. The mix should reflect that and serve that individual song. I think references are really important, and a great starting place to get everyone on the same page. But, I think if you try too hard to make your mix sound like something else, you can loose what makes it unique and special in itself.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Some general questions would be, "What is your vision for this song?", "Tell me a little about the process of making it?", "What other things in your genre do you really like the sound of?", "What is currently working or not working for you in the song at this point?", "What are some of your influences?". Usually a few questions in that direction will open up the conversation so I can get get a solid picture of what the artist is looking for and how I can help them get there.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I think there are two really important things to do when hiring a mixer. First and foremost, is listen to their work. Find or ask for examples of things that are similar to your style. Listen to as much as you can to get a feel for their approach. And second, have a conversation with them. You should be able to tell in a 10 minute conversation if they are the right person for the job. They should understand your vision and be easy to communicate with.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think any mixers strongest skill should be strong communication with the artists. It takes a tremendous amount of trust for an artist to hand over their art to someone, and without proper communication, that trust can't be there.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: So many! I am really inspired by anything that evokes a feeling or energy. I'm a big fan of producers like T-Bone Burnett and mixers like Tchad Blake for their innovative approach to making records. I also really like the work of the new breed of producers like Dave Cobb and Blake Mills.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I have been a professional mix engineer for over 15 years.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First thing is too start with a conversation with the artist about what they are looking for. We might talk about a specific direction or influences or references from other songs. We may get specific about effects, etc. and if there is a rough mix, I'll listen to that to get a perspective of where it should go. Once I get a feel for what they are looking for I'll dive into the mix. Typically I mix a song in a day. Once I feel I've got in to a place I'm happy with, I'll send it to the artist to get their feedback. If I'm on the right track, I'll do revisions based on the artists notes and deliver final mix versions once the artist is completely happy.