Vintage attitude with modern chops. Guitar guru with top programming skills. Bring out the wonder in your material.
I offer assistance at all stages of recording from assessment of material to masters. I work in my own high-spec studio in lovely quiet Scotland. Total musician and producer with large and varied performance and recording experience. Deep understanding of music and recording techniques, acoustic and in-the-box. Professional for over thirty years as a musician, teacher and studio producer.
I’ll help you to refine your material before recording, track it clean and clear then mix it with you to your satisfaction before mastering. Latest DAW and plugins with fine instruments out here in the real acoustic world.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Marcus Samson Wright
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Without boasting, which I don’t do, that would have to be my own album. It has been the most challenging project. Four years, four studios in different cities, twenty musicians including a small choir, a string quartet, five bassists, oboe, flute and on and on.. I brought the whole thing from demos to release. I scrapped songs, arrangements and performances until I got ten songs that totally represented what I am as an artist. I still love listening to it now its released, even though I lived it. It was a real honour to work with many amazing players and a huge achievement for me to make a record I’m really happy with.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Promoting my own album. Four years in the making, between client projects. COVID is a real downer.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Digital recording is a massive leap forward, but analogue sound rules.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will always do my very best to give them what they want, unless it is A. Impossible, or B. A mistake.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Easy. The music and the musicians.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How much do you charge? (Usually the first question). When will it be finished? Do you think that’s in tune/time? Can I do another take? Can you make it louder? Can I have more reverb in my headphones? Usually the answer is yes. My rates aren’t for discussion here, but I give excellent value for money.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I can make a wonderful record out of an average song.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Is your material ready to record? Do you think it is your best work at this time? Do you think others will enjoy this music? Are you ready to work through disappointment? Are your expectations of this music realistic?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Expect to work very hard indeed. Stay well fed and well rested. Focus on the details of the work. Maintain a sense of humour.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Acoustic guitar. Bass. Beat box. Microphone. Multitrack recording equipment (is that one piece?) 😆
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Musician for 42 years. School and college bands. Session and live performance guitarist. Then songwriter. College to study jazz and theory. Band leader and front person. Many studio hours, both sides of desk. London, Liverpool, Scotland. Work with David Grey, Pete Towshend, Atomic Kitten (!). Many releases. Studio owner for fifteen years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Music first. Non-genre. Open to direction of the song. Articulate and very enthusiastic. Total believer in creation as a life force. Ready to work on the details. Ready to pitch in. Ready to ride the tough spots.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Beck. Hugely imaginative, fun and musical. Possibly past his best now, but what a trip!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Take time to get tempo and fundamental groove feeling right before commitment to recording.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Guitar driven pop. Modern folk. Electronic song-based pop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Attention to details. Serious working attitude. Readiness to adapt to new ideas. Well constructed harmony and strong rhythmic interest. No duff lyrics! Fun in creating quality.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Listen and refine materials. Tempos. Instrumentation. Lyrics. Outline of track with loop/click and harmony. First lead vocals. Build and refine track. Drums with bass if possible. Refinements, edits and overdubs. Mix. Master.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Excellent and well maintained guitar collection. Similar acoustic piano. Dynaudio and KEF monitors. Properly grounded and shielded. Low noise floor. I run Pro Tools with UAD. Softube, Weiss, Brainworx, Waves, Native Instruments. I’m an expert guitarist, vocalist and vocal arranger with high level of competence on bass and piano. My brother is a strings arranger.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Bob Katz. Kate Bush. Butch Vig. The Beatles. Beck. George Clinton. Rudy Van Gelder. Lana Del Ray. Joni Mitchell. Jimmy Page.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Clients mostly require pre-production arrangements and refinement of their material. Forty years as a pro musician helps a lot here. Backing vocals and chords need tweaking, drum parts need nailing and precise harmonies defining. I track, mix and master. Sometimes co-writing or demo creation before recording to develop new ideas or refine old ones. I work methodically and encourage my clients to give the project their best energy.