I'm an audio engineering and production student with a background in piano, strings, and synths (and a love for indie sadboy music.) My well-rounded musical background informs how I play and produce both for myself and for others. Let's make your music sound exactly the way you intend it to.
COVID's changed the way a lot of people think about work -- that's true for me, too. I left a marketing career recently to go back to school for audio production. I'm now looking to work with emerging musicians so that I can hone my mixing skills over a variety of different genres.
While I've been working in music for a long while (mostly performing and recording my own music), returning to school has allowed me to focus on learning how to mix and master a song quickly and competently, and it's also been great for working with talented musicians with varied sets of skills and sounds.
I'm punctual, polite, and professional, and I truly love working with people with diverse ideas and identities. Let me work with you, and together we'll assemble a mix you love. Give me a challenge!
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with Alexander Danieli
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You won't find any easier-to-work-with or more friendly producer or mixer anywhere.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I put out a single recently that I am just so in love with. I was able to use this 70s Marshall amp and an overdriven, crunchy guitar to get this massive, arena rock sound that I haven't used in my own music before. I routed my vocals through an amp in a style similar to the way Feist's producer does for her, and it sounds so warm and messed up (in like, a good way) -- I'm just so happy that I've got the time and tools to be making music every day.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: An album - recording, and mixing as I go.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I think I might be the new guy here.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Get you a man who can do both. Analog has its benefits (tube warmth is a beautiful thing, and the distortion that you can get from analog is sometimes difficult to replicate on digital.) Digital, though, has made recording and mixing so much more accessible financially and geographically for all, which can only be a good thing. It's changed the ways in which we can use common tools like reverbs and saturators, because we have an infinite number of input channels available to us, rather than being tied to however many are physically available in a real-life piece of gear.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I learn a new trick almost every single day to make my work sound better.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That you need expensive gear to get a good sound. A lot of people starting out buy a lot of things they probably won't get their money out of. A good ear will take you pretty far.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Too many, probably. Their intents regarding the media they want me to work on, where they intend the work to be listened to, what their plans are for future releases (especially if they're working on an album -- you want all your songs to have that same sound!), what artists they consider themselves close to in terms of sound (for reference tracks, while mixing), whether they have pets and if I can see cute photos of said pets.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Find someone who listens as well as they talk.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Is it cheap to say a sat-phone? Excepting a laptop or board for recording: 1. Teenage Engineering OP-1 2. My Squier strat 3. An old, crappy Roland drum machine 4. A nice, warm Marshall amp 5. A chair with good back support (so hard to find!)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been in music for quite a while now. I put out my first album when I was a teenager, and did some gigging around the northeast where I grew up. I moved to Arizona after college and taught violin for a few years before getting a marketing job and doing that for a while. A year or so ago I began working on my own solo music more seriously, and returned to school for audio production.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: When I'm writing and performing, it's queer intimate indie rock with a bit of americana thrown in. When I'm working, it's communicative, compassionate, and on-time (am I deadline-oriented or just anxious? Unclear)
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Caroline Polachek. She's doing things in production and in performance that nobody else is. (Listen to Pang, seriously.) Beyond her, Haley Heynderickx, Japanese Breakfast, Feist, and Geographer.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Change volumes, speakers, and locations as much as possible when mixing. Nobody is listening to your mix on studio speakers -- they're listening on airpods and wireless earbuds and, if you're lucky, in a car where there's some decent bass reproduction. Listen wherever your audience listens; it'll help your sound remain consistent across many different platforms.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Indie rock and punk, but I'm all over the place.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'm tempted to put "listening" here, but that feels too on the nose. I'm very receptive to criticism and easy to work with.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Warmth, fine-tuned high ends, and a good sense for the nuances of acoustic instruments. Also, obsessive attention to detail.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I ask a lot of questions to understand the layout and tone of a song, and that helps me shape the sound, whether I'm mixing or recording. Mixing is kind of a personal process -- it usually starts with drums for me, and moves from the most foundational and important sounds (drums and bass, but vocals make an earlier appearance in my mixing than they do in some other producers' processes)
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work both from home (where my setup is Pro Tools on a Windows notebook, an Audient Evo, a Squier Strat, an Ibanez bass, a Microfreak, and some other fun toys) and at a studio (where the real big guns are.)
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Patrick Hyland's production work on Mitski's records serves as aspiration for me. I love the earthy, live sound of Big Thief's records. I'm a huge fan of the production on Wye Oak's Civilian and on anything MUNA has ever done.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I commonly record piano, and mix tracks that have already been recorded. I also have some experience as an engineer in a studio setting.