Giving life, sonic texture, depth, and vibe to digital recordings.
Nestled into the forests of Bloomfield Connecticut, Sonic Environments is my personal mixing suite. I come from an exploratory technical background and a heavily musical family. I began my recording life with acclaimed Metal Producer, Jason Suecof and 8 time Grammy winning engineer Tom Bates. After years of concert touring, I settled back into my home state of Connecticut and began an exploration of how to bring more vibe and life into digital recordings. While my facility is centered around a Pro Tools HDX core, much experimentation has led to a collection of vintage, modern, and modified modern gear. These analogue items do the heavy lifting of the mix process, leaving the computer to only handle playback duties. The result is mixes with the life, sonic texture, depth, and vibe of classic recordings.
Everyone should always get their music sounding the way they want. Most songs are usually very close within the first mix pass, but I'm always open to doing mix revisions when necessary.
Contact me and we'll figure out if I'm the right fit for your project. :-)
Send me a note through the contact button above.
Interview with Jeff Weed (Sonic Environments)
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is listening to the emotion of music.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: In 2020, I finished up a project that was a whole lot of fun. It was called "Found People" and it was a cooperative effort of a bunch of musician friends. This was a side project for everyone, since there were no tours going on during covid. It was a mix of 90's rock, electronica, and elements of sound therapy. As much as it felt very familiar, it was really interesting and different.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently I'm mixing some rock that has the feel of 1970's early heavy metal.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Although I have not searched the SoundBetter archives, I'm guessing that I have a lot of engineer buddies on here somewhere.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog mostly. I much prefer the texture and life of it.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that everyone will get the piece of art for which they are hoping. I only get paid if you get what you want.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Helping people present their art.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Apart from logistics questions like in what format do I want files, people often ask me how I make the texture of instruments as visible as I do. My answer changes a little bit based on the circumstances, but it's always related to giving the listeners ear more to grab onto. Our brains are pretty amazing analog computers and the more information you present to them, the more they are able to construct a sonic picture. Reflections and harmonic content are very important to how we hear.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Mixing a song will not turn it into something that it is not. However, mixing will help bring out what the song actually is. :-)
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Every project is different, but I often ask what my client wants the song to feel like. In what world do they envision their song living?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Do some research, some listening, and talk to a few mixers. Hopefully your intuition will help you pick the right person for your project.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My desert island gear would be my ssl and a smattering of FX. The SSL is such a powerful tool. I can do so much with what's built into every channel strip.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I began my recording career twenty something years ago, as the assistant for my buddy Jason Suecof (acclaimed metal producer) and also spent some time early on working with Tom Bates (Multi grammy winning Mixer). I then was on the road for a few years on and off with Dwight Yoakam (I know some people don't like country music, but these guys are monsterously good players. Totally worthwhile!) I was a recording engineer for years, but at some point I switched to mostly mixing. At this point in my life, mixing feels more like art to me.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Texturally interesting, gritty, dreamily real.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I always like working with artists who are passionate about their music as a piece of art and not just a commodity to be sold.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If you are recording a song yourself, get an idea of what you want an instrument or voice or whatever to sound like. Then listen and find the spot in space where it sounds closest to your idea. Place a microphone in that spot. Good sound recording comes from a few different things, but normally it can be distilled down to: A great performer, in a great space, playing a great instrument, with a mic in the right spot.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I tend to work on Rock and Metal, but I've done plenty of Indie music of all sorts.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Rather than bringing something to a song, I like to think that I just help illuminate the drama and performances that are alreadY in the song. All I do is help present the songs in a manner appropriate for the ideas and feelings to come across to the listener. I try to give the song the correct "Sonic Environment".
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I would normally get individual instrument files for a song sent to me. I would load them into protools and listen through whatever rough mix the client has provided. I want to get a good sense of what they were thinking as they put the song together. I then send all the tracks out through whatever analog gear I deem appropriate for that instrument in that situation. I would sculpt all the instruments till they all seem to fit together and have the right vibe for the song. I then add FX to further help put everything into the correct sonic environment. Once I have the song about where I think it should be, I would send the mix to the client for feedback. Most of the time there isn't too much that people want to change, but this is when I hone the song in along with the client.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My playback medium is a Pro Tools HDX core, but I mix outside the computer with a small custom SSL G series console and a large array of analogue outboard gear that I've collected over the years. The hardware has a way of helping to create the sort of texturally realistic dream worlds that I like to hear in music.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I spent my teenage years listening to all manner of 90's rock, so that is where my nostalgic bones revert. I've always been a fan of mixers like Andy Wallace and Brendan O'Brien.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am primarily a mix engineer. Clients tend to seek me out when they want a production to sound more organic than most in the box mixers are able to provide.