What are you working on at the moment?
Lots and lots of transfer work for various clients. We have over 150 hours of tape and cassette transfers to do.
Analog or digital and why?
Most of what we do is ITB so digital has to be my answer. Yes I would like to have a complete analog chain but my current clientèle base does not support the cost of that level of equipment.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
We will always do our best for you at a reasonable price point.
What do you like most about your job?
Working with clients and helping my interns learn about mastering and restoration. I LOVE my job.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How much is this going to cost me?
My answer is always..what do you need done and here are our rates.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Anyone with a DAW can be a mastering engineer.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What are you looking to do with your product once it is mastered? Who are your influences? How did you hear about us? What else can I do to make this a pleasant, rewarding experience?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Talk to the person who will be doing the work. Ask questions about how they work and their mastering philosophy and ask to hear some music they have done in the genre you are working in.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
#1 a good AC generator to run the rest of the equipment and a whole lot of whatever the generator needed to run on. Then a good set of powered speakers, a good DAW with lots and lots of good plugins, a CD burner and lots of CDs and an internet connection to the outside world.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
College degree in Broadcasting, two years of military service as a broadcast specialist, audio engineer at a PBS station, Director of Audio Services and Concert Sound at a Conservatory of Music, started my own mastering and restoration business in 1995 and been doing that ever since.
How would you describe your style?
Considerate of the client's wishes and helpful in helping them realize their dreams
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
James Taylor. I like his music and I like the way he is as a person.
Can you share one music production tip?
Watch your levels when mixing. Once a song is distorted not much can be done afterwards. Peaks should be a maximum of -3 dBFS. Headroom is your friend.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Acoustic, Jazz, Folk, Classical, and Hip Hop. We do all genres but those are the ones we seem to do more of.
What's your strongest skill?
Listening to both the music and the client's wishes and then doing the best job possible in mastering.
What do you bring to a song?
My ears and my experience.
What's your typical work process?
Listen, process, listen, process if needed and send a reference copy to the client for approval. We are a very client centered operation and always go the extra mile for our clients.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Our studio is very comfortable and we have done some 13 hour mastering sessions with no problems. We have comfortable "Body Bilt" chairs a good coffee machine and a well stocked fridge. Out clients like the natural light and natural woods that are a hall mark of our studio. You can see our studio on line at http://www.acoustikmusik.com/
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Bob Katz, Dave Collins, Bob Ludwig, Glenn Meadows, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Greg Reierson, Michael Jackson, James Taylor, Gregg Janman, Jerry Tubb, Christopher Mills Brown, John Scrip, Dana White, Bernie Grundman, Ted Jensen, Greg Calbi, Denny Purcell, Paul Gold and Ken Love.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Most of the work we do is audio mastering and restoration from discs and tape. We also do on location recording both audio and video and we also do voice overs for commercials and product videos.