Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I was able to engineer a project in my college's studio last spring, and I am extremely happy with how it turned out. I was given full control over what I wanted to do with the tracking process, from what mics I wanted to use, to any of the processing that was being applied during tracking. It was definitely the most intuitive project that I have engineered. I even was able to get samples from the drummer's kit to make sure I got a clean, true mix of his actual gear. That is something that I had not done before that, and it definitely saved me a lot of time in the mixing process.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on an EP for my metal band called "No Second Knife" at the moment. I wrote all of the songs, and I am honestly very proud of everything that I have written. I feel as if I stepped outside of my comfort zone, and that is always a great feeling! I feel like it has helped my engineering skills a lot as well!
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
I am actually new to this site. I was very pleased to find a website like this, as I believe it will help build my portfolio, and grow as an engineer very much!
Analog or digital and why?
I honestly like a good mix of both. In conjunction, you can do some great things with both. I have worked with my fair share of analog gear, including an MCI 16 track 2 inch tape machine, which was my absolute favorite. I really believe that digital has come an extremely far distance, though. There are so many incredibly good analog modeled digital plugins around now. Digital is definitely more convenient, but analog does have a certain charm that you can't 100 percent emulate; it is close now, though.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
My promise to my clients is that I will do anything that I am able to do in order to meet their demands on a project. I like to make sure that they are happy with what they are getting. If the client isn't happy with what they are getting, then you're much less likely to have repeat customers. A lot of business also comes from recommendations, so it is very smart to make sure that your client is happy.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the feeling of creating something for somebody, and then having them absolutely love what you have created. It is the best feeling in the world for me. I also love how much joy working around music gives me.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Customers commonly ask me if I may make their stuff sound like a mix from another producer. I usually tell them that it may have some elements that sound similar, but you will never have the exact same sounding mix. Everybody has a little bit of their own flare when it comes to mixing, and mastering.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I would say that the biggest misconception is how much time actually goes into a mix. A lot of people don't understand that I will do many mixes before I am satisfied with my product. People do not fully understand how mentally, and even physically tolling it may be sometimes.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I ask how they envision their project sounding. I want them to explain this any way that they want. I just like to at least try and understand from the get go what they want from their project. I also make sure that I am 100 percent in understanding with their deadlines, and timeline for the project. I also like to know if they have any specific requests.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Make sure that your stems you are sending me to mix are very cleanly tracked. Change your strings, and heads before tracking, and definitely tune often. I can get the best possible product with the best takes. I can't get a great product with sub par takes. I would also say to be open to ideas with producing, and scoring gigs.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
I would take my Fender Telecaster, an AKG 414, API 512c preamp, Universal Apollo Twin Duo, and a set of Yamaha HS7 monitors.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
My career path is to eventually open a studio where I am producing, tracking, mixing, and mastering full time. I want that to be my living. I have been recording, and mixing for about 5 years now. It's truly amazing to me to listen to my old work, and listen to my work now.
How would you describe your style?
My style is very down to business, yet flexible. I like to make sure that I stay on schedule, but, I am very open to experimentation when it comes to the writing and production process. If someone has an idea that I particularly don't agree with, I still want them to try it out. You never know what may come of it.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work with the band Underoath. They have truly shaped the post hardcore genre, and paved the way for so many of my favorite bands. I can connect with them on an incredibly deep level not just through their lyrics, but through the actual music itself.
Can you share one music production tip?
My tip would be to not limit yourself to just producing one genre. Even if you don't really care for a certain genre, at least become familiar with it. You never know when a client could want to work with you on something that you are new to. It's never a bad idea to broaden your horizons.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I have a large background in metal & hardcore, followed closely by a background in alternative rock. Those are the genres that I work with the most. However, I have worked with many different genres.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill would have to be having a true passion for anything that I am working on. I have this passion because I know that I am creating something for somebody; this is somebody who is probably very excited to hear what I am providing them with. That feeling gives me true passion for my work.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring an exciting edge to a song. Whenever I'm listening to something that somebody else has produced, I start to hear ideas that I would have had on the track. I like whatever I produce to have that spine chilling, take your breath away type of feel. I try to make everything I write have a certain feel. I like to employ visual aids when I am writing music; I feel like that helps me bring that exciting edge that really hooks you into the song.
What's your typical work process?
With mixing, I like to start out with as little processing as possible. I like to get a good balance between the driving elements of the song, such as the kick drum, and bass guitar, and then start applying some complimentary EQ to them. I will slowly bring in other elements, and get a good balance between elements. I will then add any processing that I think is necessary in order to really make an element "pop". I believe that something as simple as a good delay can really make something stand out. Something that you don't really notice being there until it's gone. With scoring, I like to get a good motif going that resembles the idea in a very simple way. I then start adding underlying elements, and layering sounds a lot. Usually near the end, I will start embellishing the simple melody that I started out with.
Tell us about your studio setup.
For preamps and A/D, D/A conversion, I use a Presonus FirePod. I run Pro Tools 12, and possess many different plugins from manufacturers such as: Waves, iZotope, Slate Digital, JST, and WaveMachine Labs. I am monitoring on KRK Rokit 5 monitors.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Joey Sturgis is a very big influence of mine. With doing everything from producing best selling albums, to making his own plugins, he is truly a pioneer in the audio industry. Another big influence of mine is David Bendeth. He has done a huge part in shaping the modern rock mix.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Remote Mixing & Mastering, Editing (everything from cleaning up a performance to vocal tuning), and Scoring.