I am a professional music producer and sound engineer with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. I have access to a NEVE VR analogue console (48 channels) in a very good sounding room with high end analogue outboard running on a Pro Tools HDX system with top AD/DA converters.
I offer professional mixing, mastering and production. I have worked with labels such as Universal, Sony BMG, Defected, Hed Kandi, Azuli among others and have access to a beautiful sounding room with a NEVE VR analogue console, running Martin flying faders for automation and a Pro Tools HDX.
I have a great selection of esoteric analogue gear which I use for mixing and mastering which my clients love every time they come to sessions.
I am a true believer in great dynamics, adding excitement, detail and old skool approach while sculpting the stereo image beyond the speakers to create amazing big sounding records which I mixed entirely through the console.
I care about audio quality and I use DSD for printing final mixes and also for mastering. This provides the highest quality on digital audio out there which makes a big difference as an end result.
See www.jonathanespinosa.com for credits.
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Interview with Jonathan Espinosa
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Simplicity is the ultime sophistication. That is my style.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recording, Mixing and Mastering also as an artist and producer myself, I have worked with many artists and bands producing from singles to EP's as well.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, John Williams, Race Against the Machine, Metallica, Pantera, Depeche Mode, Max Richter, Alva Noto, Riuichi Sakamoto, Hans Zimmer, Dire Straits, 1950's & 1960's Rock and Roll and Motown records.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is based on a large format analogue console Neve VR with 48 channels and Martin flying faders. All mixing is done in the analogue domain through the console using high end outboard gear. Pro Tools HDX with 48 outputs is used as a DAW which feeds 48 outputs into the console. All mixes are printed in DSD using a Korg MR1000 which provides the best quality for capturing all the juice from the analogue domain. Mastering is done mainly using high end outboard and a combination of high quality plugins keeping the signal path to minimum without compromising the audio quality resulting in pristine sounding masters. I offer Redbook standard as well as DDP masters.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Planning and planning mixing and mastering strategies to suit the style of music and client. Everything else flows naturally.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring true dynamics, excellent detail, excitement and super wide stereo image to music
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: See my influences as those are the kind of music genres I work on.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Get the arrangement super fine tuned and the quality of the sounds right and the track will need almost no mixing. When recording any instrument, always think how you want that sound within your mix and therefore use the appropriate mics and recording techniques to accomplish that tone, depth and space in the mix ( using natural pannings )
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Definitely a very good HIFI system and plenty of records to listen to music. Also a flamenco guitar and a baby grand piano. I wouldn't be producing/engineering records in a dessert island as you need more than 5 pieces of gear!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: There are so many... Depeche mode as I love the way the program synths and arrange songs. Race against the machine, love their sound and energy. Hans Zimmer, the master of repetition and simplicity..
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started making music when I was 15 years old and got into writing and composing while learning how to play piano. Ended up setting up my own studio at home and in 1995 had my first release as an artist with a german label called Edel Music. As I started producing records I immersed myself into engineering and became an obsession....since I have been doing both as you need these 2 qualities to make great sounding records. I have been doing this over 20 years now and more to come and things to learn.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I am a reliable profesional and deliver quality always understanding clients' needs.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Influences and references.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do you know what every single knob do in that thing? - obviously yes!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Crafting records and seeing the transformation in music from the recording stage to mastering. Is a magical thing which requires a very creative approach but at the same time a very scientific and technical understanding.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I never promise anything to my clients. I do what I have to do.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Analogue is endless and provides infinite tones and possibilities, the randomisation and depth is unbeatable yet simple. Digital is precise and accurate, there is no room for error and serves very complex tasks.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I just finished working on my second album under the name of MINOLOGY. The album is called INNER SANCTUM and has taken me 6 years to write / produce / engineer.. I have pushed myself to the unknown and have worked with fantastic musicians around the world. Coming out 2016 -> www.minologymusic.com
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being able to visualise a mix in my head and sculpt the frequency spectrum, overall dynamic and stereo image in great detail. Break the rules and enhance the musical message to make people really feel for music.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: MINOLOGY without a doubt. I wrote this album in collaboration with Tony Calvo, amazing guitarist and composer. I recorded, produced and enginered the entire album. It took me many years to come up with the right sound for this project which is a mix of Flamenco, Middle East, Cinematic, Rock and Electronica. Very rich sounding with some of the finest musicians out there. The production was very difficult due to the amount of acoustic and electronic instruments involved and mix down sessions were seriously demanding with songs over 130 tracks in Pro Tools. The entire album was mixed through a Neve VR with just analogue outboard and tape, very old stool approach which although very tedious, it paid off massively in terms of the sonics.