I'm a producer and songwriter that has spent a decade touring the country as an artist. I've hired many other producers to work on my music until I eventually honed my own production skills. So I am very artist friendly and have a great understanding of what artists need from a producer. I specialize in indie/pop but am able to create anything.
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Interview with Trevor Madison
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm super proud of my first solo EP, Lost and (Never) Found. But just as a producer, I worked on a Christmas record last year, Sam DeArmond's - On The Eve of Christmas. I am super proud of it because Christmas songs are so classic and it is really easy to butcher them. But Sam had some great arrangements and players in mind and together we came up with a super classic sound. I also didn't play a whole lot on this record which is rare but it needed players that were different from my style and I was able to talk through that with the artist and make the correct decision and find the right players together.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am constantly working on my own music both solo and Icarus Account stuff. Currently I have 3 other EPs I'm working on - an 80s electronic album, and acoustic folk one and a synth rock EP.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Chris Bethea - I have him mix almost all of my projects.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Depends, tracking live - analog because it's vibey. Everything else digital, still great quality but faster and more efficient which allows me to be more creative musically.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That you'll be completely happy with the final product.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I just love creating music and new songs.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How does this work? I explain that I can do a lot of work remotely and then we will get together in studio when needed.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: No clue?
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What sound are you looking for? What are some artist references that you'd like to sound like? What is your budget?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I would say make sure that you are impressed with the quality of their previous work, and then make sure that you gel well with them and their personality. The producer artist relationship is very important especially as you have to make hard creative decisions and often will disagree. Being able to communicate and work through those decisions and disagreements is crucial to the success of the final product and how happy the artist is at the end.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: BAE 1073. Retro 176. U47 clone of some kind. FabFilter ProQ. Kontakt Komplete.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was an artist first and gradually learned how to produce because I always got frustrated working with other producers and feeling like they didn't care as much as I did, or didn't have the same vision as me. Eventually taught myself how to record/engineer and started producing my own band and now also other artists.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Laid back but also willing to grind out the work when needed.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I've long thought Ryan Tedder was the best writer/producer of my generation.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Layers and doubling to build a track that FEELS big.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Usually something in the indie/pop world. A lot of acoustic/folky stuff but also a lot of synth/pop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My ability to play every instrument.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Experience as an artist. Ability to play any instrument we could need. Connections to multiple other instrumentalists if desired. A vision to connect the song musically. Proper production is about presentation of tension and release, moments of conflict for the listener so to speak. Having someone who understands that and knows how to build out a song effectively is crucial.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Typically I start the process remotely. I'll do multiple zoom/facetime calls to get a feel for the artist and production vibe of the project. If we need to write songs we will write together, if the songs are record ready then we will pick a direction and I'll start working on building out the tracks. Some artists like to be in the room for the whole process, others are fine letting me work remotely and then flying in just for vocals once we are happy with all the production. I'm willing to do whatever is best for the artist based on preference and budget.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I've got a set up primarily based around a great vocal chain and a ton of software instruments. But I also do a lot of live instrument tracking, mostly acoustic and electric guitars and bass. But I have experience tracking everything from drums to sax.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Ed Sheeran, David Crowder, Ben Rector, Taking Back Sunday, Ryan Tedder.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Typically I produce a song from start to finish. Sometimes I help write the songs as well.