Brian is a songwriter, composer, and guitarist. A graduate of Berklee College Of Music, he has written songs for EDM artists on Bad Dino Music, recorded guitar for Disney and Barry Manilow LIVE and was nominated for "Best Original Score" for the web series, “Sweethearts Of The Galaxy”. In addition, Brian teaches classes for Berklee Online.
Brian has worked with such artists and companies as Barry Manilow, Mickey Rooney, ABC, USA, The CW Network, Disney and occasionally releases his own pop/rock music as well.
Brian’s studio has all the gear needed to create anything from pop/rock and hard rock, to orchestral film score or heavy metal, and he is adept at seamlessly blending any or all of these styles.
The sound of Brian's work varies greatly based on each project’s requirements, and relies on his ability to dissect musical genres, both ancient and modern. This skill enables Brian to write in a specific style, or seamlessly blend genres for a unique sonic pallet that is both new, yet completely familiar. He evokes emotion in his work by combining a mixture of the computer-generated, picture-perfect music of today, with the heart and soul of real live musicians.
Brian is an ideal choice for producers, directors, and music supervisors as he has a deep understanding of their needs, and with 24 years of experience in the music business, Brian makes it a point to create great music, with respectful, friend-driven relationships, and outstanding communication on every project.
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40 Reviews - 3 Repeat ClientsEndorse Brian Donovan
It was so great to working with Brian. He has an amazing knowledge and skills how need to write lyrics for song.
Brian is versatile and talented musician. He goes through all the details and provided professional lyrics for my song.
Brian is a professional and write an amazing song for me!
He is very professional in every aspects.
Trust his work.
Brian brought new meaning to my song with his lyrics. Great experience.
Brian has helped me with four songs now. All of them have been great! He’s talented, responsive, easy to work with, fair, and thorough. Thanks, Brian!
Brian is helping me with yet another song, the fourth in two months. He is SO easy to work with. Talented. Good breadth of musical ability and experience. Sensitive to cost. Thanks, Brian!
Brian did a great job! He wrote a text based on my Russian version and recorded a demo voice of a very high quality. Although the key was very uncomfortable for him.
Brian did an amazing job helping me develop a song. He took his time to get everything I wanted to say. Great communications. I will definitely hire him again in the (near) future!
Brian working on second song now. Great work. Great talent. Such a pleasure to work with.
I just completed my first project with Brian. He was easy to work with. Good quality. Fast turnaround time. I’ve already asked him to help with additional projects.
Brian composed a track for a pop lyric I wrote. Nice job on the piano as well as guitar. MH
Brian is fabulous. I love working with him
Brian has been a dream to work with. I am a complete novice and he helped me write the music for a song. Very patient and encouraging and talented.
Brian is a true gem to work with. Very easy going, patient while quick to be productive and is a great writer/guitar player. Always a pleasure working with him.
Brian is a true gem to work with. Very easy going, patient while quick to be productive and is a great writer/guitar player. Always a pleasure working with him :)
I've worked with Brian on a few separate occasions, and not only is he a talented songwriter and musician, but he's also a genuinely good guy.
Brian excels in many areas and he not only has all the bells and whistles and gadgets, he knows how to play and/or use them all. He’s both fast and efficient, operates at a high level of integrity, is capable and skilled in many varying styles of music, and always seems to be up to date on all the latest gear. But all that being said, what really makes Brian a joy to work with is his disposition. He’s always upbeat, takes his work seriously but not himself, he makes it enjoyable to be around him and he makes you feel like he has your back. .
Brian Is a true professional and a great guy. I had the pleasure of seeing him work, first hand, for many years. He approaches every project earnestly and with care. Plus he’s fast. You’ll be very happy with his work. Hire him!
I worked with Brian on Barry Manilow years back but we have remained good friends since. He was a pleasure to be around. He's professional, caring, and has passion for the work he does.
Interview with Brian Donovan
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am currently wrapping up the mix on my latest album, on which every instrument is entirely performed solely by me. At the same time, I am simultaneously recording parts for my next album, which will be recorded entirely over the internet, virtually, with many musicians from all over the world, to create an entirely different sound. I am also contributing production music to Scorekeepers Music.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Analogue because seriously....it sounds better. And digital because seriously....it's easier.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To make them happy while having a good time doing it. I enjoy what I do...and I want to spread that around.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Making music. Whatever it takes. Whatever that means. I'm there to help make it happen. And have a great time doing it. Period.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Why are you always so calm?" My answer: I'm a huge fan of the space program and the quote that rings in my head most is from Gene Krantz, who, during the Apollo 13 accident, famously said, "Let’s solve the problem...let’s not make it any worse by guessing.”
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I work with a lot of professional musicians who have really crafted their skills, learned their instruments inside and out like being fluent in another language, and STILL take the time to practice everyday and get better at what they do...those are the musicians that inspire me the most.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: As songwriter, I'm often asked to create songs that sound similar to another artist, or to just write what I think fits best in an artist's existing style. In both cases, I pay special attention to the details: instrument choice, genre specific mix options, etc. And I give multiple options to make sure the artist can be a part of the process, if they wish, as I always enjoy creating music and love to share that with anyone who wants to take part.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: It's always evolving. I adapt to whatever a project needs and love to analyze new styles to sound like. However, personally, as an artist, I like to combine many aspects of different genres to create something new and refreshing.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Eric Johnson. He's a guitarist that has such great tone and I can't stop listening to.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Yes. Always remember, there is no right or wrong in music. But if it's not AMAZING...it's wrong. Do it again.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I write a lot of pop/rock and hard rock music. But I love to write in many genres, and do so often, so nothing is off limits.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Having a great time, while maintaining a high level of professionalism in my work.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I make every song I work on the best it can be. I bring all my effort to each and every song. Every detail is handled quickly and decisively. I never want to walk away from a song without making it sound amazing. I also love to think outside of the box. I don't ever want to sound cookie-cutter-ish, so I strive to find the individual voice of every song I work on.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: RECORDING: SOFTWARE: ProTools 11 Digital Performer 10 Waves Gold Bundle Plugins Guitar Rig 5 Pro Kontakt Ultimate 10 Recording/Mixing HARDWARE: Motu 828MkIII Hybrid Interface Blue “Robbie” Preamp Blue Baby Bottle Mic Behringer FCB101 Midi Foot Controller SAMPLE COLLECTION: Air Creative Suite Bluegrass Banjo East West Choirs Giga Studio Pro Edition Orchestra Motu MachFive 3 Omnisphere Reason Strings Reason Abbey Road Drums Rammfire Retro Machines Mk2 Library Slide Lap Steel Stylus RMX Drum Loops TinyBox Music Box Custom Baritone Horn Dobro Dulcimer Binca Sounds Custom Sample Library SoundFX Pack INSTRUMENTS: ELECTRIC GUITARS: Line 6 JTV-59 Variax Electric Guitar Ibanez RG7421PB 7-String Guitar Binca Custom Guitars - F1 OTHERS: Taylor 714ce Acoustic Guitar Fender P-Bass AMPLIFIERS: Peavey Bandit 112 Teal Stripe Amp PEDALS: SYNTH Boss SY-300 Guitar Synth DigiTech SDrum —————————— PITCH DigiTech FreqOut Natural Feedback Creator Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork Digitech Whammy Ricochet MXR Bluebox —————————— TONE MXR Studio Compressor Dunlop Jimi Hendrix FuzzFace Chicago Ironworks Tycobrahe Octavia Electro Harmonix Triangle Muff Land Devices HP2 Harmonic Percolator Boss BD2 Blues Driver Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer ProCo Rat Distortion Friedman BE-OD Overdrive Seymour Duncan Palladium High Gain Distortion —————————— MODULATION Dunlop 535q Cry Baby Multi Wah Boss VO-1 Vocoder/Talkbox MXR Phase 90 Fulltone Deja-Vibe MXR M-117R Flanger Red Panda Bitmap 8bit Electro Harmonix Ring Thing TC Electronic Pipeline Tap Tremolo Electro Harmonix Lester G Deluxe Rotary Speaker Leslie Cabinet Simulator TC Electronic SCF Stereo Chorus —————————— TIME Ernie Ball Stereo Volume Grand Canyon Strymon BlueSky Reverb —————————— EQ MXR M108 10-band EQ Boss EQ 200
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: For 15 years I have had the pleasure and honor of working for Barry Manilow. In my tenure, I have had the opportunity to produce his vocals on a couple of recordings. A simple, well placed bit of advice, earned me his respect as a musician and vocalist and thus, gave me the opportunity to do several songs for a project he was working on.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My work process differs for every project. But when I work, I love to work differently all the time...I feel it keeps the energy moving and stirs creativity. But no matter what, I strive to give every song exactly what it calls for.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception is that music is a throwaway item: as if it takes almost no time, effort, or money to make something great that isn't just filler. That music can be done for free because a production has run out of money due to all the other production costs have eaten through someone's budget.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I really love to know about their timeline and expectations. I'm a stickler for meeting my deadlines, and I want everyone to be happy...including myself with a job well done.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Go with your gut. If you feel someone is the right fit for your project, go with that. And if that's not me, I don't take it personally. None of us should: it's your project and you always know what's best for your music.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: On a desert island, I wouldn't need 5 pieces of gear, just 2: a guitar and my iPhone to record everything I would write...as I'm ALWAYS writing.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started jamming with friends of mine in our basements and garages, then went to Berklee in Boston. Graduated there with a Bachelors Degree in Music Production & Engineering, then moved to Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Here in LA, I've worked in every creative and production aspect of the industry, from post production editing, to playing guitar live on stage, and recording in studios both as a hired musician and an engineer.