I've been engineering/mixing/producing mostly independent artists for over 20 years. I am known for moody/colorful mixes/productions that age well and highlight the emotions of the song. My goal is for the emotions that you feel in your music to translate well to the listener ... whatever that takes.
Every day in this profession is still a total joy and incredible learning experience. I really enjoy learning from artists the essence of their song. I enjoy deeply understanding the music and working with the artist to make sure their audience understands the music. Sometimes that takes a very polished production or even a very unpolished production to communicate those emotions.
The technical aspect of getting good sound is second nature for me so I can focus on the feeling of what I am delivering.
I am a full-time producer, mixer and engineer. About half my projects are done remotely and half with local artists in NW Washington.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
Reviews (4)Endorse Bill Simpkins
I've worked with Bill on my most recent releases and can say he is extremely fun and easy to work with. He listens to what the artist wants and works diligently to make that vision a reality. His service, production input and engineering are all high calibre. I look forward to working with him on future projects!
Bill has mixed several full-length albums for my AeTopus project, which has received high praise for its outstanding technical quality by promoters, broadcasters, reviewers, and fellow musicians in my genre. He is fair, flexible, communicates effectively, and produces highly professional results. An amazing artist and craftsman - Thanks Bill!
I have been a songwriter and producer for a few years now and have had the privilege of having a few of my songs mixed and co-produced by Bill since 2012. Apart from the sheer quality of his skills, knowledge and equipment, he is also one of the nicest and easiest person to work with that I have met in this business. Can't recommend highly enough.
Bill has been consulting and mastering for my band, Celestial Navigation, for the past three years. First off, Bill is extremely smart and has a ton of technical knowledge. He is also very artist oriented and the song is top priority. This is a unique combination. He strives to make sure everyone is beyond satisfied with their art.
Interview with Bill Simpkins
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Mixing the last AeTopus album, because we achieved a very illusive sound/feeling we were going for. I wanted it to fit perfectly when driving in an icy wilderness and it really does that job well!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Writing and producing several small projects. I also am mixing three full length albums over the next two months then working on producing a full band for a month after that.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: We hear everything analog in the end. When ones and zeros are converted back we don't hear gaps in the waveform. I like the medium that sounds best for the song and has a workflow that best facilitates creativity and productivity.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will do whatever it takes (including recommending else) to make the result something you really enjoy listening to.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The opportunity to understand people.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: Can you make this sound more analog/vintage/modern/dry/reverby etc... ? A: How do you think that will make the song better?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception is that we can't truly know what the artist is going for because it seems we are always trying to change it. The fact is that a good producer knows that the basic real human emotions are what touches and keeps listeners and if they cannot be communicated and understood then no one will listen. A good producer is a master of listening and communication.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Why are you doing this? What are you trying to say? What about your music do you think people like? What is your favorite album and do you think you could ever top that? Why not?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Think about what you want the listener will experience. Think about how you want to communicate with the provider. Do you want something that sounds "standard and "professional" without much fuss or do you want to strive to make a an interesting record that you really enjoy listening to 10 years from now.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming there is a DAW, converters with preamps, monitors and a studio etc...: Neumann U87 x 4 SM57 x 2
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been recording/producing mixing since 1993 when I was 18 out of my parents kitchen when they were gone. I started working in a professional facility in 1997.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Classic and moody.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would like to work with any rock legend that has been in the routine of "just putting out another record because they feel they have to." I would like to work closely with them to bring their fire back out and put out something truly meaningful, great and classic again.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When you hear something that distracts from the music, take care of it right away before you get used to it.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: All types, but I work on a lot of singer/songwriter, pop and heavy metal. I have a lot of classical/orchestra experience too.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I listen very well and keep my ego out of things. I can admit I am wrong 1000 times a day if it makes the song better.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I consider myself to be the person that makes sure the emotion of the song makes it to the listener. Sometimes this means doing almost nothing, sometimes this means talking with the artist and explaining that it is really hard to understand what they are doing and how they can change things so more people can understand or being OK with people not understanding it.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to talk with the client and really understand what they are going for. I want to understand the song and why it was written and who they are trying to reach. After that, I like to take care of any resource needs and any technical things then get to work in the studio. I like to keep an open flow of thoughts between myself and the client and I prefer a high amount of participation. I like to keep things moving forward in a productive way and always meet deadlines.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Pro Tools HD 12 with 32 I/O Antelope & Apogee I/O and 16 fader control surface. Analog gear including API, Vintech, Trident, A-Designs, Pultec, Tubetech, Universal Audio, Rupert Neve Designs … Mic selection including Neumann, Royer, Mojave, Shure, AKG … Bricasti, Lexicon and real spring reverbs. Analog Tube Summing.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I really like musicians and producers who really work hard to deliver music that takes the listener somewhere. People that strive to find the "magic" in the music. Lately I've been into Rituals of Mine, Ghost, Fleetwood Mac, Anderson .Paak, the Police, The Green.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing. Producing. I do a lot of vocal couching to get good performances.