Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A band came to me and I did half their album for them. I recorded, mixed, and mastered quite a few songs and it was great sounding classic rock. It's now for sale on iTunes, and Amazon. I've done stuff before this, but this was the first time I did everything on my own and more than a couple songs.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on some hip hop songs, one featuring Afro Man.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Analog or digital and why?
Why not both? I love the sound of great analog preamps. However, the more I use digital, the more I like it. I see no reason for people in the music industry to use up the world's resources on all kinds of fancy analog gear when a great mix can be done digitally, especially when it's just going to become an MP3 and the end listener isn't going to say, "oh wow you can really hear the tape machine."
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
That it will sound exceptional.
What do you like most about your job?
Getting to listen to lots of different music and working with talented people.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
It's just playing around until it sounds good. Not true. I hear, and I know exactly what I want to do.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Do you want wide drums? What kind of sound are you going for? Is there a song I can listen to that will help me know what you want? Do you want a busy mix or more conservative with reverb being the only effect?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Be specific on what you want if know know how you want it to sound. Give me a song you like that I can listen to. The more you tell me, the better I can serve you. Or tell me "creative freedom," and I'll have at it.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
I think audio isn't the most important thing when trapped on a desert island. I would want a satellite phone, gun, fishing net, Knife, and lots of rope.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Drumming: 16 years.
Audio Engineering: 12 years.
Started in high school not knowing what I was doing. Then got my AA degree with a concentration in Music Technology. Then got my BAS in Sound Arts. Worked on a Cruise Ship, Audio Visual companies, universities, picking up freelance gigs recording, mixing, and playing drums. I originally wanted to be a pilot.
How would you describe your style?
Clean, crisp, raw, impact, funky.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work tieh JJ Grey & Mofro, or Galactic. I love their raw sound and think recording/mixing their music would be a dream come true.
Can you share one music production tip?
Good In, Good Out.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work just about any types of music. The only music I won't touch is Death Metal, I'm just not great at getting the best tone, probably because I don't like to listen to it, but I respect the skill these musicians possess.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skills is that I can drum and mix. I'm creative and can hear what a mix can be before getting started.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring crisp clear sound. I bring my expertise and professionalism. I will also make suggestions if I think it could sound better or may keep the listener's interest.
What's your typical work process?
DRUMMING: I take my time placing microphones, as even a small change in placement can affect the sound greatly. How should the drums fit in the stereo image of the song? Should the tone be tight or roomy? These are questions that need to be asked from the beginning, not just when mixing.
MIXING: I organize the session first, color code everything and make labels. Then I get rid of any silence in the audio and make fades. Then I see if there are any obvious places where something needs to be time aligned. I like to keep things as organic as possible unless the client wants a processed sound. I then EQ/filter everything and apply compression. Then I start fine tuning everything, creating effects and any automation until I'm finally recording stems. I then put finishing touches on stems until I'm happy with the final product.
MASTERING: Listen, does anything need to be done? If so, what? Does it need to be remixed? Mild EQ changes, multiband compression, maybe some subtle tape saturation. Does it need a subtle reverb or harmonic excitement? Everything is done in subtle ways. The goal here isn't to change tone, just to make songs on an album sound similar, and to make sure the song sounds great on different systems. Finally, there is limiting and dither.
Tell us about your studio setup.
The set up is simple. The results are professional. I have invested heavily in microphones instead of external gear. In my experience, the end listener can't tell that an analog compressor was used, or that tape was used, but they can tell a harsh recording from a quality one. This all starts with the microphones. I also have 7 different sets of speakers to listen on, to make sure the sound is as consistent as possible on different systems. My studio has a baby grand, and large drum set. My drums (and mics) are my pride and joy, they are my babies. It's a TAMA Starclassic Maple EFX 6 piece set with A Custom, K Custom, and ZXT Titanium cymbals, 2 types of hi hats. I use all Aquarian drum heads. The set has a very clean sound, and can be punchy to gentle with my assortment of sticks, and playing skill.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
While I listen to everything, I love funk, hip hop, jazz, blues. Some of my favorite artists are Galactic, JJ Grey & Mofro, Snoop Dogg, The Stanley Clark Band, Brother Ali, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Stevie Wonder, and so many others I can't name them all.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I mostly do mixing, and session drumming, as well as recording musicians in my studio. I also do mastering and get great results. Mixing is a broad term, and covers all editing and time alignment and comping. I've also made custom sound effects for apps, games, and ringtones.