Michael Grubbs


7 Reviews (3 Verified)
Michael Grubbs on SoundBetter

I've collaborated with the hitmakers behind G-Eazy, One Republic, and BØRNS. With my projects Wakey!Wakey! (Orchard Music) & Cheap Synths (Rough Trade) I hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart & had music in ads from Apple, Honda, Google, Volkswagon, (+ others) + prime time national TV. Last year I co-scored Hulu's "Everyone is Doing Great".

After a successful artist career and 20+ years in Brooklyn, NY, I've opened a small project studio in Austin, TX where I'm focused on mixing, production, songwriting, and helping artists develop musically. After working with incredible producers and mixers like Fab Dupont (Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, David Crosby), Caleb Shreve (Phantogram, Switchfoot, Bear Hands) and Chris Cubeta (A Great Big World, Jukebox The Ghost, Verité); I've come to understand the artist's position.

My specialties in the studio include -

+ Listening closely to you, the artist, first and foremost fully understanding your goals

+ Mixing with the intention of sonically staging your music for success in the current pop, EDM, indie, or alternative markets.

+ Full Record Production

+ Production Doctoring (helping find any elements that aren't working, and fixing of replacing them)

+ Song Doctoring (helping you address any issues in the song itself)

+ Additional instrumentation, from full orchestral arrangements, to piano, synths, guitar, bass and drums.

I'm lucky to be working with some of the most successful and interesting artists in music today. I'd love to add your music to my line up. Click the green button above to message me now. I'm excited to hear about your project!

All my best,

Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.


AllMusic verified credits for Michael Grubbs
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Wakey Wakey
  • Jon Lord
  • Hoochie Coochie Men
  • Basic Vacation
  • Basic Vacation
  • The Nectars
  • The Nectars
  • The Nectars
  • The Nectars
  • The Bright Silence

7 Reviews - 2 Repeat Clients

Endorse Michael Grubbs
  1. Review by Glittermind

    Michael is a consummate professional and absolute joy to work with! He made the process especially fun and seamless; his creativity and musicality are second to none. Additionally, his work ethic and attention to detail are unmatched, with his drive to serve the work in any way possible shining through his final products. I could not be more grateful for his hard work and creative flair. What a privilege to work with such a gifted talent! Thank you, Michael!

  2. Review by Rodrigo A.

    Michael is FANTASTIC… after 30 years of experience 3 Grammy awards (la ley) and working with the biggest names in the industry we are super satisfied and absolutely recommend Michael Grubbs .

  3. Review by Kady Rain

    Mike is an absolutely incredible producer that can help you take your songs to a new level! I am so happy with how my tracks turned out and I’m so excited to release them. He is kind, professional, courteous, and all around great to work with. I can’t recommend him enough!

  4. Review by Sara L. Houser

    I just finished my first sync writing session with Michael and was amazed at how much we accomplished virtually in a matter of hours. He has great intuition as a writer and swift execution as a producer.

  5. Review by Ashley Levy

    I just completed my second session with Michael Grubbs and it was AWESOME! His expertise in songwriting and production are unmatched. He knows how to bring character into into sonics and has a style all his own while being receptive to my notes. 10/10 experience.

  6. Review by Lea McNamara
    by Lea McNamara

    I've been working with Mike for a few months now and I can't believe how quickly he brings my vision to life. I'll send him some pretty inaudible ideas and he must have an inside scoop with my brain because he nails it on the first try! He always comes prepare to his sessions, punctual and on time with an idea at hand. It's a very easy flow to work together and I can't wait for the world to hear our tunes.

  7. Review by Danny Ross
    by Danny Ross

    Mike is a music genius, plain and simple. His ability to create arrangements, harmonies, music and lyrics across genres is unparalleled. Mike's a world-celebrated producer, vocalist and pianist with cooler taste than your big sister in high school. Plus his artist project Cheap Synths is the best alternative band in years. His spot in Austin is ridiculous, and he'll make you laugh for hours. Don't be silly, work with Mike!

Interview with Michael Grubbs

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: My break out project was called Wakey!Wakey! I was at the center of the storm for that. Writing and coproducing everything that we did. The project is always ongoing, and I know it means a lot to the fans. That is the sort of project that I like to help young artists create.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I have a personal project with a pop star that I won't name. We haven't gone public with it yet, but it's gonna be great. I'm also developing a young rapper that I firmly believe is the next big thing. In between those projects, I enjoy mixing, producing, and song doctoring for a ton of artists.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: I was introduced to Soundbetter by Danny Ross. He's a good friend and a great writer, producer and mixer.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Both! Digital emulations of classic analogue gear are unbelievable. Computers totally suck, but they're also freaking awesome. Analogue gear has a wildness that is great for accidental magic.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: That they will love whatever we make. And if they take a chance and record something, and decide they don't like it I will delete it immediately. I understand that they are the ones that have to sing and listen to this song every night for the rest of their lives. I'll only help them make something they love.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: I like that every day is a new set of puzzle pieces to figure out. New challenges to rise up and meet. I also just really love music.

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: How did I get my big break as an artist. And the answer is, that I was just too persistent to stop. It took 10 years of going out to open mics and venues almost nightly, before the right person saw me at the right moment and wanted to shine a great big spotlight on me. If I had given up the day before, I absolutely wouldn't be where I am today.

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: I think some people believe you need a huge studio to make a great album. Billie Eilish and Finneas make hits in their bedroom. So many times in major studios, the producer puts a computer on the mixing desk and uses a ton of plug ins. Great music finds a way.

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: How are you doing? Are you ok? Happy and healthy? Why do you want to make music. What is your goal? What playlist would you like your music to live on?

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: Don't think twice! And don't hold back. You have to bring your full self and your best ideas to the table. I'm here to make the best of you, but I can only do that if you trust me and really open up. Great music is truthful and comes from truthful relationships.

  21. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  22. A: Assuming this island has a nice sound treated room... haha. 1. NI Komplete Kontrol S88 Keyboard. 2. Universal Audio interface. 3. Fully loaded Mac to control and host everything (with logic pro x.) 4. My Neumann U 87 Mic. 5. My shell pink Fender Strat (her name is Geena Davis)

  23. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  24. A: I started piano at the age of five. I got a degree in Musical Theatre of all things. (I wanted to studio music, but I had a crush on a person in the theater department, so... you know...) I also minored in Jazz Piano. After college I did a few touring productions of big broadway shows, but I knew music had my heart, so eventually I quit and started a band. That led to me basically bartending for a decade while playing out. Then my big break happened with Wakey!Wakey! I got discovered by the creator of One Tree Hill, which led to a ton of placements, and eventually me acting on the show. That led to me hitting number 1 of the Billboard Heatseeker Chart. Then I toured, and started writing with a ton of huge artists. I started a side project called Cheap Synths, which led to me really deeply learning production for the first time. That was kind of the final level of the video game. Now I'm able to do every aspect of music creation, and I was forced to learn it all in slow motion over 40 years, from some of the most amazing people in the business. After 24 years in New York, my partner and I moved to Austin and I opened a project studio. Because of zoom, I'm able to work with great people all over the world!

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: I like music with an emotional current. So take that, add some great analogue synth soundscape, and a great song and I'm in. My time in New York shows in my production I think. I'm a sucker for a big boom bap beat.

  27. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  28. A: I've always wanted to sit down with A$AP Rocky. I love the style and swagger he brings. Also Charli XCX is bae.

  29. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  30. A: Never work on music you don't fully love and respect. It will eat your brain and make everything you do start to suck. I guess that's more life advice. For music I would say, less is more. Ten bad synth sounds don't equal one good one. Curate carefully.

  31. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  32. A: I'm lucky to work on a huge range of stuff. My break out project (Wakey!Wakey!) was indie music with a classical setting. So that has led to me working with a bunch of indie performers. I really love immaculate pop music and hip hop, though, so I'm lucky to work a ton in those fields as well. As a musician, I really absorbed a lot, living in New York's Lower East Side in the early 2000s. I try to take that element of cool and infuse it into any genre I'm diving into on a particular day.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: I think that my strongest skill is an abundance of experience. Having lived on the artist side for so long, I have a unique perspective of what the artist is going through. At every level of their career. That allows me to remove my ego from the situation entirely and focus on them.

  35. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  36. A: I've written thousands of songs throughout my career and tried to learn something from all of them. I started playing piano at the age of 5, so I'm lucky to be pretty fluent on several instruments. That allows me to stay out of the way, and keep things pure.

  37. Q: What's your typical work process?

  38. A: My process is completely dependent on the project. I like to work quickly and keep things focused on positive energy and flow.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I work primarily in the box, but I have resources for live tracking of drums, guitar, bass, etc. I have worked to acquire a pretty massive plug in library, and I'm a huge advocate for Universal Audio gear. I was raised a classical pianist, so the center of my set up is my NI S88 keyboard. (I also have a Young Chang Grand if we want the real thing). In the box I have a full fleet of every classic synth imaginable, as well as complete scoring suites (CSS Strings, solo strings, brass and woodwinds, as well as Damage 2, Hans Zimmer Drums, and some various Spitfire libraries including Swarm which I love.) I have several terrific drum programs like Battery, Studio Drummer, and MPC Beats. As well as Sublab and Trillian for bass sounds. I also have a few drum machines, as well as a Juno 106 and a Fender Strat if we want to play with real stuff. All of that lives in a perfectly acoustic treated space. I also have a chair directly to my left where my hound dog, Buster, naps while I work.

  41. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  42. A: I love the major indie acts like James Blake, Tame Impala, Banks, Phoebe Bridgers, and Charli XCX. I also spend a lot of time in hip hop world with everyone from Mike Dean to Kendrick, to Drake, to Travis Scott. Then we have my epic nerd side, that is obsessed with composers like Nicholas Britell, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, and of course John Williams.

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: During my artist career I was lucky to work with some of the world's most incredible producers. Now I strive to take my experiences as an artist, and let those inform the way I work with clients. To help guide them artistically and bring out their best, and always remembering that it's my job to make them shine. I help artists on every level from songwriting and song doctoring, to full production and mixing. My most exciting projects start with a completely blank slate. We envision the final product together and carefully craft it.

Cheap Synths - Champions

I was the CoProducer, CoMixer, Cowriter, Instrumentalist and Singer in this production

Terms Of Service

Mixing- 2 revisions, 3 day turn around
Production- varies by project
Top Line- varies by project, but will typically include publishing on the track
Piano/Keyboard- 2 revisions, 2 day turn around

Gear Highlights
  • Universal Audio Twin and Satellite
  • Neumann U87
  • Fender Stratocaster
  • Young Chang Grand Piano
  • UA Plug In Suite
  • Presonus Faderport 16
  • Komplete Kontrol S88
  • Juno 106
  • Cinematic Studio Strings
  • Solo Strings
  • Brass
  • and Woodwinds; Damage 2
More Photos
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