I love mixing music, and I love real hardware. My studio, Riverworks Music is Toronto-based, with artists and bands from different regions in North America. My mix technique consists of a hybridized mix of character-rich outboard classic gear, and I look for every opportunity to use it all. No laptop mixing here.
The local and long-distance mixing process is the same: simply provide all separated audio tracks starting at the beginning of the song and I can get to work from there.
We'll have an in-person meeting before I get started to go over your ideas and vision, and to sit back and discuss some reference points that you have in mind. I'm also more than happy to also assist in exporting the audio files if you have any questions, or are unsure of the process.
Artists and bands are more than welcome to attend the mixing sessions and I'm happy to explain the process since lots of people are quite interested in it. That being said, I always caution that the listeners don't wear out there ears. It's always a good idea to keep your ears as fresh as possible! And of course, attending sessions is totally optional.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
Reviews (6)Endorse Mike Rocha
Great working with Mike!
It's SO hard to find a great mixer. Often I'll get mixes back that sound "mixed". No one wants there record to sound "mixed", you just want it to sound like a record, right!?!
What I got back from Mike was awesome. It had more depth, grit and attitude, and sounds like a record! NOT template mixing. Just a matter of time until Mike is huge
I'm so grateful to have recorded with Mike over the last couple years. He is creative and understands the artists goals with an an amazing ear and attention to detail. Mike has a great work flow, he is productive but keeps things relaxed to get the best take! Also one of the most genuine and non-flakey music industry peeps I've ever met.
My band has been working with Mike since we started out and we would not be anywhere without him. His knowledge and his attention to detail makes him an invaluable asset to any recording session. He's pushed our band to be better than we ever thought we could be and any musician should feel lucky to be able to work with him.
Mike is an absolute blast to work with. Our time together in the studio has been highly productive and fulfilling - as well as educational. He has introduced me to lots of new hardware, and helped me to become more comfortable in the world of sound synthesis. Mike has been instrumental in the development of my band's sound. A++!
I've done 2 records and 2 EP's with with Mike over several years. I've recommended him to several others. He is extremely knowledgable as an engineer and has a great ear. I especially recommend Mike for those who are doing a first record or ep as he works very hard EVERY project and is great at communication!
Sam - Liver, Bossie, Rival Boys
Interview with Mike Rocha
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both absolutely. Analog because there is a character and uniqueness that each piece of gear can bring. Digital because the ability to build in incredible amounts of detail through automation is pretty hard to match in the analog world.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long does it take to mix a song? Although it certainly varies, 12hrs is usually the average time to mix one commercially released single.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My work in music started studying formally through Royal Conservatory of Music as a pianist, then adding on orchestral playing on the Upright Bass. All along the way I was playing in rock bands and learning to record those bands. 12 years ago I turned this into a full-time career, and have been working exclusively with the creation of original music since.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: A common thread for all of my projects is a strong emphasis on live-performed elements. So, even synth-pop records maintain the feel of a live-band-style energy.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I always joke that one of my strongest stills is to be able to listen to a song thousands of times without getting tired of it, and furthermore still finding new bits and ideas that resonate with me on every new listen. I think it's pretty key for every mix to become your next favorite song, and that only happens by painstakingly going through every moment.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: In advance of my first day mixing, I'll spend a few hours listening through references that the client has chosen as a target. On the day of mix, I'll dive in and start identifying the key elements of what make the song tick. I'm always looking for the "sonic hook" of the song; that fraction of a moment as you're spinning the radio dial that grabs your ear and immediately sounds recognisable. I'm looking for my favorite parts of the song, and building everything else to support those favorites.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: The studio is located on Queen St East in downtown Toronto, in a fully sound proofed and professionally treated room. It is a hybrid combination of a digital workstation for recording and mixing, along with a wide assortment of classic character-drenched signal processing reverbs, delays, compressors, all of which have been amassed with flavor as the primary goal.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Over and over I find myself referencing David Bowie, the Talking Heads, Nine Inch Nails, Bjork, of Montreal, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Brian Eno, Daft Punk, Neutral Milk Hotel, Chemical Bros and on and on it goes! I also have a major love for 60s and 70s soul/funk of just about any kind, as well as classic and contemporary soundtrack scores.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Music mixing and production are my exclusive areas of work.