My name is Jonathan Fuller and I've been writing, producing and mixing music for the last ten years. I'm passionate about helping artists find their voice and express themselves.
I've always loved music and started writing songs at the age of four. I got pro tools at age 15 and immediately began spending all my time making music and learning as much as I could about production. I produced my first full length album that year and since then I've released 15 albums between my three projects: Jonny Darko, Feed Us and Jaguar Jaguar. I have taken formal audio production classes at North Central University and the Institute of Production and Recording. Over the past few years or so I've begun producing/mixing for some local artists in Minneapolis MN, my most prominent project to date being 'Talking on Couches' the first full length LP by indie rock band Present Company on which I was the primary mixing engineer.
The biggest myth in producing/mixing is that there are 'right' and 'wrong' ways to do things. At its core music is art and the scope of what’s possible is truly endless. There are many different ways to achieve specific sounds and I’ve spent the last ten years learning how to do that. The best producers and mixing engineers have the most technical knowledge but more importantly a trained ear that can parse out the best sound for a particular song. What I’ve found is that much of the best/most interesting music comes from breaking ties with conventional wisdom and exploring new territory.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
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Interview with Jonathan Fuller
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm really proud of my mixing work on Present Company's LP 'Talking on Couches.' It was my first full length mixing job and it was really fun to track and mix acoustic drums so extensively.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working on my 11th Jonny Darko LP! Collaborating with a lot more artists on this project which is really fun.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I have never been on SoundBetter but I'm hoping to find some people I know!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Honestly digital. I've never been a gear head. I find it much too technical and that for me it's distracting from the main draw of a song which is emotional at its core.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise my clients that I will do my absolute best to achieve their vision and realize their goals with a project.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the process of going through a session. It's like a puzzle to me that needs to be solved. I find a lot of satisfaction in sending a client a song and them being happy with the end result.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Do my vocals sound weird?" No. They sound great.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest myth in producing/mixing is that there are 'right' and 'wrong' ways to do things. Music is art and the scope of what you are 'allowed' to do is endless. There are many different ways to achieve different sounds and of course it's good to know how to achieve what you are striving for but I find that most of the best/most interesting music comes from breaking 'the rules' or going against conventional wisdom.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Typically I ask for reference tracks/artists. I find them really helpful in understanding the influences that went into a song. I also just ask for specific requests, if someone wants their vocals drown in reverb I just want to know!
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: The most important thing is making sure the person you hire respects your vision and the music they produce is something you actually enjoy. If you don't like a producers other work you probably won't like the finished product!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My MacBook, an audio interface, a microphone, headphones and a pair of monitors!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've always loved music and started writing songs at the age of four. I got pro tools at age 15 and immediately began spending all my time making music and learning as much as I could about production. I produced my first full length album that year (it wasn't very good) and since then I've released 15 albums between my three projects: Jonny Darko, Feed Us and Jaguar Jaguar. I have taken a few formal audio production classes in college, namely Audio Engineering I at North Central University and Pro Tools I and II at the Institute of Production and Recording but decided not to pursue production formally as it felt very sterile and most of the technical information is readily accessible online. In the last year or so I've begun producing/mixing for some local artists in Minneapolis MN, the most prominent project being 'Talking on Couches' the first full length LP by indie rock band Present Company which I mixed from scratch.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would describe myself as an innovative producer who is open to new and exciting sounds.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Justin Vernon. I'm so inspired by his understanding of music as a tool to build community and I love how open him and his team are to new ideas!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Gear is overrated! Buying plugins/gadgets will only enhance what you already know, not turn you into a skilled producer or magically give you a more trained ear. Focus on developing your skills with the tools you currently have and when you add those fancy things it will just improve your workflow!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Usually I work on music that is at least somewhat hip-hop influenced but I do a lot of indie, rock and r&b type stuff as well.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I have a real passion for artists personal expression and vision, this is why I keep in such close contact with the artist throughout the process. I know a lot of mixing engineers have strong opinions on how things "should" be done but my top priority is always achieving the clients vision above my own.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Typically a client will send me session stems with only the effects that influence the tonality of the instrument applied. I import the stems into pro tools organize the session and begin mixing the kick and snare. I then move on to bass, the rest of the drums, other instruments and then vocals. I tend to send a few early mixes to get client feedback and direction before delivering the final product.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use pro tools %90 of the time but occasionally use Ableton or Logic. I run my sessions off of a Yamaha HS8 monitor pair with an HS8S sub. For vocal tuning I run either Melodyne, Auto-tune Pro or Vocalsynth depending on the feel of the song.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean, George Daniels, Mike Dean, Louis Bell, Benny Blanco
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Typically I am doing remote mixing or creating instrumentals for clients.