Hi! I'm Paul, a Berlin-based mixing/mastering-engineer, session guitarist and bassist, looking to help you improve your songs!
I spent the last couple of years at SAE Berlin, where I refined my audio skills and had the opportunity to learn from the best in the business. I have been playing guitar and bass for half my life and can assist you with everything you need. Wether it's songwriting, recording acoustic or electric guitar or laying done the bassline, I assure you that you will be pleased.
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with Paul Saalfrank
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mostly do everything at once. I help writing the song, I record it, produce it, edit it, mix it and master it.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My biggest inspiration is probably Kurt Ballou. Although he produces very heavy and technical songs, he still manages to keep the song sounding natural.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I'm running Pro Tools 12 an a 15" mid 2015 Macbook Pro Retina. I'm using a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 as my interface and my plug-ins include Waves, Native Instruments, the Slate Everything Bundle, etc.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Depending on what type of job I'm doing, I like to listen to the band/the song first to get familiar with the material. After that, based on the budget I'll choose the fitting gear to record. While mixing, I like to work closely with the client and will do up to three revisions to ensure their happy with how it turned out. Generally speaking, the client comes first.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I'm not afraid to think outside the box and like to add unusual stuff to a song. Like a tempo change or even playing certain parts in 7/8 for example. With that being said, tactics like these are used accordingly when their needed. Every song is different and needs different treatment.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'm open to any idea the client has, mix every song like it is my own and I'm able to come up with guitar parts quickly.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Anything from Pop to Rock to Noise to Metal is welcome. Or more easily said: "Guitar Music"
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Try to capture the best performance possible and don't try to fix it in the mix.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd like to work with a band called "dredg". In my opinion their album "catch without arms" is the best sounding rock record of all time.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I like to keep things natural and make them sound realistic. I'm not a fan of (too much) autotune or perfectly quantized drums. Of course I'll correct things if they need to be corrected, but to me drums should sound like their played by a real drummer
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started classical Spanish guitar when I was ten and started to write my own songs on the electric guitar when I was 14. Then I just started recording myself in my bedroom and decided to visit the SAE Institute of Berlin. After receiving my Audio Engineering Diploma I started recording and producing more and more up to this day.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My '52 Reissu Telecaster, a Fender Deluxe Reverb, my computer, a small Interface and headphones.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I'd say that a customer should shop around a bit and take offers from multiple providers.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I almost ask for some sort of reference track and what exactly "mixing" or "mastering" means to them.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: 1. you can fix everything in the mix. 2. mixing = mastering
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I often get asked if I could have the finished product by the end of the day. To which I'd answer, yes, but it would not be as good as the product I'd finish tomorrow.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Hearing new songs every day and being able to help somebody make their song come to life.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll spend as much time i possibly can to make the end result the best I can.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: For me: digital. Because it's faster, editing is a lot easier, it's cheaper and, with the newest technology, it sounds almost as good.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Currently not.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Right now I'm finishing an EP for a small Berlin-based Pop/Rock band
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: That would be an EP I produced for my own band that made it possible to play more shows and got us attention from labels.