Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I'd have to say the sessions I did with a band called The Saint Johns. Two of the projects were live-in-studio EPs and there was a slew of troubleshooting and workarounds involved with the gear and positioning of players. Everyone was happy with the outcome. Stoked on that.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently mixing two projects and about to start recording a country project next month. Keeping busy!
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
J R McNeely is a fantastic mix engineer and I would recommend him for anything from country to rock. Great guy too :)
Analog or digital and why?
Hah! Tough one. Both in a perfect world. I mix primarily in the digital realm because it's much more efficient, and plugin technology is insane these days. I think the emphasis for me is more on what I'm hearing and less relying on cool gear to get me there. The client isn't going to care if their mix was done on a $400,000 recording console if it sounds like crap.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will do my absolute best to make your product sound its absolute best, or I won't charge you. Heck, it's even on my invoices.
What do you like most about your job?
I can work from home and enjoy time with my family.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
If I can make them famous, or get them signed. Quick answer is no. Although I do however pitch various songs to publishers if I think something could come from it. Don't expect that to be something that's included with the project however :)
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That you have to have a ton of gear or a ton of space to make something sound good. HUGE misconception. Don't get me wrong... I have toys and LOVE playing with toys but that doesn't mean they are the end-all. The EAR is, and that's what you're paying me for.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I typically want to know what their long term goals include. I'm all about a hobbyist or serious artist, I just want to know there is purpose behind the music.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Don't always go with the guy who has a ton of credits or recognition. I've heard mixes from multi-grammy winners that would confuse even the least experienced ear because they may put much less effort or time into something. Find someone that gets you and hire THAT person.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
The 4 track Tascam cassette recorder my dad gave me when I was a kid, a Shure Sm57, Yamaha NS-10's, EMT 140 Plate Reverb, and an upright piano.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I initially wanted to be a touring musician when I was younger. I realized early on that I needed to put everything into Audio Engineering if I wanted to be as good as the next guy. I've been recording and mixing music for about 12 years.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Someone who is serious about their music and someone who understands the importance of a great mix/mastering engineer.
Can you share one music production tip?
Never be a jerk. Nobody wants to work with someone that takes over the room. I would rather work with a subpar musician or engineer than one that is highly skilled but has extremely poor people skills.
What type of music do you usually work on?
In the past 10 years? Rock, Country, and Pop. Anything within those genres.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill is communication. Not only when a session or mix is booked, but I'm excellent at keeping an open and honest dialogue about the sound you want to achieve. I think it's virtually impossible for us not to reach the sound you're looking for if our communication is 100%.
What do you bring to a song?
What I hear most from clients is that I embellish production elements in my mixes, versus basic level balancing. I love making what you record sound bigger than life and ready to play well across all platforms.
What's your typical work process?
My turn around time is fairly quick. I usually turn a mix around in a few days, and I'm very upfront before we start the process if there will be any delays. After an initial mix is turned into you, I can and WILL make any mix or mastering changes needed. If our communication is thorough, we can get the product exactly where you want it in an efficient manner.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I prefer to work in Logic Pro and Pro Tools primarily, although occasionally I do a bit out of Studio One or Ableton Live. I have a very simple and minimalist setup that helps keep distractions at bay and my mind focused on the music. Most of my mixing and mastering is done in a digital realm with very minimal outboard gear. This ensures accurate and efficient mix recalls and consistency. It also allows me to work on the go which is virtually impossible mixing through a console.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
90% of my work is mixing or mastering.