Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I've worked on a lot of projects over the decades. One that I really enjoyed happened recently. It was for a division of Sony Records called "Farm Records" in Japan. They hired me to produce 3 classic hit songs into current tropical house styles. It was new, challenging and fun! The three songs were "I want to dance with somebody (Whitney Houston)", "Hit Me Baby One More Time (Britney Spears)" and "Sugar (Maroon 5)". They turned out amazing!
What are you working on at the moment?
I've recently become an endorsed provider of original music for USA CHEER association. Recently, a law passed that Cheer Teams must used legally licensed music. Because I have been producing fitness music (high energy EDM), I was the perfect fit for their needs. I'm currently working on a new dedicated website and catalog of available songs for their specific use.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Even though I've been a professional music producer since 1997, I am new to this site. I was referred by a client.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital. EDM is electronic and digital is it's birth place.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will deliver a project you can be proud of.
What do you like most about your job?
Everything! I'm living my ultimate dream!
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Q: How quick can you get it to me? A: I can start immediately and in many cases, delivery a proof within a few days.
Q: How much does it cost? A: It depends on the scope of the work that needs to be done. I'll do my best to work within your budget.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Making electronic music is easy. It's true that technology has made music creation easier. While the tools are easier (and cheaper) to get, not everyone has the knowledge or experience to use them properly. Just because you have a wrench, doesn't make you a mechanic.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What is your deadline? This is important because now-a-days, everybody wants their project done yesterday.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Know what you want and give very clear instructions, details and examples. Reference songs/artists always help to give us an idea of what you want in your production.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Anything acoustic because there wouldn't be any electricity!
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started out as a radio DJ in 1989. I got my first studio job in Marin County working with the Grateful Dead in 1991. I fell in love with studio production and song mixing. I became a "Fitness Music Producer" in 1997 as a direct result of being involved with Tae-Bo in the very beginning stages directly with Billy Blanks. The rest is history!
How would you describe your style?
Energetic and edgy. Traditional while testing the boundaries.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Pretty Lights. He has a great style. I love his creativity and unique blend of downtempo, hip hop, chill out and EDM. Another great artist is Thievery Corporation. Finally, I've always loved Armand Van Buuren - His style has always been revolutionary and trend setting. He's a gifted producer & artist.
Can you share one music production tip?
Less is more.
What type of music do you usually work on?
EDM of all types. Primarily high energy, however, most recently, I've been hired to do a lot of Tropical House production & remixes. This is a fairly new sub-genre of DEEP HOUSE. It's slower in tempo (BPM) and fuses deep house with tropical percussion and instrumentation. I've also been hired to produce a lot of Trap (blend between EDM and hip hop) for TV networks and a few indie movies.
What's your strongest skill?
Song arrangement & synth selection. I have a few partner producers I hire (depending on the workload) that initiate the foundation tracks and then send me the project to complete by selecting the synth patches, modifying the groove of the main melody, arrangement, mix down processing (EQ, comp. limiting, fx, etc) and final mastering.
What do you bring to a song?
Energy! In EDM it's about the build into an energetic drop. A strong EDM song needs a good rhythm foundation and hook. Good clarity of the instruments is crucial. Deep bass but not to overpower crisp synths & highs. It's all about that flow from beginning to end. It needs to tell a story, even if fully instrumental - take you on a journey.
What's your typical work process?
Depends on the project. For original song creation (for sync licensing), I start with a rhythm. Something that really "moves" and has good energy. Then, I find a good drum style to work with it (kick, then snare/clap, then hats, percussion, etc). Then I find the ideal bass patch and groove.
For remix project, I lay out the original into my DAW, then match the notes by painting out the MIDI on a separate track. I usually do this by metering the original with a tuner plug-in. One I've laid out the midi note structure, I find various synth rhythms that work with the vocal and then build from there.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I run Logic Pro X. I love it! My primary synth is the Nexus 2 because of it's full rich sound and editing & customization capabilities. I have several sets of studio monitors for sound comparison including a set of standard computer speakers (helps with mastering).
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Kraftwerk are legends! They were far ahead of their time and brought electronic music to a whole new level! I also admire Africa Bambaataa for their innovative sounds crossing underground with mainstream and to this day, much of their music is sampled into modern dance & pop music. I also admire & love what modern EDM artists MAJOR LAZER & DILLON FRANCIS are doing with their blend of world beat, trap, dubstep, EDM & hip hop.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Original EDM song creation for digital streaming video. Specifically workout videos. I also provide a lot of instrumental music for TV networks / shows. My most common industry is in sync licensing.