Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A friend of mine, who goes by the name of Andrew Kriss, made an album called "Un Anno Di Banalità", which is Italian for "A Year Of Banalities", which is a sort of concept album spanning through each month of the year. I have been involved as a co-writer for some songs, co-producer, instrumentalist, and finally mixing and mastering engineer. It was a lot of work that took a lot of time (almost 7 years!) and a lot of fun. I'm pretty proud of that!
What are you working on at the moment?
I have so many projects! I'm putting out an instrumental EP of covers, then I'll do another EP of my stuff, then another full length also of my original stuff! And I'm trying to build a fanbase here on Soundbetter, of course! I'm very busy!
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Analog or digital and why?
As I said earlier, I love digital, for the sound and the convenience. I love analog as well, but digital is just much more affordable and easy to use, and recallable, and it doesn't get hot or break, and most of all it sounds damn good!
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will give the highest care I can to your project. I really do care about it and I will try to emotionally relate to it as much as I can, almost as if it was my own song or album!
What do you like most about your job?
The creativity! For me mixing and mastering is a form of art. It's just not only a technical aspect of making records, it's art! For me mixing a record and painting a picture is not much different. And the experimentation, and the possibilities that the gear you use can give you, and the freedom to use all of that. Oh and also the help I can give an artist to make his creation shine a bit more! That's satisfying!
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
The most commonly asked question for me is: can you make me sound like .....? And my reply is usually: I don't know. Let's try!
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Maybe that digital isn't on par. Well it isn't "on par", because of course, it's different! But at this moment it's as professional as analog, no doubt. With a lot of benefits added!
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What sound do you want for your project? And are you sure that your project has been created to be on par with that sound?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Don't get fooled by looks, maybe?
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Maybe 5 are even too much! As an audio engineer I would say my KS Digital's and my PC with all my plugins inside for sure! As a musician, my ENGL Thunder 50 and my Ibanez's! And maybe a uke, just for fun!
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Well I started 15 years ago at least, very humbly and never believing that something that was just a shy experiment would become a passion and a profession. Throughout the years I worked on my own project, as a recording, mixing and mastering engineer, also because I didn't have the budget to rent a proper studio, but mostly because I wanted to learn how it's done! Then I started working for some friends, occasionally, and things piled up and one day I thought that maybe I could make a living out if this. And here I am!
How would you describe your style?
I would describe it as minimalistic but effective. I tend to apply as less as possible to a track. I want the sound to maintain its nature, I don't want to mess with it until it becomes something else entirely.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Oh, too many to list! But I would say Jeff Beck, maybe? He's a great's great! I'd love to see what happens in the studio when he wails on the Strat. But I could die from a heart attack just seeing him entering the studio, so that won't happen.
Can you share one music production tip?
I would say, record well. Starting from the base is always critical! Don't ever say "fix it in the mix", it's plain useless. It can make you lose your sleep!
What type of music do you usually work on?
I've worked on many different styles of music, but I must say that the most common is maybe pop rock, to use a wide and general term. But I don't despise any genre! I love working on metal as well as electronic, or reggae as much as jazz! It's always a ton of fun mixing or mastering any kind of song!
What's your strongest skill?
Some say I have a great ear. I don't know if that's true, but I always end with many compliments from my clients and big smiles everywhere. Sometimes it's even funny!
What do you bring to a song?
In mastering, I try to bring some life, some energy that could be lacking from the mix and that relates to the emotional content of the song, or project. In mixing, I try to put forward the vital elements of the song, but I always want everything to be heard! That's a challenge!
What's your typical work process?
I always start finding a connection to the song, whether I'm mixing or mastering, and as soon as I do, I look for anything that can be done to the song to make it better, slightly or greatly so. Especially in mastering, I usually concentrate on one element at a time and work around that until I'm satisfied, then I search a correlation with the surroundings of that element and work on that. It's a steppped process, really.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Right now I'm entirely in the digital domain. And I love it! Not that I despise analog stuff (I actually drool about it), but at this exact moment I'm loving working with digital just for the convenience, and the sound is also amazing! I use Waves and Brainworx plugs a lot, they're the best on the market, at least for me, but I also use a lot of other stuff, depending on the project. Lots of free plugs too! I love them. As far as listening goes, I have KS Digital's D606's, fantasticly well balanced and powerful monitors, and RME converters (great great stuff!).
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Well, I have some heroes, who usually are people who aren't afraid of real experimentation. They're pretty practical people, I would say. I'm talking about guys like Alan Parsons, who isn't shy to confess he uses Neumann's instead of SM57's to record a guitar cabinet, or Tchad Blake whose all digital mixes sound warmer than anything!
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I do mostly mastering and mixing. I'm also a musician and I do the odd guitar solo or keyboard part on other's songs, but mastering and mixing is currently my main job!