I am a Professional Record Producer, Mix Engineer and Session Musician with over 25 years experience. I specialize in Rock, Pop and Country music genres. Most recently, I have opened MIX PGH: A affordable online resource to professionally mix your existing music tracks.
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Interview with Bryan Cole
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mostly online mixing as well as session work. This includes adding background vocals, guitar solos as well as drum programming. I am also a independent record producer, where I help develop new and established acts. That work is mostly done outside of my home studio.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Dann Huff is probably my biggest influence both as a session guitarist and producer. For mixing, I am very much influenced by Chris Lord Alge, Michael Wagener and Chuck Ainlay
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My private home studio is modest but extremely effective and user friendly. My DAW of choice is Pro Tools and I use a MOTU interface and converters. My mixing is 100% in the box.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mixing, I generally have a conversation with the client to have a solid grasp on their vision. I then ensure that their tracks are to be sent properly and that they understand that the better recording they can do on the front end, the better job I can do for them on the mixes. Once the files are sent to me, I import them into Pro Tools and begin shaping the tracks.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Well first and foremost, I try and understand and focus on the Artist's vision and shape the sound around that. Every move I make from that point on, is to try and add another dimension to improve upon that vision. I try and bring a big, multi-dimensional sound to the mixes I work on.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I believe my strongest skill is approaching the mixes as a musician and artist first. I use my ears and my heart to guide me once I've fully grasped the client's vision. Everything else is technology and understanding how to make it work for me. For example, If a track sounds great without the need for EQ, then I don't add it. I always serve the song, not my ego.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I'm open to working on any genre of music. I truly respect it all. I feel my strongest abilities are in Rock, Pop and Country. With that said, I love a good challenge.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Serve the song, not the ego! Use your ears and your heart to guide you. Technology will handle the rest.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Hmm. Great question and one that I really can't answer honestly. I'm open to work with any artist in any genre.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I suppose every mixer has a certain style or sound. I can usually spot a CLA or Chuck Ainlay mix. If I had to describe my "style" it would be a "Big Board Sound From In The Box!" LOL! Ok corny but true!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've had an interest in recording, mixing and producing since I was a child. I remember getting my first Tascam Porta One 4-track and thought I was Mutt Lange LOL! I've never stopped since!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Macbook Pro, Pro Tools software, my Motu interface, my ADK Custom TC-67 microphone and I decent set of monitors. I'd be set! Other than that, I'd eat fresh fish, make my own salsa and drink margaritas! lol!
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure you have a vision. Don't make me choose that for you. You're the Artist. Make sure your tracks are recorded well and I'll do my very best for you.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How were your tracks recorded? Did you track to a click? Do you know how to consolidate your files? What sample/bit rate did you record at? Who are your influences? What type of sound are you looking for? I then ask more specific questions relating to their sound. For example, if they want a big wall of guitars, I make sure they knew to track more than 2 tracks of guitars and panned them hard left and right.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception is "Fix it in the mix!" WRONG!!!! Clients sometimes feel that we are "miracle workers or wizards". We can help to remove certain flaws or frequencies that clash, we can take a drum sound that wasn't the best quality and make it sound great PROVIDING they were recorded correctly.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: (Q) Can you make my mixes sound HUGE? (A) YES (providing you recorded them properly)
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Hearing and working with new music and helping to shape the sound for clients.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will do my very best to provide the best quality mixes possible with the tracks submitted by the client. If you're not sure...ask! Communication is a huge part of achieving the best results.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I'm not going to get into the debate of what's better. All I can honestly say is. Digital is where it's at to achieve great results for the budgets clients have.The technology is getting better and better and is much more affordable. Budgets are low, therefore we can make great sounding records at a fraction of the cost of analog recordings.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes... ME!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am finishing several country projects at the moment. I am also working with a singer/songwriter that is writing and recording for a publishing catalog.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My new solo album "Sands Of Time" that is slated for a worldwide release in November 2016. I tracked everything in my home studio, with the exception of the bass guitar tracks, which were sent by a friend in Nashville. I produced it, engineered it and wrote two songs on it. I love every aspect of this record!