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Interview with Carl T Smith
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I’m new here but I hope to meet a lot of these fantastic people so I could recommend the right person to help with your project.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Wow…it’s been 40+ years ago… 1976 my cousin and I started writing songs in my living room. I use to play my upright piano and wrote the words and the notes on the music staff. >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<< Shortly after a friend and I began writing and arranging song and producing loads of projects for Clarence Music Records. In the early 80s we us to do sessions for a bunch of artist on different projects. 1985 while on tour with New Edition I had the pleasure working with Ralph Tresvant and Ricky Bell on a project for Shanice Williams called “My First Kiss”. >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<< I’ve worked with Bobby Harris, Kangol of UTFO on a project for the group Whistle, Bobby Brown and Smooth Bee and the list goes on. >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<< Through the 90s I had Pro Ideas Studio, PlayDees Recording Studio and Silver Fox Recording Studio. 2000s I recorded and released Jenee Evans, Nikkiyah Morgan, Pursuae and my own CDs on PlayDees Records and recorded and co-produced Final Mix’s “Lovezone” release on Br-roma Records. That’s just a quick over view of just my playing, recording and mixing experience. There’s a whole lot more!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: It depends. Sometimes it’s different ideas, sound, structure just to name a few. My talent seems to be the ability to come up with elements needed for the project(s) I’m working on.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Creating outlets for independent artist like myself.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Question: What have you done in the music industry? >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<< Answer: In the late 70s I was a song-writer, arranger and producer for Clarence Music Records where my first single “Come Back Lover” was released. My first recording studio was “Bedroom Studio” which grew into “View Of The Nine Studio”. I partnered in “Pro Ideas Recording Studio” in the early 90s and “PlayDees Recording Studio” flerished into “Silver Fox Recording Studio” in the late 90s. >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<< I played keyboards for artist such as Bobby Harris, Candy Bowman and a load of others. I was a member of the band “Questarr”. Our release “She’s Got You Going Down” was released on Disconet Records. I am the original touring keyboardist of New Edition and Bobby Brown. I also had the pleasure of playing with Leon and The Peoples and the list goes on. >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<< I started CTS Productions, PlayDees Records and TSO Radio and put on concerts and events promoting Independent Artist.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Flaws will be fixed in the mix and mastering faze. Though some may seem hidden, unfortunately they are not fixed. If at all possible let’s correct the error(s) as best as we can or come up with an alternative solution. This will construct a much superior project and a better experience for your listeners.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Where are you with your project? * What is your ideal outcome? * What’s your time frame? * How can I help?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Though it’s great if the provider have a lot of accomplishments; focus on their work to see if it aligns with your project and goals. If I know someone would be a better fit I’d be happy to suggest them.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Every last one of them! I have learned so much valuable lessons from other musicians and producers. I’m grateful for that!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: A vintage funky smooth R&B/Soul of the 70s merged with the sounds of today and all the years in between laying the foundation for the music of tomorrow.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It depends on the project and/or inspiration. Sometimes a melody would hit me or messing around with some chords changes inspires a project. >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<< When it comes to mixing I like to strip the track down to the core groove, the feel of the project. Sometimes the best parts are lost under ton of tracks.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: R&B, Soul, Funk, Pop, Contemporary Jazz, Hip Hop though I’ve enjoyed working with people in many other genres.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Arrangements / Productions / Composing / Song Writing
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To do my best to deliver a product we both would be proud of.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Computer, Vocal Microphone, Keyboard Controller, Speakers, External Hard Drives.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: You! I’m hoping that we can create that song we both can be proud of.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Loudness is over rated and simplicity can be the key to your next hit.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Wow… I have an enormous amount of things I’m so proud of. To pick one… I would say… ummmm… the release of PlayDees recording artist. We worked hard! >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<< PlayDees is my record company I started in the late 80s. We spent days… nights… seems like for ever recording and came out with what I was told was some good s$%t. I had a jazz band, two female acts and myself and was promoting shows promoting it all.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Having had and loving them both, digital would be my answer. With digital I’d have more tracks for recording, instrument and processing plugins and a whole lot more in a small space. I can easily edit files, fix mistakes and construct projects in a fraction of the time it would take in an analog situation.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Creating great projects! I can spend hours, days working on a part that makes the whole thing work. Listening to the completed project we’ve done from where we started is a thrill for me. Especially when it all comes together.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: A six monitor five PC setup running Stienberg’s Nuendo, Wavelab with tons of plugins. Reference speakers, good vocal microphones, hard drive bays for storage and great headphones and a bunch of other gear that helps me deliver the desired results.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Though I’ve worked on some notable artist projects; my most common work is independent artist working on their project. Some of my best work has been taking a rough idea and turned it into a masterpiece. Completion a project to has offered my clients and I great results and enormous satisfaction.