I am a mixer, producer, and composer of music, dialogue, and underscore. I have worked across many genres, media, and styles, having accrued significant experience in the field. Of late, my work has predominantly been within Pop, EDM, Hip Hop, and R&B. I have worked on Lake Street Dive, Vulfpeck, Joey Bada$$, Prince Royce, Fox News, and Showtime.
I do everything from ground up production and writing, taking what may be a piece of an idea and working with the artist to turn it into a finished record, to sweetening dialogue or helping to put the finishing touches on a mix. Every project I work on is different. Each gets the attention a tailor or designer would pay to the manufacture of a custom suit.
My productions and mixes are largely in the box. I find the consistency, reliability, and recallability of a DAW to be a source of comfort in the weeds of the creative process. I work in Pro Tools, but am set up to handle Logic and Ableton sessions if a project calls for it. In addition to a treasure chest of instruments, a trust-worthy monitoring setup, high end microphones, and rock-solid conversion I'm stocked with hundreds of plugins, including favorites from Fab Filter, Waves, Native Instruments, U-He, Sound Toys, UAD, iZotope, Valhalla DSP, Good Hertz, and Slate, among others.
Recording technology has come a long way and I'm set up for and used to remote collaboration. As long as there is internet, you can join me in my studio, wherever you may be. I’m currently in Montana working with musicians, making beats, writing, producing and enjoying the view, one login away from everywhere.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
3 ReviewsEndorse Jake Birch
Jake has been the ultimate asset in our production. We are specialised in Irish and Scottish Folk music and wrote a concept album for themes to do with astrophysics and needed someone to give it an EDM / Pop sound to undelay and highlight bagpipes, guitar, fiddles and Irish whistles. Jake gave us a sound like we had dreamt of.
Working with Jake is a songwriters dream. He has a unique sensibility to capture an overall feel as well as the minute details of a piece ensuring quality inside and out. When working on tracks for my EP, he was able to go on the journey with me and re-imagine the tune in a way I never thought possible. Fast, professional, and dope producer.
I had Jake mix a super dense electronic album for me. With his highly trained ears and craftiness the mud in my tracks seemed to magically disappear. They re-emerged with new clarity and a professional sheen that only the pro's can accomplish. His communication in making sure he knew my mix goals were incredible and so important!
Interview with Jake Birch
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Mixing and sound design, realistically. I love all aspects of the music making process and can contribute with ease and skill to nearly every part of making a record, but I feel most confident about my ability to make things sound great.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am an outsider. I get to hear a song as someone who has never heard it before. This perspective exposes blind spots and unearths hidden treasures.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. It is so convenient, it has gotten to be unarguably higher fidelity in the most literal definition of the word, and the sonic differences in processing are getting smaller and smaller. The tools are more expansive, numerous, precise, predictable, stable, transportable, and recallable. Digital is the great leveler in the music game. It seriously lowers the barriers to entry for everyone, which means there are more people than ever creating and evolving music at an incredibly high level.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm mixing some music by a folk-rock artist from Michigan. It's heart-breakingly beautiful stuff, impeccably recorded and produced. A true pleasure to listen to and work on.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Go to the source: compromises you make with the foundation of any work of music will create problems down the line. A great record was never made without a great song. In other words (working backwards), it is much harder to mix a bad arrangement than a great one, it is harder to arrange for a performance that is uninspired, it is harder to perform a song that isn't written in a way that caters to the voice, and it is hard to write a melodies and words that don't fit together in a compelling way.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop, speakers, midi controller, portable recorder, hard drive.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I am proudly in the box. I believe it is the vision, not the gear that makes a great record, and that compelling music can be made with any tools, whether they're pots and pans or a mouse and keyboard. Mine is simple: controller, powerful computer, compact, top of the line converter and monitoring path, high end microphones, trustworthy acoustics, more software than I'll need on any one project, and lots of out of the box instruments and toys. Some day, I may add some analog gear to my 2-buss...
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I am a voracious learner. I love being constantly at the edge of my comfort zone, being challenged, and having new experiences. The beauty of making recordings is that as I've grown, I've had a literal record of my own development like snapshots in the family album or trophies on the wall. This learning, like much of life, is full of proud accomplishments and embarassing memories.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I most commonly mix records. I tend to come in at the end of a process, where all the sounds and ideas are in place, and now they need to work together. Secondarily, I also often work as a composer/producer, taking skeletons of works and collaborating with an artist to actualize an ambitious vision.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Brian Eno is one of my heroes. He is someone I very much admire for having straddled the line between art and craft; between deep, conceptual works and enormously successful commercial records. He is at times both artist and producer. Most of my musical exemplars have enjoyed success in several media and in several roles. Jonny Greenwood, Jon Brion, and Kanye West are others that come to mind.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It really depends. Is this a film score I'm composing? A song I'm producing? A record I'm mixing? Each has different needs and a different workflow. I am methodical and disciplined about process. I do a lot of background research mostly with a client or collaborator in order to plan a vision no matter the nature of the project, but from then on it differs. I like to think of things in emotional terms, identifying stories and the characters that tell those stories. Often there are only a few elements that belong in the spotlight and everything else is seasoning. That garnish is absolutely essential and is often what differentiates something that works from something that's great.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I'm usually working on songs. Sometimes that's folk, sometimes it's rock, sometimes it's hip hop. But the vast majority of what I do involves work in forms that feature a voice over music.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would like to work with Max Martin or Serban Ghenea. These guys are at the apex of their games in very competitive lanes, and they do incredible stuff. I just want to experience their process and learn first hand what goes into making things as amazing as they do. I want to see those qualitative aspects they bring to collaborations: the vibe, the personality, the interpersonal finesse, the sharing of authorship, etc.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Figure out your vision. You have something unique to say, but you need to know and own that. Understand where you want to go with it and make sure you find someone who both understands and complements those aspirations.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception about what I do, since it is almost always meant to augment some underlying work, is that I can fix something that is broken. If there are problems with the song, the performance, the arrangement, or the script, these will always have negative downstream effects, no matter how well I do my job. I can make things the best that they can be, but I cannot transform a fundamentally weak source into an excellent overall product.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to work fastidiously to tease every bit of emotion, impact, and excellence out of your music.