A uniquely immersive mixing philosophy that is full of vibe, character, and dimension. My speciality is working with artists who want to discover a new, fresh sound and make it their own. If you are looking for a cookie-cutter approach to mixing and production, then I am not the engineer for you!
I am 100% dedicated to creating unique and interesting music of the highest possible sonic quality. For over ten years, I have been working closely with independent artists from around the world in all parts of the music production process; from songwriting, to recording, producing, mixing, and mastering. My primary focus and area of specialization for the last several years has been mixing and mastering, although I still enjoy producing projects from start to finish on occasion.
When we work together on your project, you can think of me as a collaborator and friend who is making a joint effort along with you to ensure that your music reaches its highest creative potential. Throughout the process, I will be readily available for fast and attentive communication and will be quick to respond to your feedback. Above all else, I will continue working until you are completely satisfied and happy with the highest quality end result.
Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.
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9 ReviewsEndorse Spencer Martin
Hire Spence, he’s worth the expense!
Spencer was awesome to work with and couldn't be happier with the end product. The track sounds great on all platforms!
I hired Spencer to master a track and he was fantastic to work with! He meets you where you are and has the interest of the song in mind above all else, which in my opinion is always most important. As a DIY mixer, I wanted to work with someone who was honest about what the song needed while also being receptive to my ideas, and that is exactly what I got with Spencer. I’ll be back to work with him again in the future!
This is now my second song that i have let Spencer master, and i honestly cant say i could be more pleased,
His work is professional, reliable and affordable!
i would reccomend him to everyone and i will definately keep using his service!
In my 10+ years of experience working with Spencer as a mixing engineer, he has distinguished himself amongst other engineers I've worked with in his highly CREATIVE approach to mixing. Spencer loves to employ subtle textural anomalies, unexpected sonic events, and special mixing techniques to create a truly unique aural landscape for each song. He approaches recording software as an instrument, and knows how to use it very musically. Spencer is also very timely, and communicates thoroughly!
Spencer understands an engineer's role is not simply a matter of technical prowess, but more so the willingness to work as a team with the artist. He's demonstrated amazing dedication to helping us capture our vision, and this is a matter of strong communication, patience, and passion for his craft. His spirit is one of curiosity, enthusiasm, and attention to detail, and our music has benefited greatly. Needless to say, we have asked Spencer time and again to help us with our various projects.
My mix is so good,
Fast QUALITY service, Spencer has his work ethic down to a science. It’s almost too fast to the point where you second guess yourself. Like how good can it sound, done so quickly? The proof is in the production. Superior quality, crisp vocals, detailed attention to every track.
Spencer’s smashes all genres, I’ve sent him rock, hip-hop, pop, jazz & every song is clean as can be.
It’s crazy that my songs get done twice as fast when I send them half way around the world!
In my 10+ years of experience working with Spencer as a mixing engineer, he has distinguished himself amongst other engineers I've worked with in his highly CREATIVE approach to mixing. Spencer loves to employ subtle textural anomalies, unexpected sonic events, and special mixing techniques to create a truly unique aural landscape for each song. He approaches recording software as an instrument, and knows how to use it very musically!
Spencer is very timely, and communicates thoroughly and clearly throughout a project.
Spencer is great! Very responsive, understands the vision, receptive to ideas and really gets the sound where it needs to be. Did a great job mastering, and takes pride in all his mixing, mastering work. Would reccomend any day!
Interview with Spencer Martin
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: New clients often ask, "Do you think you could do something with this and make it sound awesome?" My answer is generally always, "Yes." If I feel I am not the right fit though, I will definitely say so.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you want the most important aspect of your music to be?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen. It sounds obvious, but the only determining factor behind choosing who to work with should be how their portfolio sounds and whether or not it speaks to you.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I began listening to my parents play instruments in the house as a baby (violin and piano) and then started imitating what I was hearing once I could reach the keys at about 18 months old. Formal violin lessons began at age five, followed shortly after by Kindermusik classes, and then piano lessons at 8. In elementary school I absolutely loved listening to pop music as well as anything I could get my hands on that my older cousins were fans of. I was amazed at how all the different sounds translated in the car, on my headphones, and on my stereo. By age 12 I developed a huge interest in guitar-based music and was given an electric guitar on my 13th birthday along with lessons. I began writing songs at age 16, and put together my first basic recording setup a year later in 2007. After high school, I enrolled in the Music Production baccalaureate program at Kent State University in Ohio and graduated at the top of my class in 2012. I had already been doing paid professional work since 2010 and have continued writing, recording, arranging, producing, mixing, and mastering music ever since. Depending on how you add it up, I've been living and breathing music my entire life (29 years), recording and producing music for 12 years, and doing so professionally for 9 years as of 2019.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My goal is to always create an immersive sonic experience that draws the listener in. I love to shape sounds, tones, and textures in ways that are colorful and interesting so that each song has it's own unique identity. My mixing style is most identifiable based on this creativity of presentation and meticulously crafted details, combined with a simultaneously clean and powerful impact/feel.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I enjoy working on literally every kind of music, but my favorite projects are ones that do not try to mimic what's already been done in one particular genre too identically.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is knowing how to emphasize the strengths of an arrangement in a way that brings the song to life. I find ways to creatively highlight these key elements while maximizing the overall vibe and feeling of the production.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I won't name any names or say that I prefer any friends/clients over any others, but I will say that I have a huge appreciation for the projects that allow me to have a lot of creative freedom and input. The projects that are based on a deep level of trust between artist and producer certainly have the best results - they know who they are!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working on mixing and mastering projects for both new and old friends/clients from around the world who have very different styles and tastes - I feel super lucky and grateful for all of the opportunities!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes, my good friend Michael Obrycki. I have watched him devote his soul into the art of production and sound during the time that I've known him. He truly lives it!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! They both have their strengths and weaknesses, and are best used together in complimentary manner.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is that the end result is going to be much more than just sonically outstanding - it's going to have its own truly unique identity/character/vibe. Plus, I'll do whatever it takes until a level of complete satisfaction is reached
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love going off the creative deep end and shaping sounds for hours. It's how I would be spending my time anyways even if I weren't being paid to do it! The only thing better is when I receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from a friend/client who just listened to their brand new mix for the first time. Those are really the most fulfilling moments.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People often think that all mixing is created equal - that it's just something on a checklist that needs done but won't necessarily make a huge impact on their project. Mixing is just as varied in terms of quality as food. Would you ever eat soggy dog food out of a dumpster just because it's technically some kind of "food"? Hell no! Aside from quality, it's also super subjective. Which is better; steak or seafood? Mixing can and should be a very personal preference that's given a lot of care and consideration.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Okay, I thought about this list very carefully - I'm willing to fight anyone on the logistics of this! 1. Computer, software, plug-ins, Spotify, and internet connection (these count as one item, right?) 2. Monitors 3. Headphones 4. Interface 5. Tons of tarp (I mean, honestly - this should just be automatically included by default) (6.) Studio furniture; a desk and a super nice chair (again, these count as one thing)
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: This is essentially like being asked to choose my favorite artist; the answer changes from day to day, month to month, and year to year. Before I answer this question, I'd like to form one huge super band/orchestra comprised of all of my favorites so that I can choose that single entity as my answer to this question... So let me get back to you on that one!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: There are so many principles and philosophies that go into making a great end result, all the way from playing the very first note until mastering, but sure - I'll choose just one. Be tasteful when it comes to the musical density of your arrangement. Haphazardly layering tons of instruments and parts will not result in a big, powerful sound - that approach has the opposite effect more often than not. There is a finite/limited amount of sonic real estate beneath the ceiling of 0 dBFS, so use your ears and be very discerning with each and every sound. Less is more. Use fewer important/foundational/focal parts, therefore allowing them to have greater depth and dimension. After this foundation is set, have small/simple parts come and go to add interest and differentiate the sections of the song. Each individual element should fulfill a specific purpose so that everything fits together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: More than anything else, I'm bringing my own unique taste and sensibility in terms of what I believe the core, universal qualities of amazing productions are. Every individual has their own preferences for what they think sounds good and what doesn't. I've spent over 10 years collecting the techniques and sounds that I personally believe are the best ones that humanity's musical present and past both have to offer. If you listen to my portfolio and like what you hear, then it's very possible that we agree on a lot of these preferences!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mixing, I spend a full day on one song. The first thing I do is organize all the tracks by musical and sonic type and what purpose I envision them having in the overall big picture. Then, I go through and tighten up everything in terms of technical pitch and time editing. (I only do this kind of editing if the friend/client I'm working with wants it to be done, but I generally do advise it; I find it can make a huge difference in how everything fits together and feels.) Then I start with mixing the most foundational elements of the production, which is usually drums, followed by bass - the elements I determine to be foundational can of course vary a lot though based on genre and style. Then, I move on to secondary elements which I define as usually being harmonic in nature. These include guitars, pianos, synths, et cetera - anything that steadily provides chordal and harmonic information. Next up is the lead vocal. This needs to be placed right in the middle of everything, sonically speaking; not buried, but not separate or disjointed either. These stages so far are meant to set the core/foundational balance of the mix. Next, I'll go through and shape all of the more decorative elements; auxiliary percussion, background vocals, harmonies, fills, momentary or melodic sounds, and any other parts that can be used to imbue more vibe and color into the overall picture. Once all of the tracks and sounds have been creatively shaped and placed, I'll go through and automate all of the effects, ambiances, and sound-shaping things that I had created throughout the previous stages. During this final stage, I'll begin adjusting things in a more beginning-to-end sort of way, making sure that every section and moment of the song's timeline is purposeful, interesting, and is either leading to or arriving somewhere in an exciting/engaging way. Once the mix is essentially complete and every second has been carefully tailored from beginning to end, I'm still not finished! I'll give my ears a rest for awhile before coming back and listening to some other artists to clear my aural palette, and then double check the overall level and tonality of my mix in a mastering sense. I'll fine-tune every detail of the overall balance and level across the whole frequency spectrum in a really surgical way, ensuring that the overall picture sits favorably alongside the best sounding commercial releases. Once I'm completely satisfied with the result, I'll finally call it a day. But there's still one last step! I'll begin the following workday by reviewing my previous day's work with one final round of double checking and quality control. After making any final adjustments on the morning of the second day, the first draft of the mix is officially complete and I'll send it off to my friend/client and wait for their feedback. From that point forward, they will either love the first draft or they might want a few adjustments made which would then be handled via email correspondence. Once they've had enough time to listen and compile a list of any adjustments they could possibly want, I'll go through the mix and address every last detail until they're super happy with the result. Then it's officially finished!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a very simple yet effective setup consisting of a very powerful computer, an audio interface, monitors, headphones, some select outboard pieces, and a collection of recording gear and instruments. To be honest, one of the most misleading aspects of music production is the hugely disproportionate level of emphasis placed on gear, and so I really dislike getting into that discussion. It's not the hammer that builds the house! Producers and engineers that are quick to point out and highlight the gear that they own as a means of demonstrating their capability are not the ones that I would personally ever choose to work with.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: There are too many to include in a comprehensive list. I strongly admire and am inspired by anyone who is thoroughly and masterfully skilled at their craft, creative, flexible, and open-minded.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Over the last 10 plus years, I've been heavily involved in all parts of the production process; songwriting, recording, producing, arranging, mixing, and mastering. These days I am focused primarily on mixing and mastering though. Friends/clients that send me their projects usually want me to either to creatively shape and enhance their productions through mixing, or optimize and perfect their mixes in a strictly sonic sense through mastering.