I want to help you make your new music sound its best on Spotify and Apple Music. 10 years of experience and dedicated to enabling your listeners to have the best sonic experience.
Located in Southampton, UK, I produce, mix and master records for independent artists. I'm here on SoundBetter to provide a competitive service to artists all around the world. Whether your next album or single needs a touch-up and polish, or if your next podcast needs the clean-up it deserves. I approach each project with empathy for your needs in addition to strong communication in order to have projects completed professionally and quickly.
A brief bio:
Mat was born and raised in Southampton, United Kingdom. He studied a full time BA (Hons) degree in Digital Music at Solent University - shortly thereafter achieving a First Class Honours grade. Afterwards Mathew went onto study and successfully complete a Master of Science in Applied Acoustics in 2021 - enabling Mathew to gain a deep physical understanding of how sound works. Mat also has extensive studio experience such as working with River Studios in Southampton who had formerly played host to artists such as Becky Hill, Eliza Doolittle and many other platinum-selling artists.
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Interview with Mathew Vaughan
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Worked on a song called 'Lie' with a young artist named 'Arina Amoasii'. We worked hard developing this track to convey the complex emotions detailed within the lyrics. This song went onto enabling the young artist to securing her first gig with Street Factory in Plymouth.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Some mixes and masters. Also working on some draft ideas for a production client.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not at the moment, anyone want to network with me?
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital - analogue sometimes can colour sound too much, it can also be very expensive and costly to maintain which could rise rates and is the primary reason why top engineers are so expensive. When studying my Masters I was able to look into Digital Signal Processing and see that on a physical level, digital processing has way more benefits to audio than analogue. A large point here is noise - with digital processing you get zero noise. Where-as with analogue you'll likely get some noise. But fundamentally I love injecting some analogue processing here and there for character and warmth.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: "You will get what you deserve" - Joaquin Phoenix, The Joker
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love communicating with so many amazing and talented individuals and sometimes companies too!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How much? Depends but typically I prefer to offer as fixed-pricing as possible - although like to tailor to your needs and budget! Can you deliver the final files by x date? Yes, I can do this.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People often think I just sit back and tweak some knobs to make things sound good. Where in reality I communicate with every client with a view to improve all aspects of a song. For example I tend to also feedback on anything about a production that I may feel could be enhanced in terms of sound-design for example.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Who is your typical audience? What would you like to achieve with this release? Where do you want this release to take your career? When do you need the work completed by?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: It's easy to look for credits at the expense of cost. But be open to those who are qualified and experienced to provide the same service for less. And because of the greater desire to succeed, often you'll gain a better and more personable customer/client experience too! I have personally worked with some songwriters in the past who have no experience or qualifications. We ended up creating something that went on to be played in local clubs.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My MacBook Pro, DT1990 Headphones, a solar panel, large capacity battery and lastly, my MIDI keyboard.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Since the age of around 11, I began toying with FL Studio along with going to School. towards the age of 15, I then switch to Ableton Live 9 where I have since also studied Logic Pro. In terms of education and my career in general, I have studied music at college, then went onto study a BA (Hons) in Digital Music from Solent University where I achieved a First Class Honours grade. After this I have studied for a Masters of Science in Applied Acoustics where I currently have a full-time position as an Acoustics Consultant - aside of course from doing music and working with clients in my spare time.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is very bi-polar, I can be dark, heavy, gritty and clear-cut. Or I can be light, smooth, and airy... or anywhere in-between. I see myself as a highly versatile record producer. In terms of mixing and mastering, I aim to 'tickle' the programme material such that I can enhance the existing work as opposed to adding to it. I tend to also focus on clarity, continuity and definition. In addition to this I see myself as a perfectionist when processing low frequencies of which provide the fundamental frequencies of our music.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would LOVE to work with Swedish House Mafia at this moment. They are creating a cultural shift in electronic dance music right now such that more ambiguous sounds are now being used and there is less 'copycat EDM'. I love the forward-thinking nature of 'Paradise Again' - their new album in addition to the way they have managed to also work with some of the Pop culture greats such as The Weeknd.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Make music through feeling, not through thinking. It's easy to overthink music theory and look past how the music feels. I always try to invoke feeling with my own music and doing this helps me achieve that.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Usually electronic music and pop ranging in styles from Skrillex, Tiësto to Ariana Grande.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is sound engineering, I particularly love to geek over the small details within a mix and master such as refining the reverb until it is perfect, or to use advanced multi-band dynamics modification techniques to ensure the track is dynamically perfect.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring synthesisers, creative songwriting, technical know-how and immense passion.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Firstly, I enjoy discussing projects with clients to understand their mind-set and their perspective on the project. It also helps to understand context around a song, podcast, album et al. as this may enable me to tackle the production, mix or master with empathy. I find that this has helped me create authentic work sound even more authentic.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a small yet mighty home-studio set-up. After working for studios big and small, I realised how much work I do in-the-box as opposed to using analogue gear. My set up focuses on quality monitoring that enables me to work quickly and am able to trust the sound of my setup. This helps me deliver projects quickly and accurately with minimal to no revisions.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: In terms of mixing, I am very inspired by Tom Elmhurst, Mike Dean, Matt Schaeffer, Luca Pretolesi and Andrew Scheps.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of the time I provide mastering. Often mixing and also some odd-jobs such as tuning vocals/vocal production, music production, sound design and studio acoustics design.