Guitar/Bass, Recording, Mixing
Creativity through simplicity is one of my mantras - I love recording, producing, mixing... creating! My passion is to maximize the potential of any project that comes my way in my capacity. I am a studied pupil of the blues and vintage rock and soul artists & producers and an admirer of many modern rock acts as well.
I have played guitar for just over 11 years, bass for 3, and played "production" keys and percussion for ~4 years. I started recording 6 or 7 years ago and have been mixing for around 4 years (I only started when I got to school in Memphis). I am always a fan of challenging situations and bettering my craft by experiencing them. Mostly, my influences and inspirations come from the blues and rock artists of the 60s & 70s... but I emphasize being flexible and that goes for my listening pool as well. I've performed with indie-rock, acoustic, pop, hard rock, and groovy rock acts in my live career. I've mixed live for gospel, rock, funk/soul, hip-hop, jazz, acoustic, & blues groups... the gamut! My studio career has been the shortest of any, but I probably enjoy studio mixing almost more than playing guitar (almost) and I am eager to continue working on projects where my mixing talents can help. I am living in Memphis now after graduating recently with a Recording Tech degree.
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Interview with Gage Markey
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I decided I wanted to go to school for music in some capacity early on in high school. I started playing guitar over 11 years ago and knew that I couldn't think about doing something else. I've been recording & mixing (as well as running live sound) really for the time I got to school at the U of M 4 years ago.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Physically, playing guitar is likely my best asset. However, one thing I pride myself on in a mental capacity is retaining composure in any situation.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I've got a Fender P-Bass & Tele, Gibson Les Paul Traditional, Martin acoustic gtr, a couple Fender amps & a MIDI keyboard running to my computer with a UAD Apollo Twin interface. For the two inputs on the Twin, I have a Millennia HV-35p and Warm Audio WA12 outboard pres. I have a small mic locker that consists of: AEA R92, Audio-Technica AT4047, Telefunken M80, Lewitt LCT340s, and the Shure SM57. I usually record in my friend's studio, the church I attend, or my apartment so my collection fits my needs well. I do all of my recording & mixing in Pro Tools 11 as that is the DAW I learned the most.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I enjoyed mixing front-of-house at the Levitt Shell in Memphis for the student-run This Is Memphis festival. The night had 4 acts and we had rehearsals for each act and sound crew. It was meant to be a fully professional, diagrammed, documented production. The crew I was working with were awesome - it was inspiring to have such a huge task executed so well by a team of friends & colleagues.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm recording elements for a song that a friend from home and I wrote back in August. I'm also finishing up mixing a couple tunes that the same friend and I recorded from the end of May.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I have only used digital recording medium and I can say I like it when it goes right. When it goes wrong though... I probably also prefer digital boards in a live setting, at least when involving multiple acts thanks to the recall/scene-store ability. I do like a nice cooking analog desk as well...
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the potential for contribution in many different ways. If I'm involved in a project in any way, I will make the most of it and enjoy my role. I'm glad I have the potential to contribute in multiple significant ways.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How can we exchange files? I use either Dropbox or Google Drive, but with clients I've used wetransfer.com as well
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's the deadline? How do you plan on releasing the material? (in regards to recordings/mixing)
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't be afraid to articulate what you really, really want if I don't capture it the first time.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Is there a limit on budget?
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is smooth, crisp a lot of the time, but with an admiration for getting "raunchy." (with tones/arrangements)
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Recently I've been involved in indie-rock, Southern rock, and singer-songwriter projects. I -love- the blues, however.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My specialty is offering creative input to arrangements or tracking instruments, whether I'm playing the instrument or somebody else is. I don't like to think that 'my' ideas are the ultimate - it is what the song calls for that is. It can be just simple placement that makes all the difference.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to have rehearsals & pre-production going into recording, especially if it's a band project or if there's any multiple instrument-live performance involved. Demos help, too.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: On a large scale, I love Dr. John, Freddie King, The Band, Tom Petty, Phil Ramone, Al Schmitt, Pink Floyd, among others. However, I draw on inspiration from my friends/colleagues and local live shows that I go see.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recently I've been doing mostly guitar recording & performing and playing live with the band I play bass in. During the early part of the year, it was definitely live sound & mixing studio/live recordings.