Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
My first band, Dulce Volátil, I was the rhythm guitarist there and it taught me so much about songwriting, performing live, was my first stint at recording and mixing, it inspired to go beyond being just a guitarist.
What are you working on at the moment?
Finishing my first EP, a Guns N' Roses tribute band and my work plan for 2017.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Not yet, but I'd love to soon.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital, because it's more practical, affordable and I can take it with me wherever I go, just a few pieces of equipment and you can make music anywhere, which I find fascinating.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I'll do my best within my knowledge to deliver the best result I can give you.
What do you like most about your job?
It makes me feel badass, good, happy, I simply love doing this.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
As I said, I'm just beginning with providing this service to other musicians, so I don't know yet.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
When it comes to Mastering, usually people think mastering is going to repair a bad mix which isn't the case, mastering means literally finishing the track, not fixing issues from past stages and printing it.
When it comes to Mixing, some people actually expect mixing to make a bad recording sound like it was recorded at an LA multi-million dollar studio or a bad performance sound Grammy worthy. Mixing can definitely improve a performance at the cost of time and risking sounding unnatural, and maybe it can somewhat disguise a bad recording, but what's already poorly made won't be turned into gold at a later stage.
Same with songwriting, a poorly written and/or arranged song will remain bad and no amount of mixing or mastering will change that.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
1. How was the material recorded?
2. Are you at least 90% content with the recorded performance?
3. What do you expect from my work at a personal level?
If it's client who needs mastering:
1. Are you happy with how your song is mixed?
2. What do you expect to get out of this master on a personal level?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Have a vision, know very well where you want your song to go and how you want it to sound like, the rest comes by itself.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Laptop preloaded with a DAW, USB interface, studio headphones, dynamic microphone and my guitar.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I'm a solo artist first and foremost, and when I say solo, I mean it, since 2008 I decided to undertake my solo career and that meant learning to properly record myself and how to mix and master my music the best I could since hiring others to do it was not an option... so yeah, been doing this for a long time for myself.
How would you describe your style?
Methodical, tactical and rigorous.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Well... to be blunt, I can't name an specific artist, but definitely any artist that's willing to work with me is all I could possibly ask for.
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't underestimate the power of small EQ cuts and light compression on your tracks, when tracks are well recorded, they don't need much; these small moves make a much better and bigger difference in the big picture when compared to boosting.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Rock, Hard Rock, Pop-Rock, Electronica, Electrorock.
What's your strongest skill?
Singing and studio work.
What do you bring to a song?
From a mixer standpoint, first I go over the song, its direction and vision with the artist in order to grasp the concept behind the song, after all, each song is the artist's baby and that needs to be respected, so I simply try to get in the artist's shoes of how he or she wants his/her baby to sound, then I sit and listen to the rough mix and start taking notes of what needs to be done and go from there.
As a songwriter, my go-to method is starting with the lyrics, usually it just takes a single word or a line and some free time to write it down in my phone, then I flesh out the vocal melody and chords from there, then I proceed with the instrumentation, normally the drums come first (unless I already have an idea with some other instrument) and they set the tone and helps me limit the vocal phrasing and gets the song going from there.
What's your typical work process?
I usually set my studio in one of my apartment's room (whichever I find most comfortable that day), and mix and master entirely with headphones, though I always make a shootout between my KRKs, Samsung bundled headphones, my phone's speakers, a Jawbone Big Jambox, my laptop speakers and my car's speakers, after all, people are gonna be listening in these far more often than on studio level monitors or headphones.
Once the session is setup, I begin the process in stages, first the basics and structure, then sound shaping, then FX, then the sweetening sauce, from there, if asked by the client, I proceed to finish the whole thing by mastering the song.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My setup is fairly simple, basic and portable, but it gets the job done beautifully. It's not about the gear but what you do with it, after all.
My gear consists of a 2 channel M-Audio M-Track USB interface, a pair of KRK KNS8400 headphones, a pretty powerful laptop (HP Envy 15-J1053CL), a MXL V67g condenser mic and a Shure SM57 (which we all know and love), as well as the mandatory cables, my guitar, a MIDI controller and other things.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
As an audio engineer, I must say I'm a fan of Graham Cochrane, Jordan Valeriote, the people at ProStudio Live, Dave Pensado, as well as some others who have inspired me along the way. I tend to always find a lot of power and wisdom in their words, methods and advice, even on videos and articles I've already read and seen.
As a singer, I'm inspired by Axl Rose, Alanis Morissette, Sebastian Bach, Steven Tyler, Bon Scott, Brian Johnson and similar.
As a guitarist, Slash is definitely the guy I look up to the most.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I'm just starting with doing audio for others, but I intend to provide the best mixing and mastering service I can to other musicians who don't have the time or patience for it, yet need to finish their songs.