Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I had worked on a lot of great tours and albums. I had made a US tour with Mogollar and also went to Mongolia with them for 2 concerts. I made a lot of europe tours with the bands i worked with. I traveled every city of Turkey, except Sirnak.
As recording and mixing engineer, a lot of good albums, nomination to best engineered album and best engineer awards. I put the best albums to my websites portfolio page. You can check them : www.berkkula.com
What are you working on at the moment?
I am mixing Ceylan Ertem's new album. Then i am going to mix Cem Adrian's 10th year anniversary album and Jehan Barbur's new album. Then on March i am going on a tour with Duman and Ceylan Ertem.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital. Because analog needs experience and you need to have a lot of gear, a good room to put them in and a lot of time to understand the gear. I miss that train. But one day if i ll have a lot of money, i want to get in that world too.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
The mix will satisfy you in the end.
Do not panic while i am trying to understand the track. Because personal tastes can effect the final mix but i respect the dream of the client, too.
What do you like most about your job?
I like traveling a lot. Every day different city, different venue, different technical stuff and different acoustic. Like that daily challenge.
In studio, the time i spend is fantastic, mixing is like meditation. You close your self to the room for 2 hours and then when you check the clock, i becomes 3 hours. I like that non thinking about life issues time.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
In live sound environment, after 3-4 gigs the band generally ask "do we need to come to soundcheck" :) i choose the answer according to the venue.
In mixing world, nothing special, a little more reverb, lower the guitar level, a little more compression maybe. classical stuff.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I do not create a new sound from the tracks that i get. I accept the sound as wanted and try to put every single element to its best point in the mix.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I do not have any specific questions. I may ask about the feel of the mix, whether they want a roomy and a little dreamy or direct mix. Thats all.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Know what you really want to hear. Because every engineer has different approach. Listen the works of the engineers you are interested in and choose the one you like the most.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Glasses, sun cream, toothbrush, maybe a book of khrishnamurti and a pillow :) nothing about sound i guess.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started to work as a sound engineer in 2007. My first live sound show was in 2008 and the first album that i had mixed was in 2009. I am still new in that area. But lucky to work a lot with the bests of my country.
How would you describe your style?
I am a naturalist. I am not a guy who creates huge sounds from a tiny source. I always try to believe the source which is sent to me is the sound the source wants to hear. So i just fix it a little, polish it a little and give it back. Thats all...
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I always think working with Coldplay would be nice because the way we look to the sound is similar. Also i love Beady Belle's sound a lot but had a concert with her, assisted his FOH engineer :)
But i am very lucky that i had worked with all the artists that i want to work with in my country.
Can you share one music production tip?
While mixing anything, check the balance of all instruments by soloing them with each other. For example, solo the bass and keys, then keys and guitars, then guitars and drums and so on. For good balance every single element must have respect to each other on the mix.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I generally mix Rock, Pop-Rock, Jazz and world music. I also like mixing Singer Songwriter stuff. But i am really bad at mixing electronic music and dark stuffs.
What's your strongest skill?
In mixing, balance.
In live sound, balance :)
What do you bring to a song?
What i bring to a song is dimension, both vertical and horizontal, a good balance between all the elements and finalizing it as an easy listening song.
What's your typical work process?
While i am mixing, i generally start with leveling all the channels and try to understand what the song tastes like, which parts are complicated, which are clear then i start to pan all the stuff to imagine which instrument stays where best. then i start with kick, snare, bass and vocal tuning. I do reverb, delay stuff at the very end.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a very powerful mac mini with 2 samsung 24 inch displays. I am using an old apogee duet, which i think still sounds fantastic, connected to my mac mini. I am a ProTools guy from beginning to now so i am still using Protools on my mixes. I have waves, my favourite, slate digital, brainworks, soundtoys, altiverb and some other plugins that i generally use in mixing.
I have a pair of Neumann KH120's which helps me a lot on critical listening. I am also using BeyerDynamic DT770 series (250 ohm & 32 ohm) headphones while choosing the right reverb and final panaroma check.
In live sound environment, i am using Midas PRO 2 mixer on my Duman shows which i like while i am mixing rock n roll sound in FOH. In Ceylan Ertem shows i choose Yamaha CL5 or Digico SD9 desks because i do both monitoring and FOH together so a little bit quickness helps me a lot. But i also like soundcraft vi series.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I was lucky on that case. In the very begining, i had a chance to work with the guy who influence me a lot, Alp Turac. He is still one of the best sound engineer in turkey and he influence me a lot on my approach in that world. The human relations and psychology is so important in sound engineer, especially in live sounds; Alp was the guy who teach me a lot about that subjects. Also i learn the DAW's and live sound tricks from him.
Then Mehmet Ogunc, who was with me in my first 4-5 concerts and helped me a lot about live sound, i had learned a lot from him, too.
Rick Rubin and Tchad Blake are the guys who also inspired me about music and sound.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I spend half of the year travelling and doing live sound for the bands i am currently working with. Summertimes are festival times and in almost every festival me and my partner Volkan Gurkan take place as monitor and foh engineers.
In the other half of the year, the part that i stay at home, i am mixing the albums that are waiting to be mixed. I have a mixing room in my house, this is where the magic happens.
Generally every year i do 100-150 live shows in turkey and europe and also 5-8 album mixes.