Mike's clients come from all across the US (LA, New York, Austin, Nashville, etc.) as well as internationally (recently completing work for clients in Austrailia, the Netherlands, the UK, etc.). Mike has done label work (Victory Records, Sony UK, Selectric/Nashville, etc.) as well as a good deal of indie.
I have studied under mix great Michael Brauer (Coldplay, the Rolling Stones, John Mayer, Florence and the Machine, My Morning Jacket, etc.). My philosophy on mixing is that it is not about being good at a particular style but about unlocking the vision of the artist. It's about not just the technicals such as level balancing and EQ but about the psychological impact of the song. It's my goal to have my clients and their listeners comment about how the mix takes a song from middle of the pack to their favorite just because of the mix. They often tell me the the song tells them exactly what they should be listening to, that it tells them a story.
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Interview with Ivory Tower
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I do mostly mix work these days. I have found not only that what I am most passionate about but it is also what clients (and other producers) are seeking me out for.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Michael Brauer, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Mixing. But more specifically, the ability to balance the technical with the emotional. Mixing does have a technical side but it also plays on emotion and psychology. I am pretty well balanced between right and left brain so working in both those areas (and knowing how to move quickly back and forth between them) comes fairly naturally for me.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I am all over the board style-wise. From rock to pop to gospel to hardcore to R&B, etc. My whole philosophy is that what defines a great mix engineer is not their master of a given style but the ability to "unlock" a song to bring out whatever potential is inside. I think staying in one style would get boring and miss the whole point.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I like to say i don;t have a style but optimize the artist. After all, it's not about me - It's about them. But if I had to say, I would think my "style" is fairly assertive. I love songs to feel like they are alive and right there in your face a bit. I always joke that I "mix by adrenaline" and don't stop a mix til my heart is going a bit.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Honestly, I have the same gear gear as any world-class professional. I could list them out but everyone has the gear these days. It's about what you do with it.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I always ask what they want to accomplish with their music. Who they are trying to reach and why. I like to know why they are doing this crazy thing called music. It helps me to know the bog picture as I work thier tracks.