I'm Manuel Tomas, a Grammy-award winning mixer based in Valencia, Spain.
I've been lucky to learn from some of the best in the industry. I assisted Andrew Scheps at his studio in LA and have engineered for Greg Wells, Mat Wallace and David Foster. I've also attended MWTM seminars with CLA, Andy Wallace and Michael Brauer.
Boasting more than 25 years´ experience making records and having won a Latin Grammy award for best flamenco record (Niña Pastori-"La orilla de mi pelo") and six further nominations I now mainly focus on mixing for producers and artists (Warner, Sony Music and Universal).
By putting your tracks into my hands I guarantee you'll get what you have envisioned everytime.
I don't lean back on any specific genre as there is good and bad music everywhere. I'm happy to post mixes of any style and look forward to hearing from you soon!
Don't hesitate to reach out using the 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Manuel Tomas
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I would pick a particular record we made on 2010 by the artist Sarah Rope (Check out Bar Victim on YouTube) There was a live recording (in studio). Sarah and Pau (keyboardist) called these amazing musicians to improvise on their songs. So Frankie Tontoh (drummer for Amy Winehouse), Laurent Vernery (amazing bass player) and Ian Bairnson (Alan Parson´s Project guitar player) were at the studio and they were nailing every single song after a few takes. Songs that have never listened before.And it was all about to capture that sonic photo of what was going on. Then they went to London Abbey Road to mix it but didn't like the result, they preferred how the record sounded before ¨mixing¨. So they came back to me and I did some final adjustments and the record ended up very organic and pure.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Im mixing the upcoming record of Niña Pastori.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analong all the way on recording, I process a lot on the way in until it sounds like a finish record. Digital on mixing. There are so many examples of amazing sounding record mixed in the box that there is no excuses anymore. The only mixing limitation is your imagination.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will do my best to take your song to the place you want it to be, and a bit further.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That feeling when you're enhancing the sonics of the song and suddenly rises to another level and the artist listens to it and get emotional (whatever the emotion is)
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: They ask me about the production before mixing, Im happy to give my input in order to achieve a final result that pleases everyone involved.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That we can make any production to sound stellar, like a hit. That is far beyond a misconception. We can make songs to go stellar when the production is really good.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I know how difficult is to pick the right mix engineer for your project because you don't know exactly what he/she has brought to the table on a particular mix. I would happily send a sample of the mix of your song to test the waters. And if it's not what you're looking for I won't charge a penny! But I'm confident I can take your song several steps further, sometimes it's way further. It always depends on how the rough mix is stablished.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: For mixing: Pro Tools (with my plugins) and Genelec monitors. For recording: Neve preamp, 1176 and a Pultec EQ. That being said, I think I would invest the time to make sure I have food and water supplies in that island. And I would probably start brewing my own beer at that point.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing drums at age of 12, had a 4 track cassette and I was experimenting every minute I had. At age of 18 I set up my first small recording studio where I cut my teeth recording all kinds of bands. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 27 and had the pleasure of assisting Andrew Scheps at his Punkerpad West studio. Thanks to him I was introduce to Mat Wallace and I engineered some amazing records with him. After 5 years in LA I moved back to Spain and here is where I do all my work. I eventually teach at Berklee (Valencia) and mix records from my studio.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I try to make the song to be a trip where sonics are not statics. I like movement and events happening during a song.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: John Mayer, Meshuggah, Max Martin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Royal Blood to name a few. All of these have blown my mind and got them as references in my mixes if the style suits.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't rely to much on your stereo buss and have different busses for Drums, Music and Vocals. Get whatever you use on your master buss into those busses and your mix will sound more alive. Specially if you want some elements to jump out of the mix and have headroom to grow on choruses or drops.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, Urban,Indie. That would probably the most I've done, but I have mixed music on almost every style. From Latin Jazz to Death Metal or EDM. There is good and bad music on every genre. I enjoy it when it's well done.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I was a drummer for a long time, people love my drum sounds in records.But I'd say my strongest skill is understanding that is not my song (even though I mix it as if it was mine) and Im happy to help artist´s vision and take their sonic direction.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Usually the song (along with all the producer´s comments) dictates what I bring to the table. That can be energy, clarity, excitement, balance, impact. Whatever it takes to make the song come across the best way possible.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First is having a conversation with the artist/producer to understand what he/she expects from the mix, so I can help the vision and expand it further. It's nice to know if there are references that they have pursuit along the production of the song. With all that information I get to the session and prep it the way I feel comfortable (color coding, importing fx´s, routing, etc) I check the rough mix and make sure it's not missing anything and I start mixing at that point.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I recently built a mixing room. I work in Pro Tools HD Native. Sometimes I mix all in the box and there are mixes that I go hybrid with some 1176, H3000 and some Neve 33104´s.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm a big fan of Serban Ghenea on pop music, Andrew Scheps and Erik Valentine on rock music. Jaycen Joshua and Josh Gudwin on urban.