Alvaro Alencar - Musa NY
Music Mixer & Producer
13 x Latin Grammy Winner Delivering "True To Your Song" mixing and mastering And "True To Your Heart" production services
As a producer, mixer, recording and mastering engineer I have contributed to the work of 100+ artists from all walks of music. Working at all levels, from top Latin recording artists to independent singer-songwriters from all over the world, in a wide multitude of styles, every project I am involved with finishes with a smile.
Because I do it for the music. I've learned to listen beyond sounds and rhythms to the inner heart of each piece. So all music resonates naturally in my ears. From rock to vallenato, samba to americana, jazz to salsa, I will help every artist achieve its strongest potential.
I also have a long experience in recording and mixing live music for broadcast and all formats of VOD, including 5.1 surround music mixes.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Alvaro Alencar - Musa NY
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Maria Rita's 2nd album "Segundo". Probably the most organic sounding tracks I ever worked on. I recorded, mixed, shared pains and smiles and received thanks from both album producers for being the real producer behind the project. No credit but at the time the slap in the back felt like the sweetest bear hug.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Can't say the name, but it's a reunion project with a super cool Latin pop-rock group. I worked on their last studio release years ago.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Boring discussion. Use the tool you need. The best one you can find. In general, an analog one will be my choice :)
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will bend over backwards to make sure they love what they get, and I will deliver a bunch of helpful nuggets along the way
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Are you kidding? It's music!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Other than the logistics and payment questions that always come up, I would say that I'm often asked my personal opinion on artistic question. To which I answer as honestly and productively as I'll know how at the time.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's all about how loud things are. No, it's how every body speaks and tells a story.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Other than logistics and time frame, I like to know what the artist's influences and aspirations are for the project. What music they like. Anything that can help me get in tune with their creative energy.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If mixing, make sure your tracks are organized and that you are happy with the performances. For production, send me all your songs, not just the 3/9/12 you prefer. Sometimes a song can be discarded just because...
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: We're assuming there is somewhere on the island we can plug this in, right? 1- Neve 1064 mic pre 2- Studer tape machine 3- Urei 1176 blackface 4- Neumann U87 5- Roland Space Echo 501
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I produced and recorded my first album for my band at age 19. It was the confirmation I needed to make the decision to follow the music path. In 1989 I went to Berklee where I discovered the Universa was a lot bigger tahn I thought. From then on my life has been a voyage thru incredible melodies, people, countries!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Universal musical antropophagy
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Norah Jones, Bebe, Buika, ... Incredible artists with unique voices and full commitment to their art
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Production: make sure you understand the artist's message and .... pre-production!!!! Mixing: understand the song message and arrangement before starting with the kick drum sound.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I grew up listening to a multitude of different styles as I had a very poly-cultural upbringing. Along with my musical training and 25+ between speakers, I dare say I can perform at my best in pretty much any style. Sometimes, when a style has very unique characteristics with which I'm not involved every day, I study it and give the artist a little more time to react. In 2012 a label was unwilling to hire my services claiming my lack of experience with a specific regional genre, despite request by the artist and the producer. I offered a trial discount on one track and ended up hired for a 25 track double album project involving 26 different artists.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Other than the above, I would say my ability to bring detail and power to a mix, simultaneously.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Focus on intention. No matter how involved a production is, each song has a resonating core. What makes it special. I make sure it's clear.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: A lot of my mixing work is done via internet. I receive request from all over the country and the world. The artist or label will send me the session/audio files and when available a rough mix of the track(s). We'll discuss directions and intentions and from there I'm on to mixing. Turn around will depend on my calendar. And payment :) With very few exceptions, my rate normally allows for up to 3-4 revisions of the mix, if there are no changes in the audio files. Sometimes there is a decision to redo a vocal, or add an element to the track, which is fine, but may incur in small additional charges. In urgent cases, turn aorund can be 24 hours. Mastering projects are normally delivered in 24-48 hours, calendar permitting. When I'm asked to produce, then it's a case by case situation. As a producer, I tend to adapt to the needs of the projects and strive to maintain its character rather than impose my own.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Musa-NY runs Protools thru Apogee interfaces. For most mixes I use a 16 ch. Manley Tube Mixer for analog summing. A selection of vintage and modern analog gear from Urei, Tubetech, Manley, TC Electronics, ELI, and more plus a bunch of "magic little boxes" complete the set of sonic brushes.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: As a mixer, I would say Tom Lord-Alge was my biggest influence. I was blessed with the opportunity of working as his assistant in a few productions in the late 90's and it was a unique experience. Eumir Deodato never ceases to impress me with how elegant and powerful his arrangements are. And my now gone partner form eary years, producer Tom Capone, was certainly my greatest mentor.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing for albums and singles is my most in demand skill. My ability to immerse myself into any musical style and extract rich tones tru to the emotions of the song led to 13 Latin Grammy Awards and 30+ Gold and Platinum certificates int eh Latin market