Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
Tell Scarlet's album, "Clean Slate". That was Little Bird Big Sound's first artist (under the label) and first major release, and the response has been incredibly humbling and exciting!
I was the producer/mixing and mastering engineer.
What are you working on at the moment?
A secret (ha!), for an up-and-coming artist. I can't say much more than that, but it's FUN!
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Andrew Scheps -- that guy is my role model!
Analog or digital and why?
BOTH! They both have so much to offer and work so differently, but, together they're magic.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
You'll love the way you sound -- I guarantee it! (ha)
What do you like most about your job?
Being creative -- and the feeling that my clients are proud of their product.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
"How much do you cost?"
I always tell them our fee, but I know that not everyone can afford to shell out that kind of cash up front -- so I do offer payment plans to make things easier for my clients.
"Do you have any credits?"
Yes - I do. Check out Tell Scarlet on iTunes, Spotify -- pretty much anywhere.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
People think "a lot of stuff" equals a big sound. Don't get me wrong - I have a lot of great things to say about analog gear, but the game has shifted and you can get an incredible sound "in the box" -- you just have to know how to use the tools in your toolbox.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
- Are you the right fit for us?
- What is your vision for this project?
- Do you like Chipotle? :)
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
You get what you pay for -- It may sound harsh but it's the truth. I'm a firm believer in high-quality everything, so I would say if you want a high-quality product, you have to be willing to put your money where your mouth is.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Apogee Duet (I swear by this thing), my 15" MacBook Pro, Waves plugins, an AKG C414 XLII, and my Yamaha NS-10s.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started arranging at 19 in college for a university drumline, then at 20 I started writing songs.
I've been doing this professionally now for 10 years.
How would you describe your style?
A big, fat, polished wall of sound! (ha)
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to collaborate with Ryan Tedder and/or Taylor Swift -- I love their hooks and lyrics.
Can you share one music production tip?
I've been a music teacher for the better part of 14 years now, and one of the biggest things that I tell my students is to be patient -- practice will make a better product.
Also, if you don't already have a basic knowledge of music theory, go to the library and check out a music theory book, learn basic piano skills -- my knowledge of music theory has been invaluable to me as I've written and worked with artists through the years.
What type of music do you usually work on?
In the last few years I've worked on a range of pop, rock and country, but my passion is pop.
What's your strongest skill?
Leadership and vision in the creative/songwriting process.
What do you bring to a song?
I'm a creator at heart, so that's what I bring to the table as a producer. I want to catch the vision, of the artist I'm partnering with, but I'm also able to work with them in order to bring out their best performance and capture the overall best for the song.
What's your typical work process?
For the mixing and mastering process, I start with dialing in the drums and then I make sure that the full drum bus hits -3db on my master. Then I move to bass, dial it in and send that to my master, making sure bass and drums equal -3db. I then dial in vocals, and bus all vocals to master, making sure drums/bass/vocals hit 0db.
I then dial in all other tracks, send them to the master and fill in around vocals, drums and bass.
After the mixing phase, I enter the mastering phase, which gives my tracks the shimmer that I want.
My overall goal is to have a very polished track, where the vocals are crystal clear and you can feel all other instruments.
Tell us about your studio setup.
A mix of digital and analog gear -- including vintage Yamaha NS-10s; Neumann, AKG, Audix, and Shure microphones; Izotope and Waves plugins; Apogee interfaces
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Benny Blanco (producer)
Andrew Scheps (mixing engineer)
Paul Mills (mixing engineer)
Scotty Wilbanks (producer)
Ryan Tedder (producer/writer/artist)
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
We do a lot of original music (including writing sessions and full recording and production of albums), as well as mixing and mastering for existing projects.