What are you working on at the moment?
For myself , a minimalistic , somewhat ambient two part 16 track folk album. Patience is a virtue , continuity across a project this size is ....mmmH testing , to say the least.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
To early at the moment , I've checked a lot of profiles though , there is some amazing artist and technicians out there who I would love to collaborate with.
Analog or digital and why?
We had to have analogue technology to get to the point we have with digital and such a full palate of sounds. I can now create analogue effects that are to my ear indistinguishable from the original equipment's. I love people who hold on to the past and are retro , I love documentaries on retro equipment and I love the aesthetics of retro stuff but the past is the best place for it in a physical sense as far as I'm concerned. If I ever 'make it' I would have a small perfectly treated room with a modern custom made retro valve pre amp and studio monitors a laptop.....and.....that would be it , not even outboard gear. I love software.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
From the bottom of my heart I'm only going to work on a project if I feel I can help you get what you want from it. If you aren't happy with the result I won't take payment and will delete all production files. I also promise you complete discretion in terms of lyrical content , what you show me stays with me , and I am not easily offended by vulgarity or religious views and where or if we discuss influences likes and dislikes and other personal qualities relating to the project those conversations dissolve into the ether upon the end of the interaction.
What do you like most about your job?
It's not a job........
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Who owns the copyright ? There are so many people writing music all the time now and computers are becoming so advanced with the amount of data they can process and cross reference in an A.I sense , I think copyright laws are going to have to change in the very near future to royalties being paid out to the people 'actively' involved in a current project that is creating money. I would only ask for fairness , if I used your vocal and it made me money I personally would share those gains with you equally. If you want to continue working relationships with people who help you become successful there has to be mutual respect and if you benefitted my career why wouldn't I want to work with you again.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
People mistake writing music in a computer for being something special , meaningful or clever..... its just sounds that form something enjoyable and trigger memories that make you emotional , they also mistake the artist or producer for creating amazing sounds , my laptop makes beautiful sounds , angry sounds , deep grooves and affects all mixing parameters , she's amazing at it , I just choose the sounds you want to use , to later put your beautifully human touch on them. I love my laptop but the sounds we make aren't precious so don't get attached for no reason , alternatively don't think your actually going to offend me by criticising the work I'm doing for you if you aren't feeling it.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What is the song for ? Have you thought about the key you want to sing in ? Do you want room left in the mix for others to put their musical parts ? What genre of listeners are you hoping to appeal to ?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Embrace your influences and be honest about it , I can't read your mind so you need to tell me what you want with no shame involved , and you would be surprised how every step of the entire song production process changes and morphs the original idea , so start where your heart is at and communicate it clearly.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
4 beautiful ladies and my surfboard , why the hell would you wanna write music on an isolated island where you could start your own definition of society anew and live free !!
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
22 years , from bedroom guitarist to bands to solo studio expeditions to home studios to losing everything to realising a career is a definition that other people can use to place you in a hierarchy within a system that doesn't mean anything to me. I have been offered record contracts depending on me singing pop songs , I have been offered studio positions depending on me being a tool to be used at the whim of the owners and I have written songs that were amazing but I was pretending to be someone else so I deleted them permanently. Now I'm free and want to help you and others create something genuine.
How would you describe your style?
As if someone from the late 90's time travelled back to the late 50's with an akai s5000 under the arm. Also when your production is damned awful despite all efforts , the client can't say anything when you turn around and say , yeh , it's sposed to be like that cos it's retro......
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I wouldn't want to work with established artists , give me some young scruff that is trying to find that fresh bit of space anytime.
Can you share one music production tip?
Put your bass , beats , lead synths and bleeps on a bus and compress them with a tube compressor at slightly under the final squashing values you want , then put all of the pad , string and ambient come transients and backing vocals on another bus with no compression then route them both to a third bus , then add another tube compressor and compress , you'll hear a biting point where there is the perfect headroom for the ambience bus but the rhythm track is just starting to breath and pulse in the space below. Main vocals on a fourth bus with the reverb send sidechained and compressed back in to the ambient bus then adjust the vocal level down until the whole mix start's vibing like an old Motown record. You can't get better than that.
What type of music do you usually work on?
For others EDM , House and Hip Hop but for myself very minimalistic folk.
What's your strongest skill?
I'm insanely patient , I literally don't perceive time the way most people do , I guess I'm already who I want to be , so I'm not waiting for an opportunity to make me or frustrated by my circumstances , I just enjoy life as it is and patiently wait for the day I meet my feminine counter weight to complete my story.
What do you bring to a song?
The most simplistic to the point form of the emotion being sculpted.
What's your typical work process?
I use the existing vocal (or start scatting) over my acoustic to find the point where the voice is just hovering above the music and then get the basic rhythm and chord progression working against the vocal. From this point I usually already have it in my mind what I want to do so I hit Reason and program basic drums and bass in , from here on in it's just playing with and adding sounds until there is a theme and vibe to the music. This is the point I would stop for a Demo song and start mixing to finish before a gentle master in Cubase. For full projects this would be the starting point of bouncing individual tracks out of Reason and in to Cubase for a full mix and the next level of sound shaping and mashing. It's all about the tone of the voice and what is trying to be conveyed for me though , straight from the start and affecting every committed decision on out.
Tell us about your studio setup.
A Dell Workstation Laptop , Cubase 9 Pro , Reason , Waves Plug-Ins , flat response Audio Technica headphones , M-Audio Axiom controller keyboard and most importantly my ears and sensibilities'
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
There is so much music immediately at our finger tips now at such high quality I couldn't even start to list even my very few favourite's comfortably. Quincy Jones is 'The' original 'Music Producer' in my books though , everything about the guy is top shelf material. I especially love the sounds of the 70's , all those dirty funk bands , 'Black Heat' , 'Bloodstone' , 'The Fatback Band' were beyond sane. More recently Agnes Obel & Fiona Daniel have taken my mind to new sonic planes.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I'm currently writing and producing records for myself , I'm at the point where it's a process I don't really have to think about anymore , which is a good feeling.