Trained audio engineer/producer with 5+ years of experience
I have been working as an audio engineer for the last 8 years, 5 of which were in a professional recording environment. Studying at the University of New Haven for Music and Sound Recording, I have been highly trained and tested by some of the industry's finest engineers. Currently I freelance as a tracking, mixing, and mastering engineer at various studios, including a home studio with top of the line equipment. Due to my extensive knowledge in this field, I am also an Audio Instructor at SAE Institute, where I train students on DAWs (Pro Tools, Ableton, Logic) as well as recording techniques, audio consoles, microphones, and outboard gear. Whether it's mixing or mastering your already recorded project, or integrating my creatively unique approach to recording into your record, I am happy to help. Let's make some great music!
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Interview with Joe Totino Music
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Because of my unique approach to recording, my clients typically come to me to work completely on their project. Recording, mixing, mastering, and mainly production. I like to see a project from start to end, and give it the treatment it deserves.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired by tons of musicians and producers alike. A couple of artists I look toward for inspiration are Pink Floyd, Queens of the Stone Age, Rush, Brand New, Incubus, and Deftones.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I freelance out of various studios in the area, but do also own a home studio capable of full recording setups, mixing and mastering. My studio is an analog/digital hybrid, with some incredible outboard gear and state of the art microphones running into a series of Universal Audio converters.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It all starts with the song. If the song isn't there, there is little I can do as an engineer to make it work. Usually taking on the role of a producer, I start my projects by assisting the artist in the writing and arrangement of the song so we can get off in the right direction. From there, it's all about experimentation. I work as hard as I can do get unique tones that match the emotion conveyed in the music.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I feel I bring a creative input to a song, that can help bring a song to life.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I try to work on a variety of genres to expand my musical horizons. Mainly I work with rock or metal artists, as well as hip-hop, pop, and classical music.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be afraid to experiment! It is really easy to fall into a loop and do the same thing on each project. As an Audio Teacher this is the one thing I stress to my students.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Oof....thats tough! Is my laptop included? If not, I'll count that as the first choice. Then it would be my Universal Audio Apollo, an 1176 compressor for sure, my pair of Telefunken m60s, and my Neumann monitors.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I try to get as much information from my clients before we start a record. What type of music do they listen to? What are their goals for this project? What kind of gear do they prefer working on? Instead of asking questions I prefer getting into a conversation. I try to make this process as casual as it can be.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Biggest misconception I've found is that there is only one way to do things. Though there are so many great resources out there, it is easy to try and mimic what others are doing. Find something that is unique and works for you.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: As an engineer/producer the best part of my job is watching an artist hear their record when it's all said and done. Nothing beats that. As an educator, the best part of my job is listening to a student's project that blows me away. It makes it all worth it.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I work in a very hybrid fashion. There is no doubt analog sounds better! But the convenience of digital makes it simple to recall mixes, and work at a faster rate.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am currently teaching AT102 (Digital Audio Software & Advanced Studio Equipment) as well as continuing to freelance. I am working on a number of projects including mixing/mastering a couple of records for an alternative rock artist, and a hip-hop artist.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm proud of every project I work on. My goal when starting a project is to learn one new thing and to try one new thing. Every project that I work on that sounds unique is one that I am proud of.