What do you bring to a song?
Analog or digital and why?
Both: Analogue for the richness, warmth and depth; Digital for the editing.
What do you like most about your job?
The comfortable chair, the interesting and talented musicians I meet, the creativity, craftsmanship, the sense of accomplishment, and the coffee.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What is the purpose of your project? What is it you expect from hiring me? How long do you expect it to take? What's your budget?
What's your strongest skill?
Getting good takes out of the client.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
As a Singer I have quite a few to be proud of, and as a producer, I'd have to say my own stuff. I get the takes i want, the tones I want, and everything the way I've always wanted it.
What are you working on at the moment?
My self produced solo CD. It's called Aymargeddon.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
You are paying me to not let you mess this up. I'll give you something way beyond what you ever thought it would be, if you let me do my job.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Can you make me louder in the mix? Everyone else asked first, so... No. It's going to sound great when it's finished and mastered, that's what you hired me for right? Trust me.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That you're going to come in, slap down your parts in one session and leave with a finished product.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Know your parts, but be flexible, be sure your instrument is making the sound you want it to sound like before it's recorded, and it's going to be fun, but demanding of your best, so wear your work shoes. If you want to sound like you belong on a major label but you don't have a major label budget for your project - Call me; if you do - Call me.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A tent, a knife, a fire starter, a mess kit, and my girlfriend.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I'll always be a singer, which has led me to teaching voice, recording, producing and mastering. I started in grade school singing and playing trumpet, then as a teen joined my first hard rock/heavy metal band, and eventually became interested in what went on at the other end of the mic. I took classes and read books on audio recording, acoustics, hearing, the full gamut, all throughout my music career, I started as an intern and worked up through the ranks to become a producer. The whole journey has been for 47 years of the 53 I've been alive.
How would you describe your style?
Simplistic, yet complex, meticulous, yet human.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Maybe Metallica; I'd like to try to make them sound like a metal band again.
Can you share one music production tip?
Track when you track, edit when you edit, mix when you mix, and master when you master. Separate processes = separate sessions.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work mostly on heavy metal and hard rock, but also jazz, funk, blues, whatever you want to play. My job is to capture it and present it in the best light.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Easy, whatever studio you want me in.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I'm a big fan of the old schoolers like Mutt Lange, Mike Varney, and Neil Kernon. Self-Producers like Prince, Arjen Anthony Lucassen and Trent Reznor have also inspired me quite a bit, too.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Usually, it's singing, songwriting and mastering.