Mixing and Mastering, Composer
Trained & experienced music producer and composer. As a graduate of Berklee College of Music, I've worked with artists & industry pros in a variety of musical setting ranging from engineering & song writing to video games & film. I excel composition, programming, mixing & mastering, but am also well versed in many common music production practices.
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Interview with Jason Walsh
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Lucid 9. I was asked to participate as a composer in a small forum of super talented people that wanted to make a game for free. It seemed really interesting so I gave it a shot. It presented me an opportunity to write a variety of musical styles I've never written in. As a project I took on in my spare time, it was amazing to see its critical acclaim with reviews and to have it featured front page on the largest PC gaming platform in the world.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I just finished writing a massive number of songs for a video game that was featured on Steam. It was a big victory in my book. Currently doing ADR editing a video game and am working on an orchestral Zelda themed album. Those are the big 3 right now.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm the first of my friends to use SoundBetter!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Whatever works best for the user. This is a lame debate. Yeah there is some differences here and there, some big, some small, but if you know your tools, you should be able to make great sounding recordings regardless.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'm not satisfied until they are totally satisfied. "Okay" doesn't cut it. I want to give them the best product for the best price possible. I want to earn their trust!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I get to be creative and logical throughout my day and I'm always meeting amazing people with talents that inspire me to continue learning and improving.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Why work with you over someone I've hear of, or just do it my self? (after all, I have a computer and a DAW)" Big names are great at what they do! (most of the time) but being a big name means they get swamped with work, and ultimately can waste your time and money if you aren't a high paying "valued" customer. I've always been passionate about working intimately with the projects I do. It's so very important to me that the artist and myself are more than 100% satisfied with the result. As a small producer and mix engineer I'm willing to go above and beyond for you. I know there is an ever increasing amount of bedroom producers out there, I even started as one! The difference between them and myself is that this is my life's work. It's not a supplemental skill just to be able to capture my music. I've put in more than 100,000 hours into my craft, and a knowledgeable set of ears can make all the difference.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That someone can send me poorly recorded content or they have bad arrangements (sample choices, synths, etc) for what they want the final product to sound like, and they think I can magically fix it in the mix. A good mix starts with a great performances captured well. I unfortunately cannot fix your broken guitar in the mix.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What music do you listen to? Who are some of your favorite artists? What's your desired budget and how much are you willing to pay? Do you have a deadline? Do you like pizza and Super Smash Bros?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: First, really know what you want. We need to know what the artist is looking for, and nothing is worse that some who can't make up their mind. Second, be thorough with the person you are handing your musical baby over to! Really get to know them and build a great relationship. Third, there's a lot of people out there that put in very little effort because they are waiting to work with someone they believe is going to make them a big name producer, etc. What they don't understand is that it may be you! So always make sure they are going to give their all for your music!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Computer, Speakers, my AD/DA, a midi keyboard, and a guitar. If I'm stranded I only need what allows me to make my music!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been a vocalist and pianist since I was a toddler, and picked up trumpet, guitar, bass, and drums along the way. I got my first computer when I was 11 and started creating my own song ideas in midi applications like Anvil Studio and Guitar Pro. Throughout middle school and high school I played in bands and wrote my own music, but had no way to afford recording time at a studio, so I took it upon myself to learn FL Studio (Fruity Loops at the time) to record the songs Myself and my bands wrote. I got really obsessed with the combination of music and technology so I saved up all my money to buy a laptop and Logic Pro, some mics and an interface in 10th grade, which allowed me to record my friends bands. I was accepted into Berklee College of music in 2010 and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Music Production and Engineering. It was a great 4 years where I honed my skills and worked with tons of talented people from around the world! I'm currently in LA, meeting awesome artists and working on amazing music. TL;DR: I've been doing music all my life and have been making some sort of money doing this since 2008.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Modern, hybrid, cross-genred musical styles.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: There are so many fantastic up-and-coming Pop Punk/Post Hardcore bands emerging right now. I love working with artists or bands that are passionate about their music and have room to develop and grow!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Use your ears! Not only to better understand the music you work on, but also to be willing to listen to others feedback and learn!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Most project I've taken recently fall somewhere between Pop, Rock, Metal, and Electronic styles. A lot of my own compositions are usually Orchestral or Rock.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being a multi-instrumentalist has helped me a lot as a producer and composer. I find it very easy to deconstruct complex sounds or styles of music. This allows me to program orchestra, drums, dubstep wubs, any performance instruments in general, because I understand the possibilities and limitations of instruments in real life. A compelling song starts with great, believable performances and sounds.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: First and foremost, I am a musician. I will always be a musician. I know a lot of people stop pursuing the musical side of things to dive deeper into engineering, but I believe that understanding the artist and connecting with the music allows you to better understand what the song is pointing to. It's very important that I can help elevate the musical performance and get the song to reveal the true nature of the artist to the listener, all without leaving my musical fingerprints all over someone else's song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Writing a song start to finish generally takes 6-12 hours. Mixing starts as soon as I import and organize the stems to my DAW and takes only a couple hours to get a great first pass on the mix to send to the client to see if I'm heading in the direction they wanted. I've believe it to be dumb luck that I get very close the first time. Depending on how quickly their replies are, it tends to take only a couple more hours of work after the first draft!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run a small rig doing most of my work in the box. It's how I've worked for years and it's still working for me today. Focusrite pres, Waves, Native Instruments, PSP, SPL, Sondtoys, iZotope, and Positive Grid's plug-ins are some of my go-to choices among the large assortment I have.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Mick Gordon, Taylor Larson, Sam Guaiana, Joey Sturgis, Kyle Black, Joe Hisaishi, Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman,
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I love mixing and mastering any type of music! I also do sound design and a lot of compositional work for video games and songwriters.