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I am an electronic music producer who specializes in Ableton Live. I also offer lessons in production as well as work as a beat maker, remix artist, sound designer, mixing engineer, and guitar player.
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Interview with Andrew Huston
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Production, Beat Making, Ableton Live Lessons, Remix Artist, Guitar Player
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: M83, James Blake, The XX, Explosions in the sky, Phantogram
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Ableton Live 9 Suite, Pro tools 12, Novation Launchkey 49, Korg Minilogue, Apollo Twin, Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitors, ESP LTD EC 1000, Astin Origin, MXL 4000, and a whole collection of third party plugins including UAD, SoundToys, Native instruments, Izotope and more.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: In production i usually focus on developing the melodies and song structure, and get a general idea of the beat. Then i move on to lyrical content, and sound design, and once the song is complete i bounce the stems and prep the session for mixing and mastering.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Originality and focus. I study a lot of minimal techniques that often involve stripping the song down to its bare essentials in order to find out what parts are necessary and get rid of a lot of the nonsense.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Production techniques with Ableton live.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Electronic, ambient, down tempo, hip hop, indie
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Producers have a tendency to make tracks very busy when often you can get a great song by removing a lot of the bells and whistles and making sure each part is there for a reason. That being said, it is important to bring each essential part of the song to it's full potential using creative sound design techniques along side a general knowledge of song structure and music theory.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Bucket list artist is definitely Brian Eno. I feel like he has a very interesting take on production and is constantly pushing the envelope. Eno is responsible for ambient music as we know it and is still providing new concepts and ways of thinking about creating music.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Ambient, bass heavy, genre blending.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started using Ableton live almost ten years ago as a way to do some simple drum programming alongside my guitar playing. That blossomed into a career that brought me down to Los Angeles to work as an electronic music producer/instructor at Dubspot LA. I've also worked as a freelance DJ, remix artist, and engineer.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Some assortment of acoustic instruments since there probably wouldn't be electricity. Let me know when they make and acoustic version of the Ableton Push.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be very specific about what your looking for. Don't hesitate to go into detail about your exact expectations for the project. As freelancers, we want to make sure that our customers leave happy and that usually comes with thorough consultation. Always provide reference tracks as well as a list of influences, and some details about why you enjoy that artist's work.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your vision for this project? Can i get to know some of your previous work? What would you like to do differently this time?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think a lot of people believe that there's some magic "bass button" that's going to turn their music into gold, when in reality it's a combination of a lot of things that make a great production and it all comes together through a lot of practice and research.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Which VST is the best? Answer: The secret golden synth that makes those huge bass sounds but you cannot have it because it is only reserved for the illuminati
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: It beats settling for an office job.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Know what you want ahead of time and i will make sure you leave happy.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I like the workflow of analog gear and do believe that it often sounds fatter, and VSTs are getting so good now that they can often provide sounds that are very usable. It really depends on what the task is, they both have their benefits.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Lex Lu, Derek Anderson
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: 5 song ambient EP With Huey X Honora
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: https://soundcloud.com/andrewamrain Producer