What's your strongest skill?
My ability to listen to a song and let it find it's natural path. Another of my major strengths is my empathy with the artistes - I'm here to guide and advise, but the music is your (the artistes) art and they always have the final say.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
As a producer and mix/master engineer, I have worked on many great projects. Recently, working with AMRITHA one the past few months has really given me a buzz. She is a young Australian jazz singer how has an amazingly beautiful and haunting voice. Her cover of 'City of Stars' (from La La Land) was a great project to be involved with. Amritha's home recorded vocal was raw and untreated, but through my working processes and mixing/mastering skill, the final results were truly spectacular.
What are you working on at the moment?
* Producing, recording, mixing & mastering my own albums - 'Unfinished Business' and "Has It Got What It Takes'
* Working on an 80's Prog-Goth project with Tyler Shaina - as a session musician, producer and mastering engineer
* Producing, recording and mixing a wonderfully talented singer-songwriter from the UK - Ray K
* Producing and mixing a fabulous jazz-singer from Melbourne, Australia - AMRITHA
Analog or digital and why?
Digital - much more cost effective and efficient. As a purist, yes Analog, but in today's technological word, the music you can produce at a very low cost is amazing... and this is perfect for all those mega-talented musicians and songwriters who have been priced out of the market for so long!
It really is a musical revolution.... and a positive one in my eye.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will always listen to what you want your music to sound like and strive to achieve your goals. I am honest, a good communicator and empathetic to all my clients.
What do you like most about your job?
Everything! Working with like-minded, open and determined artistes who are good communicators.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I can fix anything in the mix!
It's true, you can fix a lot of things in the mix, but your song will sound infinitely better if the final tracks are as you want them to sound - as a mix/mastering engineer my philosophy and job is to take something good and make it... better!
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Who are your influences and what vision do you have for your sound?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Make sure your song is arranged the way you are totally happy with and record your song as if there was no mixing available (getting it right at source).
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
My Les Paul, a Vox AC30 (hopefully, there would be power on the island!), my iMac computer and interface, a set of Beyer DT100 headphones and my iPod.
If no power was available... an acoustic guitar, a pencil and paper! ;)
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been a home recording enthusiast for nearly 30 years - starting off with tape recorders and old-Fostex 4 tracks (back in the day!). Today, my equipment has progressed significantly!
I have been recording, mixing and mastering for clients, on a part-time/spare-time basis, for over 10years now and I love what I do. As such I have decided to step up my game and commit to my art full time now. I love the buzz of working with artistes and musicians and helping them create their art.
How would you describe your style?
My working style is said to be laid-back but truly focussed and professional - I am a good communicator and a good time keeper.
Musically, my style is open and powerful. I like to let my mixes breathe and I like to avoid clutter. Clients have commented on how my mixes have brought out the 'inner subtleties' that they hadn't heard before and how I have brought their 'songs to life'.
It's all about the music and art!
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Up and coming songwriters and artistes: as a songwriter and artist myself I know how hard it can be to get a song sounding the way you want it to. Today's technology and computers are amazing and can really help songwriters and artists produce great recordings at home and at very lost costs; but getting a great idea/recording to be a great sounding mix isn't always as easy as it looks. That's my passion and strength.
If I can help in anyway, that's what I like to do!
Can you share one music production tip?
Take the time to get the best arrangement you can for your music; critically listen to and shape your song before you finalise and print the tracks - that way it can actually mix itself!
What type of music do you usually work on?
I'm really a rocker at heart so anything guitar orientated and rock based. However, I love country and folk music, too.
Recently, I have been working on a few jazz projects which have been fun and a good learning experience. I have also been part of a 80's Prog-Goth project that has taken me out of my comfort zone; it was a great experience and I actually loved being part of the project.
What do you bring to a song?
I like to hear the inner parts of a song and help create a journey from beginning to end. My own songwriting skills help me to produce radio-ready mixes.
What's your typical work process?
I like to listen to a new song in isolation first, to get a feel for it. Then I will reference the song to the tracks that the client has provided as their major influences.
Following this I will gain stage the tracks and produce a 'rough mix'. From here, I work through the song, track by track, balancing and fine tuning the static mix; whilst always referring to the clients reference tracks.
After I'm happy with the static mix, I will add compression (where necessary) and introduce automation and any processing that would enhance the mix (e.g. reverb, delay, modulation effects etc.)
Finally, I would listen to the final mix/master on different systems to check for a good transfer across systems.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a small mixing and tracking studio and I mainly mix and master within-the-box.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
My musical influences range from The Everly Brothers through to Metallica... I just love music. I'm a big fan of guitar music, especially twin-lead guitar bands like The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers... the list could go on forever!
Production influences include George Martin, Brendon O'Brien, Neil Avron, Mike Fraser, Jeff Lynn... again the list is long.
I like music to be interesting and compelling, where everything part has a job to do. But everything is tasteful and never over indulgent.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
The most common work I undertake with clients is remote mixing and mastering sessions - taking their raw tracks and working with them to create the sound they desire.