Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
One of my favorite projects was actually just a cheap little live track demo that I did for a Zombiecore band. Yeah man. These dudes in a band called Feast on the Fallen drove three hours from Pittsburgh just to work with me, and that was extremely humbling to me. We had a great time working together. We knocked their demo out in a day and they were ecstatic with the results.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm currently producing guitar parts for a new album being released by local progressive metal dudes Marzy Maddox. I'm having a blast working with the guys and getting these guitar tracks down. After that, I'll be mixing the record as well. Can't wait!
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Shane Moore, he's the man!
Analog or digital and why?
Both! That's why I love UAD processing. You get the ease of use of plugin interfaces, but you get that unbeatable Analog tone and coloration. Everything has it's place though!
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
You WILL be happy with your final product. I won't stop until you are.
What do you like most about your job?
Making my clients happy! I want nothing more than for you walk away with a work of art in your hands and smile on your face.
I like to have fun and create awesome memories that make great stories to tell.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
"Can you fix that in the mix?"
Potentially, heck, maybe even probably.. but can we please just record it properly? You'll be happier, I'll be happier, everyone will be happier.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That engineers are miracle workers. To an extent, we are. You'd be amazed at some of the whacky jobs I've had to do that somehow miraculously turned out cool. But at the same time, we can only do so much. If you recorded drunk out of your mind, with no click track to be found, the odds are that there may be some discrepancies in the quality of your track.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Have you done any studio projects before? Do I need to hire some musicians for you? Can you play to a click track? Where do you want this to go, are we doing a quick and dirty demo or are we putting together a full length record to be released worldwide?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Come with confidence! As I said before, I'm very easy to work with, I'm very interested in what you have to say as an artist, and if you're at all worried about anything having to do with your project, just relax. I will work with you until you literally couldn't be happier!
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A satellite phone to call for help... phones are crazy these days, I'm sure you could probably use a satellite phone to record if you wanted to, right?
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I graduated from the Academy for Media Production in McSherrystown, PA in 2013. Interned there a while longer before going off and freelancing on my own. I started my own private company called Transient Audio Pro, and freelanced under that for a while. Some years later, I was called back to work at the Academy as a part time instructor, as well as an on-staff engineer in the Production Studio. I love it. Apart from making records and working with my best friends, nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction that you get when you set someone that comes in to learn on the path to be successful. It's literally a dream job, and if all goes according to plan I'd love to retire from this place one day in the hopefully distant future.
How would you describe your style?
My style is whatever you need it to be. If I'm given free reign on a project, usually like to bring out some huge dips in dynamic range where I can, I like to really accentuate the ambience in the more intimate parts of the song to bring out a lot of depth and imagery... it's honestly very hard to describe.
The other thing is that I really try to make the big parts of the song sound MASSIVE. I mean, earthshakingly powerful. I try to avoid having a constant drone of tone throughout the song as much as possible.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
You, because you're awesome!
In all seriousness though, as I said before, I'm very inspired by Joe from Gojira, and I think a Gojira session would be awesome!
Can you share one music production tip?
Practice to a click. Please. I'm contacted all the time by metal bands that want their album to sound like Lamb of God or whichever metal band is at the top at the moment. It's not going to happen if you're not tight, and no amount of editing or processing in the world is going to change that. Help me help you. Play to a click.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Metal is definitely my favorite. I grew up with it, and it moves me. That being said, I do two to four orchestral recordings every year, and I love it. I work with choirs, I work with the occasional jazz band, and I absolutely love working with acoustic music. I'm kind of a jack of all trades, if you bring me something that I've never worked on before, you can bet that I will learn pretty darn fast to figure out how to make it sound awesome.
What's your strongest skill?
I mean, I can't really tell you my strongest technical skill in the studio. I like to think that I'm very well-rounded in that department. But I think some very important skills to have in this industry that a lot of people overlook, as basic as they are, are people skills. I'm very easy to work with, if you don't like they direction I'm going on your mix, I will completely change everything around to make it suit your needs. If you find yourself in a tough spot with musicians, I have several in my pocket ready to help you. I am here to do a service for you. Are you helping me out, absolutely, but I am here for you. Let's work together and make some art.
What do you bring to a song?
I understand that a lot of artists need their sound to fall into a certain niche to be considered competitive in their market. What I try to do, is hit all of the key parts of the genre in question's current "formula," but at the same to make sure that all of my clients have their own unique flare. You want your song to come on the radio and to hear your audience say "oh, dude, this is -band name-, they're awesome." I want to help you eliminate the guess work, separate you from the competition, and make sure that everyone knows your identity as an artist.
What's your typical work process?
That's honestly difficult to answer, as to me, it completely depends on the project. Sometimes I'll jump right into editing if the mix desperately needs it, other times I'll get cooking on some processing and worry about lining things up the next day. After all is said and done, to absolutely ensure quality control, I ask my colleagues to put their ears on all of my work before I send it out and take any criticism they might have, then adjust things accordingly. We love our team environment!
Tell us about your studio setup.
We're running Pro Tools 12 (we stay fairly current as new, big upgrades come out) out of a Mac Pro tower, through a sexy Studer Vista 1 console, listening through some incredible ATC monitors. I use a good bit of Waves processing, but I couldn't live with my UAD-2 plugins. I also use Flare Audio R2A Studio Earbuds and a Universal Audio Apollo 8p for my remote work.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Besides being heavily inspired by my colleagues at AMP Production Studios, I find Joe from Gojira to be a very inspirational musician and producer. The way his mind works as far putting together arrangements and production elements in his songs is very impactful.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I do a good bit of everything. Remote recording, recording in-studio, mixing, a little mastering, and everything in between! I think I spend the most time in the mix phase though, because I'm very critical and take a lot of pride in making sure that everything is as perfect as it can be.