Stephen Aubrey (aka S.JRZ)
Bass loving beatmaker/music producer. I want to help you make your tracks bang!
I'm offering beats for rappers, electronic music for singers. I also offer mixing services. Mostly in the box, as I don't have a studio. But, with over a decade producing electronic music and beats within a DAW, I can get your track up to standard.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
Interview with Stephen Aubrey (aka S.JRZ)
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: To date, I have nothing "great" that I have worked on for a client. I've done a few good tracks for some local unknown rappers. I am still getting my foot in the door. I am proud of a remix I did for a competition through Splice.com but that was a personal feat, which is why I am proud of it regardless of not winning.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am working on my own EP. It's a chill trap/future bass style with a unique approach. I'm also in the process of building a website where I can have a section to showcase some of my beats.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm new to this site, so I have no real idea.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I would say analog because who doesn't love the warmth that analog brings. You just seem to get this sound that is hard to replicate, if at all, on digital. But, in this modern age, I prefer digital. It's easier to work from a computer, especially if you don't have a console of your own. And there are modern plug-in's and VST's that can actually replicate things like the master compressor of an SSL9000. Though, I feel that all producers and engineers should work with both should you have the option. Experimentation is creation.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will do my very best to satisfy your needs. I will work on your project for the full term I have stated, until you are satisfied with what I have done.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love music. Every aspect of it. So, even though I am fairly new at this as far as working for clients, I eat it up. I wake up looking forward to the day, whether I am working on my own music or something for a client. Granted, I can't live on just this yet, but you've got to have goals.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Usually after they hear some of my work they ask me if I have a studio. I reply, no, because I don't. I am working toward that. I get a lot of random inquiries about prices and turn around, but sometimes no bites.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: First, I hate being called a beatmaker. Yes, I make beats. I also write full tracks and I am a musician/engineer. I don't use a lot of loops, I write in my own drums, bass and melodies. If I use a loop, its usually sliced and rendered to be almost unrecognizable. I don't just push buttons. I understand melody, harmony and flow etc. I went from writing music in bands to producing because I enjoy the electronic styles more than modern bands.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are you looking for in a beat/track? BPM? Am I using 808's or standard sine subs or actual bass guitar? In your face or time to chill? Do you have specific samples you want me to use? Can you provide me with any previous work so I can work out your style?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: You can always go for the experienced and the well known. But, in today's industry, there are so many talented yet undiscovered engineers, producers, musicians et al. Sometimes all a person needs is a chance to prove their worth. I also feel you should find someone with a personality that you can gel with. Unless a big name with a bad attitude wants to work with you. Go for it, change your stars.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Macbook, APC25, external harddrive, AVID interface and a condenser mic. (Though I'd want my Pioneer DJ mixer with me too..) I chose those for obvious reasons. My Macbook has my DAWs on them, external has my VSTs, the interface so I can track vocals with the mic. And round it with that APC so I don't have to draw all of my MIDI in.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been making music in one form or another for 20 years. I am a self-taught musician and electronic music producer, but a trained audio engineer with an associates degree. I have been engineering now for about 2 years. So I understand that people can be skeptics. I am starting an electronic music record label that I hope to focus on within the next 5 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Bass heavy and sometimes dark. I don't stick with one BPM or genre for example, so I am always trying to push boundaries.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I don't have a specific artist. I want to work on any music, but I am highlighting my strong suit. I adore a good female vocalist.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Write first, mix after. Too many people get lost in trying to mix as they go along. Little corrections are fine but don't get lost in your track by trying to do two separate tasks at one time.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Trap music (EDM style), as well as hip-hop beats. I can do dubstep, chill and soundtracks as well.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Definitely beats and electronic music. I can track live instruments for you, should you need them. I play guitar/bass as well. I am a self-taught musician.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I have a unique style, or if you want to say my own take on the music. I will definitely bring the bass, if you are looking for that. I have been involved with many genres of music throughout my life, and everything I have done, I have approached with a different personality so to speak.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I'm a dive right in type of person. I want to get you what you need as soon as is within my ability. For my personal music I usually just sit down with a melody or a sample and I go from there. I will sit and work on a track for 12 hours or more a day.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Right now I'm working out of a bedroom. I know that sounds unappealing but I like what I've got. I'm using a Macbook Pro, soon to be iMac desktop. This is connected through my AVID audio interface I got while attending school. That's hooked up to 2 Presonus Eris E5 monitors. I run a Nektar Panorama MIDI controller through that and occasionally a Behringer 8-channel mixer. I have Pro Tools 11, Logic Pro X (my main DAW), Reason 9 (my first DAW) and I have Komplete 10 VST, Xfer Serum, and Izotope Ozone 7 Standard. I know it's mostly in the box, but I can surprise you with what I can do. For vocals I currently only have a Sterling s51 condenser mic. All of this will be getting upgraded as I go. You have to work with what you've got.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm really into the electronic music out of the UK. Producers/DJs like Troyboi, and Wizard are huge inspirations for me. I'm also really into what we have going here in the US with Party Thieves, UZ, ATLiens. Hip-hop producers, I really dig RZA's Wu-Tang productions from the 90s. Just Blaze and Lex Luger definitely helped pave the way for some of the better hip-hop/trap music. Musicians I am all over the map with. From Miles Davis to Thom Yorke to Lou Reed. I am a music lover beyond everything.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most people want my beats. I can program MIDI for any type of occasion. I've mixed and done quick masters for a few rappers in my area.