Oakland based engineer, producer and musician.
As an audio engineer, producer and musician based in Oakland, CA, I've spent the last decade of my life working in studios and making records. Most recently, I've spent the last several years as Head Engineer at Green Day's JingleTown Recording. Having been there from the day it publicly opened its doors, to its recent closing (I am however still employed by Green Day), I worked almost every session that came through the door, which afforded me the opportunities to work with bay area legends such as Green Day, SamIAm, Fat Mike (NOFX), Machine Head and Too Short as well as international artists such as the UK's Kate Nash and Australia's Meshiaak.
I have the experience and knowledge to help take your project to the next level. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!
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Interview with Lee Bothwick
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I prefer digital. It's a much easier, cheaper and expedited medium to work in.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To do the best I can.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The process of creation. Seeing something formed from nothing and watching peoples faces light up as their vision starts coming to life.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I can just fix everything. While it's true that a lot can be fixed, that shouldn't be the desired process. Fixing things in the mix is a phrase that will make any engineer cringe. Be as solid with your material as possible.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What it is they're trying to achieve with their project.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Ask as many questions as you need to to make sure you're completely comfortable with them.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I graduated Ex'pression College in 2008. I interned at Studio 880 and eventually became the head engineer at the studio. A few years later I was hired on by Green Day and became the head engineer at their JingleTown Recording studio.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Any artists. I learn the most through variation. I get better by doing things I've never done before!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Be prepared. Get your preproduction down. That's where you do yourself the biggest favors. Small things like, will you use a click track? Do you know the tempo to all your songs? Have you worked out all of your parts? Are you sure you've booked enough time to get everything you want done AND do it all without rushing?
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I've worked on punk, metal, folk, indie, alternative, world, jazz and gospel music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is certainly listening, but I also have strong interpersonal skills and a great ability to help people through their sessions to their projects finish line.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: If I'm mixing or recording I bring both my personal and professional experience. That said, sometimes bands don't want a lot of input and in those cases I just let them do what they do and only stick to technical observances.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My typical workflow depends upon the project. If we're going into a recording sessions I'll ask for any possible home recordings or demos that may have been done for the songs the band wants to record. Even just something recorded off a phone. Ill talk about ideas for the session, setup, gear, etc with the band and work with them however I can to help them achieve their desired outcome. For mixing, I generally will talk with the artist about what they're looking for, quote them a rate and begin working on a song. I'll complete a somewhat rough quick mix and send off an MP3. I do this to make sure the artist and I are on the same page. If they're happy we can move forward. If they're not really liking the direction I'll make some changes and send another mix out. If it's still not working out we can part ways, no money spent. The last part though has never actually happened, but I think it's fair to not expect someone to commit money to a product they're not happy with.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My personal studio is just a mix room. It features a Mac Pro (Trash Can), UAD Apollo 8, UAD Quad Satellite, Blue Sky MediaDesk monitors, ADAM A77X monitors, Pro Tools 12 and a large host of plugins.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am hired on to engineer for anything from Recording music and dialogue to editing and mixing albums. Multiple genres and styles ranging from metal and punk to folk and jazz.