Former guitarist with Death In Vegas, Thrashing Doves and many more - now drummer and specialist in remote mixing & post production, mastering & compiling, as well as instrumental/vocal overdubs. Very fast, no fuss, flexible ethic.
My CV combines many years studio and live experience as a musician with self taught production, mixing, and mastering, as well as some work in teaching.
Having been mainly a guitarist through the 80s and 90s I'm now mostly a drummer in terms of playing/sessions.
I've tutored in production and songwriting at university level (Point Blank, University of Westminster etc), and currently work freelance on production, mixing and mastering for a range of independent projects, artists and labels.
I've produced and overseen a series of releases though the label/collective Gare Du Nord Records, including by my current project Papernut Cambridge. I've also mastered a large number of releases for labels such as Blang, WIAIWYA, Fika Recordings, Skep Wax, Tapete & Precious Recordings.
I have contacts and access to a range of studios if needed (in London and Kent), but mostly now I work remotely on mixing and mastering jobs at home.
My setup includes some classic analog outboard gear (API, Drawmer), a good range of mics and a selection of instruments, gadgets and plugins.
For remote overdubs: guitars, vocals, harmonies, keys etc are all possible - drums too, as a mixture of programmed and live playing. For full kit recording I'd rent a studio, or find a location space and use my own mobile recording gear.
I can create parts and program for strings/brass/other instruments.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
- Go Kart Mozart
- Mary Epworth
- David Cronenberg's Wife
- Extradition Order
- Deep Cut
- Paul Hawkins
- Alan Clayson
- Gil Rose
- Mel Mayr
- Robert Rotifer
- Pete Astor
- Darren Hayman
- Papernut Cambridge
- Andre Heller
- Louis Philippe
- The Attendant
- Friedrich Sunlight
- European Sun
- Catenary Wires
- Swansea Sound
- Simon Love
- Thrashing Doves
- death in vegas
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Interview with Ian Button
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Masters for Precious Recordings' ongoing series of archive BBC sessions on vinyl. Masters for Skep Wax's recent and forthcoming (re)releases. Ongoing Gare du Nord Records output (mixes, masters, artwork). Transfer and remastering of old recordings (cassette etc) for a new archive label project. Drums for Pete Astor, Louis Philippe, Sgt Buzfuz, Heavenly, Swansea Sound.....
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Analog gear on input, particularly vocals. Digital for editing and mixing. Perhaps analog again for final master. But not necessarily!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Fast turnaround, realistic cost.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Helping add the finishing touch to something that ends up on LP/CD, in a shop or on the radio.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Can you master this one track for me?" "I can - but I am much more useful balancing a bunch of tracks together, on an album."
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That mastering is always a huge transformative process. I don't believe mastering necessarily has to deliberately change how the music sounds. My aim very often is to be transparent. Balancing and correcting perhaps, but respecting the mixes as they've been delivered.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Vintage/expensive gear is great - but ultimately you can master and mix without it.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing professionally in bands in the 1980s - I had two long term career bands through the 80's 90's and 2000's. Alongside those, I always wrote and produced my own music. I began teaching production and working more exclusively in production/mixing etc from the early 2000s, and the mastering jobs began to come from that - working with friends' bands and labels, being affordable where projects need to work with low overhead costs.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Always record a double track of a vocal, even if you might not use it.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Independent, alternative pop music mostly. Usually involving live instruments rather than programmed...but often a mixture. I've made music in different genres e.g. library tracks to a brief - electronic, guitar rock, surf, ambient etc....
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening to the project/song/album as a whole, in context.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Logic X on Mac. Good selection of mics (RE20, 414, Oktava etc). API lunchbox with API preamps, EQ and Compressors for recording input path. Clean and dry vocals recorded in a booth. Mixes and mastering is done in the box - plentiful plugins e.g. Waves and Plugin Alliance vintage emulations.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mastering: compiling, balancing and editing tracks for albums, EPs, compilations etc. Creating master files for vinyl, digital, CD releases including DDP files for manufacture if necessary. Mixing: fast turnaround mixes from stems or Logic projects. Overdubs: layered, harmony vocals; drums and percussion, guitar, bass etc.