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Interview with Desmond A
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Firefly & The Redacted Files Podcast (Audio Editor) ...Challenging to meticulously work on editing dialog, but rewarding & satisfying.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently working on beats with YouTube super producer Mjnichols. Looking to be a household name for artists looking for beats and mixing & mastering.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both...digital for speed and convenience, analog for sonic texture & warmth.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You will remember and recommend me to your friends.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Interacting with people. Music is like a visit to the therapist for many people who come to my studio. I'm here to listen & deliver the best version of what they have in their head possible.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How much do you charge for mixing & mastering? (www.DesmondA.com/mixing) How long will it take to mix & master my song? (1 - 3 business days) Can I lease one of your beats? (Yes, www.DesmondABeats.com)
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it is 100% technical button pushing & knob turning. I actually go to venues out here in Atlanta and watch how people react to certain sounds and rhythms. The engineer & producers are music composers.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What 2-3 songs have the sonic quality you're looking for in a mix? Can I have a link or sample to your current or most recent music project? For beats, what direction are you going in for your next project?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Look for someone who is on the same page as you. There needs to be someone who can grasp the overall vision you have in mind. Someone who asks questions. Someone who knows that the music you make is special and needs to be handled with care & priority.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Akai MPC 2500, IMac Computer, Stanton Turntable, Sony Headphones, JBL Speakers, and my father's (r.i.p.) record collection.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Almost a decade now (WOW!) time flies...I do music as a full time career and will do this for the rest of my life.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Edgy mixed with soulful and musical.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Amerie, she's an underrated artist with a sincere passion for music. The songwriting and production process she has is very intriguing(she's a perfectionist). Her debut album changed my life (All I Have).
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't overthink it...go with what your soul tells you. Technology is only a tool to get you to your destination.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: R&B and Hip Hop
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My ears and knowledge for what people tend to gravitate towards musically.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mixing I usually listen to the original mix for what sonic textures the artist & producer liked. From there I put all the sound files in Pro Tools and ask myself "how can I enhance this overall song?" I liken it to a person handing me a painting and telling me to enchant it. I take a step back, look at the original, and make sure what I add is more vibrant, impactful, and polished.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have an emphasis on acoustics so my studio is surrounded by Auralex Foam and custom made broadband bass traps for sonic accuracy. JBL studio monitors, dbs compressor, AKG mic, etc...
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Producers: Dr. Dre, Mark Ronson, Organized Noise, The old Kanye, Quincy Jones, Carnival Beats, Timbaland Engineers: Dr. Dre, Russ Elevado, Ken Lewis, Kori Anders, Blame Grandz
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recording, Mixing & Mastering, and Beat Making/Production