Educated. Experienced. Multi-Instrumentalist. Mixing/Mastering Engineer and Producer.
Matt Clayton was born and raised in the heart of South Dakota before heading out on his own to master his craft. Countless hours of editing, mixing, and mastering hours. Credits with Through the Roots, PlayFight, Kyle Castellani, Glendale Philharmonic, The Shams. Matt was formerly employed by one of the largest TV/Film music studios in the country.
-All aspects of creating, performing, producing, and recording guitar, drum, bass, piano, and variety of other instrument performances.
-Mixing songs, including mixing new parts into existing print masters.
-Vocal editing, creating vocal composites from takes, vocal tuning, vocal alignment
-Specialized in editing all performances of a recording at industry standard level for professional mix engineers to work with.
Flexible Pricing. Send me a message and let's work something out.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Matt Clayton
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How can I record better? That's a conversation that I thoroughly enjoy having with clients. Talking through how they created what they have so far usually reveals at least one specific flaw in their technique that I can point out to them and describe a more pleasant sounding or efficient method. And I learn in the process too, both things to do and not to do.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Pigeonholing. Very few projects do I ever do one thing, unless I'm called into a high-stakes, professional session. Usually, I will get hired to write, record, or mix something. However, writing requires making a great demo. Recording requires pre-production. Mixing, unless the source material has been well-handled, requires editing. These requirements are not born of a desire to do more work; they come from experiencing what needs to be done to make the best sounding record.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Personally, I'm a rock fan with punk sensibilities, and 80's rock guitar god aspirations. Professionally, I want to be a combination of a mirror and map; I want to show you what's there and where to go from here.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Billie Joe Armstrong and/or Green Day. His sense of songwriting, especially on the newer records, is very efficient. Everything is distilled down to the bare minimum for maximum effect. I would like to know how he approaches a new tune, how he approaches a new melody or lyric that's grabbed his attention.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Know when you're being honest and when you're forcing it. The best songs I've made happened when I got out of my own way and let the song tell me where to go. It sounds corny, but when you're trying to prove something, you usually succeed in proving that you've got more to learn. I just want to make good music.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: That is like asking what type of food do I usually eat: I enjoy it all. My professional credits include hard rock, reggae, orchestral recordings, singer/songwriter, pop-punk, and pop. (I must admit though, I have a soft spot for punk/alt rock/pop-punk in the vein of "American Idiot" era Green Day, "Black Parade" My Chemical Romance, "Mr. Brightside" The Killers, etc.)
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I am an editor by trade: what should take hours to accomplish in Pro Tools, I've learned how t quicker. I find that combining efficiency with performance experience makes for a quick and pleasant song writing/recording experience.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a wealth of musical experience across multiple genres, instruments, and recording/live performance settings. I bring a personal worldview thats been informed by growing up in the rural Midwest and starting my career in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. And I bring a strong work ethic and drive for perfection that focuses in on the job at hand.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: On a technical level, my workflow really depends on the job. Editing is different from writing, and both are separate from tracking/mixing/mastering. But there is a common thread throughout all the different hats I wear: I work to find the soul of the song, and illuminate or clarify or reveal or add to that. That's my purpose; to further the song. And if I'm writing the tune, that's the starting point. What is this song about? What is this feeling I'm hearing in my head? Some times I answer those questions after the song is halfway done, sometimes they guide the process from the beginning. But it's all about the song.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work out two different studios depending on the project. They're within a few miles of each other, and really, one is my editing/writing/mixing rig, and the other is my tracking room. I run Pro Tools in both rooms, with a full compliment of Waves, Sound Toys, Slate Digital plug-ins, and every sample library you can think of. My guitar collection is a point of personal pride, and includes my Heritage H150 (Huey), Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, Gibson SG (w/Seymour Duncan Alnico II's), Fender Custom Shop Telecaster, and what I loving call my "FrankenStrat," which has Lollar Specials in the neck and mid spots, and a Fralin P90 in the bridge. I track MIDI drum performances on a Roland TD25KV and massage them in Superior Drummer to get just the right sound. The studio brain is my custom built Mac Pro. Monitoring through my favorite JBL LSR28P's in a pristine tuned room.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Right now, Andrew Scheps is really blowing my mind. Green Day's Revolution Radio came out a little while ago, and I'm continually impressed with how Scheps gets out of his own way and lets songs breathe. You don't hear his compression techniques right off the bat, you hear the emotion of the song. That's rare in a "pop" music producer/mixer.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The first thing that got me into the industry was editing. I had developed my ear for rhythm studying percussion in college, and for melody playing in original bands. I can hear what someone meant to do on their recording, and shift the waveforms slightly to emphasize that. Mixing naturally followed editing, and during this entire process, I've been recording bands, writing original material, and playing live. I average about 4 live shows a month, covering a few different genres and instruments.