Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
Kelly Fitzgerald's cover of Steve Forberts song "Thinkin'" John Jorgeson playes some great clarinet, Jorgen Ingmar on drums and me on Bass, Ukelele, B3, guitar, arrangement and production. To be released in October on Steve Fortbert - An American Troubadour on Blue Rose records
What are you working on at the moment?
Cover CD for Stacey Baltes. Mixing Kokee Vega's new CD. Audio Book for real estate course.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital for medium for ease of use, costs. Analoge for preamp and comression going in for sound quality.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
You will love your product
What do you like most about your job?
See people light up when their song comes to life. To hear that I nailed what they were going for is the greatest compliment.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How much does it cost to do a full CD. That's like asking how much a car costs. I tell them that no matter what their budget, I can work with them.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That is cost too much. That it's too complicated. That the producer will dictate what I want.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What their end goal is, what artist do they like, which albums what and are their expectations.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Make sure they know you are paying them and you are in charge, but listen to their wisdom.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Laptop, apogee duet, acoustic guitar, Sure sm57, and a very large sandwich.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been playing guitar for a living for 35 years. Production has alway intrigued me. Probably because Jimmy Page was Led Zeppelins producer and I admired his work. I always loved mixing especially.
How would you describe your style?
I try not to have a style myself, but develop a style for the artist I work with.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Edele, Ed Sheeran, Jason Mraz, 21 Pilots, King and Country, James Arthur, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town
Can you share one music production tip?
Label and document everything. Mic preamp settings, instruments used ect. I've seen too many outside productions come in suffering because of poor management.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on more organic music generally. Country, americana, folk, blues. But I've done a lot of programming and EDM. I love all music.
What's your strongest skill?
Realizing that the artist has to be happy with the product. I'll always give advice and offer opinion but the artist has the final say.
What do you bring to a song?
Structure, focus, consistency, melodic definition and energy. It has to convey something in a concise manor. Something people can grab onto.
What's your typical work process?
I like to sit with artist as they perform the song and really focus on the message of the song. Lyric ans vocal rhythm dictates everything and usually tells me what I need to know about the song. We then make sure the key and tempo is right for their vocal range, put up a drum loop and lay down scratch vocal and rhythm instrument (guitar or keys). Sometimes I'll have the artist make a "vibe playlist" of productions they like and we'll chose specific sounds and try not to stray to much to key some consistency throughout the project. At this point often the artist will leave while I do the tedious work of filling out the track, although they are always welcome to stay and give input.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Main room is for mixing and crating with artist. I use primarily Logic Audio with contact samples for programmed instruments. My preamps are Daking and Universal audio. I also have a vocal booth, guitar amp room and a lounge. If I need to record live drums, I usually out source to a stable of drummers that I use depending on the style.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
For producers, Jack Doulgas, whom I've worked with on various projects, as well as Peter Asher and Hank Linderman. They have all been very instrumental in shaping my work.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I help in arranging, sound selection, direction and songwriting. I can play all instruments or produce the artist's performance.