Adam W. Thomas
Professional audio engineer with experience and troubleshooting skills resulting from both home and pro studio recordings.
I have 20 years of experience in music recording and post-production. Of those years, I have grown to become very passionate in what I do as an audio engineer and music consultant. I love working with people and I enjoy bringing ideas to life. My commitment to becoming a successful audio engineer has led me to further educate myself and perfect my skills by attending The Art Institute of California-San Diego. I have been truly blessed during my tenure there as I have been taught by some prestigious instructors from the music industry (i.e., Sony, Capitol Records, Adobe, just to name a few).
My strengths are:
- studio/home recording
- cleaning up vocals (as well as sync and tuning if necessary)
- post-production for songs or CD projects
- mixing (rap/hip-hop, pop, soul/R&B)
My go-to software are Pro Tools for recording, editing, mixing whereas I love to use Logic Pro X for production (making beats or musical compositions).
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Adam W. Thomas
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Very creative and innovative both in front of the mic and behind the scenes.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's a digital setup designed for post-production projects that can be worked on at home or on the go. A combination of various DAW software integrated with Apollo Twin MKII Quad interface and industry-leading plugins are available (i.e., Waves and Universal Audio). However, if I prefer to use analog gear, I also have a Mackie 1604 VLZ 16-channel mixer, dbx 286A mic-pre and Nady Cl-5000 compressor/limiter/gate combo ready for use. In addition, I also have access to a pro studio that houses the SSL Duality 48-channel console and various legendary hardware gear used by industry professionals (i.e., API, Universal Audio, TLA-100, Neumann, Royer, and Bock just to name a few).
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My first commercial release of rap artist J-Boi "Black Concrete". It was a 16-track album that I executive produced which contained half of the songs I produced. The overall mix and production sounded surprisingly good to say I didn't know what I know now. I label it as one of my most classic album in my catalog.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Commercial EP and LP projects for two of my artists that's on my label. I'm also working on my annual self-produced compilation album for 2017-2018 release.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Hands down, I say analog because it has certain characteristics that works well with electrical signals. The end result is warmer, punchier, and has a smoother dynamic range.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Excellent customer service and satisfaction guaranteed.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I always find joy in creating something new. I'm fascinated with the concept that I get to work on and prepare material that has never been heard before by the general public.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: "Are you an instructor?" A: No, but I have been taught by some of the industry's best.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: SSL console, Neumann U87, XLR cables, outboard EQ, and monitors.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Growing up, I was always fascinated with music; especially drums. I started out as a young choir boy at my local church. Later in my youth, I realized how much I love music and wondered what it took for that artist to create my favorite song. I soon discovered I had a talent in writing poetry similar to song fashion. Upon my 23rd birthday, I was recruited into a local rap group only as a producer, but I suddenly had an itch to wanting to express myself lyrically as well. I immediately fell in love with the other side of music as a creator/contributor. For almost 10 years after that, I was considered the group's leader since I was the sound behind everything we recorded, but I didn't know where to go to help us get better at our craft. I had no guidance in the music-making process nor the music business for that matter. So I taught myself as much as I could through a countless number of trial & error situations while serving active duty in the military (Navy then Coast Guard) and a part-time college student. Yes it was a struggle, but I was determined to become a professional in my field. Upon my separation from the military in 2013, I immediately aligned myself with the pathway to what I wanted as a life-long career in the music business. I then took a couple of upper-level business/marketing/finance classes for a year prior to attending music school at The Art Institute of California-San Diego; graduated with Honors in Mar 2017.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Mystikal. He's by far the most skillful writer, performer, and rapper. His work ethics as an industry recording artist shows in every song he appears on. He's a great story-teller that allows you to think what we sometimes think or feel on a regular basis. Similar to the concept of breathing...we know we subconsciously do it, but we don't think about it unless someone points it out.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Always trust your ears. If it sounds good, then it is. Otherwise, you will find yourself mostly "fixing" instead of "mixing".
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rap, hip-hop, R&B, and some pop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Personally, patience is my strongest character. But as it relates to audio, my quick accurate editing skills sets me apart among my peers. My mixing is just as quick too; however, I prefer to focus on quality over quantity.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A unique ability to sense the displacement of vocal tone and range. With that in mind, I can prematurely offer a professional opinion to the vocalist as to what microphone may best to use for a particular song prior to recording.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Organize tracks, define tempo, edit, quantization, arrangement, gain stage (if necessary), pre EQ, compression, post EQ, mix, chops/FX (if necessary), mix for radio (if necessary).
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: There's a few to name: Dr. Dre, Manny Fresh, Quincy Jones, David Cole, Michael Jackson, Prince, Timbaland, Beyonce, Ice Cube, Mariah Carey, Adele, Brian Cox.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: An equal share of recording and mixing/post-production projects.