Dedicated engineer and bassist for a plethora of genres and styles. Chill, down-to-earth, and considerate working style. Receptive an open-minded to your directions and comments. Connoisseur of distortion, mix effects, and funky baselines.
I’ve been recording for 15 years.
-Berklee Masters Degree in Production and Engineering
-USC Thornton Bachelors in Bass and Popular Music
-Mentored by some of the best in the business, Sean Slade, David Bendeth, Patrice Rushen, Jonathan Wyner, Alphonso Johnson, Susan Rogers.
-I currently run my own studio and production company in Phoenix, Arizona.
Experienced in a multitude of genres. My “home base” is Rock and Hip-Hop. I approach each artist uniquely, and genuinely want to bring your ‘sound’ and style to its best representation. I’m not concerned with making you sound like me.
Send me a message, and let’s chat! I’ll respond ASAP, and we’ll figure out a plan to best fit your project. Looking forward to working with you!
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
4 ReviewsEndorse Carson Rohde
- check_circleVerified (Client)
What a great artist! A blast to work with, and incredible music! I would absolutely recommend working with Carson if you get the chance. I hope to be working together again soon!
- check_circleVerified (Client)
Working with Carson has been a very pleasant experience. This basist is extremely talented and professional! If you are looking for a session basist, this is the ideal man. His compositions are original and rich.
I would recommend Carson for big projects and acts such as the Flaming Lips, Ice Age, Dua Lipa, and Playboi Carti. First off, Carson's musicianship and expertise really come through when working with him. Carson has the one key element a lot of producers/musicians/engineers forget to utilize.. EARS!! He really truly listens from his heart and gives honest feedback when working on demos/Pre-production. Additionally, he has a great ear for chords, melody, background harmonies, counterpoint, arrangement, orchestration, and more!
Carson is a quick, talented, young professional musician (mentor and even friend) with amazing ears and music skills!! I would recommend Carson for big projects and acts such as the Flaming Lips, Ice Age, Dua Lipa, and Playboi Carti.
First off, I want to say I am lucky to have met Carson Rohde at USC Thornton. His musicianship and expertise really come through when working with him. Carson has the one key element a lot of producers/musicians/engineers forget to utilize.. EARS!! He really truly listens from his heart and gives honest feedback when working on demos/Pre-production.
Interview with Carson Rohde
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I recently mastered an album for my good friend Evan Isaac, who I went to USC with. I also played bass and mixed on one of the songs. Although I was mostly just the mastering engineer, I went very deep into the project with him and his incredible songs. Each track was produced/mixed by a different person, so my job as mastering engineer was to figure out how to blend a group of sonically varying tracks together as one complete unit. Much of my creative producer skills were applied to the master, just as much as the technical engineering skills. I have known Evan for a long time, and it was a total joy to help bring his next stage of music to life, after seeing his progress over the years. Plus, I got to show off my several skills as mixer, mastering engineer, bassist, and producer! Check his album out on all streaming platforms. Evan Isaac - Dogwood Dignitaries Listen to the Baby.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Lots of projects! Several local Phoenix, AZ Hip-Hop artists, a few Punk Bands, Mastering for some Acoustic acts. Also finishing up my own solo record. Hope to add your name on the list very soon!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Lewis Robertson of Owl Cove Studios mixed some songs for me years ago and did a fantastic job. Michael Arrom is a wizard doctor keyboard player I went to college with, incredible player. Evan Isaac is an incredible songwriter, vocalist, keyboardist, and artist that I’ve worked with many times. Chris Jaxon is another great bassist whom is very good for Metal and Math Rock. Marco Lafleur is a great mastering engineer I have worked with as well.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Honestly, I would have to say digital. It has proved to me over and over again how much easier, faster, and efficient it is to work with, not to mention more reliable. It really helps me work to get you results faster. Although I love analog equipment, but it can often be faulty, time-consuming, complicated, and very expensive on all levels. I can get the same result “in-the-box” that I can with analog, perhaps even better because I can work quickly, and save all of my work for fast revisions. Some of my heroes are now all in the box, Andrew Schepps, Serban Genea, Glenn Schick, nearly all Hip-Hop and Electronic. My time at Berklee studying this has also been confirmed by many of my teachers. The plugins have gotten so good over the last few years that the difference is negligible. And at the end of the day, the music is living in a digital world, being listened to on computers, phones, iPads, etc., so what’s the point? The trick is in knowing how to use them, and lots of experience and skill. (Having great plugins does help too). Although I say digital is better, I incorporate a lot of analog thinking and approach into my workflow, which I think brings more of a human element to the digital world, and really makes a difference.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will give you a finished product that you are completely satisfied with. We will "rinse and repeat" until we get there. I promise to give you a finished project in a timely manner that you are ultimately satisfied with. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s important! We will rinse and repeat with revisions until we get it done!. I do my absolute best on the first take, but the artist knows their music best, and may have some desire to make a few small changes, which is totally fine by me…its part of the process towards a great track!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Bringing new life to someone’s music, making them even more happy and excited to share their work with the world! It thrills me that I helped you with your expression and art, as it is very dear to all artists and their life. I also make my own music, so I know what it feels like to be in your shoes, really! And I’m always thinking of the best ways to serve your project, on terms of how I would want someone to treat me. Besides that, I thoroughly enjoy the nuts and bolts of mixing and mastering, some would say it is frightening, and I’m a mad scientist. Maybe that’s true. But I simply love it! It doesn’t feel like work to me, but I do take it very seriously and professionally. Even though this is a very technical and scientific service, it is still very creative with lots of problem solving, like a big puzzle. It keeps me very entertained and lost in the moment. I get a kick out of getting that guitar, bass, vocal, synth, or drum sound just right, getting a result that sounds like a real record!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you slappa' da bass? Yes, indeed, haha. Can you turn the synth up or down? YES of course! No worries. How should I release my music as an Indie Artist? In my opinion, Distrokid is the best distribution service out there right now, goes to all streaming platforms, (except Soundcloud, which you just do yourself). Very easy and straight-forward service, and its the cheapest option! I’m not a huge fan of TuneCore or CdBaby. Smaller releases seem to work better these days for staying fresh in the scene. Regular single releases, EP’s, music videos, social media, and other promo, many months ahead, all leading up to a bigger album. You can do promo yourself for cheap, rather than hiring a PR agency for thousands, or “needing a label”. Use you social media and the internet to the furthest extent! Post, Post, Post! Network! Check out Submithub, PlaylistPush, or other similar playlist submission services. Make the release exciting while bringing people into your story and journey! How to I get the bass sounding tight and fat? Well… hire me, and I’ll do it for you!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Mix/Master: I’ve found that many people don’t understand what Mixing or Mastering are, and can have trust issues around the subject, or think that they can just mix/master themselves. To me, the whole point of hiring a third-party Mixer and Mastering Engineer is the benefit of having clean ears and perspective on the track, in a different studio room. Someone who will hear and fix things that you may have overlooked, and bring new fresh inspiration to the process of completing your record! These roles are targeted in service of you, the artist/producer! I’m not here to stomp the ground with my own dogma and tell you how to do things, that’s not my place at all. I am here to lift your tracks up to the next level, and make them sound like you at your best! I will do everything in my power to understand your vision and dream for your music on every level. I’m not here to change any of your parts, or the song at all, only to see them through a new lens, heavily inspired by the rough mix you already have. I just want it to “sound better” than it did before, and give it that much more potential to sell! Bass is the butter that melds all parts of the song together. It is often thought of as elementary and shoved to the back, but a great bass performance can make or break a song. People crave the bass frequencies hitting their bodies as they go to live concerts and festivals.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What bands and artists do you like? What style of music would you call yourself? What genres are you trying to blend? Who are your influences? What do you want the Mix/Master to sound like? Modern, Vintage? Aggressive, soft? Etc. What is your main instrument? How long have you been playing music? Have you studied music anywhere or self-taught? What is your dream for this record and for your musical journey? What is the music about? What’s the story, and how can we channel that into the Mix/Master? What is your goal for release, Spotify Playlists? Fun? DJ-ing the tracks live? Record-deal? Indie-release? Please your current fans? Gain a new audience? Etc. And besides music, what are your hobbies and enjoyments? Bass: What style of bass line are you imagining? Any references? Do you have a specific riff in mind? Do you have charts / sheet music? Or do you want to give me free reign to create something fresh? In the back, out front, or somewhere in the middle?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure your song is ready to go for the most part before sending it over. It doesn't have to be the final guitars, vocals, synths, mix, etc. But it should contain the final drums in most cases. The song structure should be complete too. A demo track that is closest to the final imagined version will help me the most in developing my bass part, and developing a vision that is closely aligned with yours. I don’t bite!!! Haha, I’m a nice, chill, and down to earth guy, but also ready to do business. I’m here to have a good time, not for my own ego-trip. If you’re not sure if your songs are ready for mixing and mastering, then send them over to me, and I will give you any advice needed to get them finished. I’ll gladly help you get ready for this! Many times, your stuff is great and ready to go! But if not, then we can figure out the steps to get there, and make it easier and better for everyone! I will provide you with my “Guidelines for Submitting Mix Materials” once we agree on the job. Try to have all your tracks and files organized and labeled clearly. Wav files are preferred, no .mp3’s. I like to have your DAW session as you last had it, if you can. ProTools, Ableton, and Logic all work for me! But if you can send individual stems, then great! A lyric sheet is also great to have for me, so I can really soak in the lyrical message, and mix to its deeper meaning.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Fender Jazz Bass Les Paul Moog Sub 37 Sm7b ProTools
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Started as a working bassist, classically trained. Moved on to songwriting, which led to producing and engineering by default. Yet I have fallen in love with mixing/mastering, and it brings me great joy to help others with their projects. I recently revived my Masters degree in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee, and my Bachelors is in Popular Music Performance (Bass) from USC University of Southern California. My ideal career path is to continue what I’m doing here! Making great records with all walks of life! The dream!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Mixing/Mastering: Modern, with many classic sentiments. I like to push things so they are rich and creamy, but not blown out. Big low end, and clean/clear highs. And I’ma stickler for getting those mids right. I’m a Rocker, but hugely influenced by Hip-Hop and Electronic. I can make something very smooth and easy, super aggressive, or even wild and psychedelic! I am very versatile, and can go in many different directions. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, my job is to form to what your sound is, and only suggest certain ways that my style could help your sound. Its not my job to make your music sound like my style, only for it to sound more like you! Its not about me, its about you! Bass: Groovy, iconic lines that give nice counter-point support to the song and melody. I know how to stay in the background or drive out in front. McCartney, James Jameson, Flea, Pino Paladino, etc. I can do finger-style, pick, or slap bass.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Dua Lipa, with her great sense of keeping artistry true within commercial Pop. I love the Funk/Motown vibe of her tracks. Other artists I would love to work with are: St. Vincent, Playboi Carti, Marc Rebillet, Iceage, Vince Staples, Trent Reznor, and Tame Impala.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Many times when you are stuck on an idea, go create something new. Reversely, the energy of a new creation will wash away and help tie together that other idea. Less is more. It clears the way. If you feel stuck with an idea, take a walk, a drive, watch a funny movie, etc. Listen to other music to pick ideas from for inspiration. Call a friend or hire another professional you trust to help collaborate. Even showing your music to friends and other musicians can bring you great advice and outside perspective. Think of your audience! In production, less is more. Don’t over-produce or over-arrange. Make sure the song is as great as it can be by making it communicate well with only AcGuitar/Piano and Vocals, before stacking on extra layers and a bunch of fills. And finally, don’t be too hard on yourself! Always have fun, because music is so much fun, that’s why we do this!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: These days, Rock and Hip-Hop are the majority, with some Pop, Acoustic, and EDM. Rock is my first love, and makes up a good amount of my mixing/mastering work. Yet I’ve found most Rock today is flavored by other genres, whether that’s Hip-Hop, Electronica, Pop, etc. So I often treat Rock with many of the modern sonic standards of other genres, while still getting rockin’ tones for the core elements. Besides Rock, I’ve been doing a lot of Hip-Hop, Punk, and Indie mixes lately. Hip-Hop especially has been a lot of my recent work. As a bassist, I have experience in nearly all genres: Rock, Funk, R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop, Dub/Reggae, Country, Singer-Songwriter, Classical, Jazz, etc.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening! It’s my job. Obviously to listen critically to the music, but even more importantly, to listen to you! It’s your music after all, and I want to make you happy with the service. My ears are wide open for any questions, concerns, ideas, or revisions.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Generally speaking, I like to give a “modern” sound to tracks that could be pushed even further, in order for them to sound familiar and exciting to a younger crowd. Yet I also stay true to many “traditions” and choice of gear that gives a rich and classic sound, for an ‘ vintage audiophile’ crowd as well. I have huge respect for both new and old music, pop and anti-pop, etc., and I think this comes through on my mixes/masters: dense, clean and shimmering high-end, solid modern low end, wide stereo field, well-organized mid-range, dynamic, and moving. My clients also love that I can get my Masters super loud without it becoming crushed and slammed. My bass lines bring the extra touch of melodic and root level support, with interesting and fun grooves that shine out, but don't take away or distract from the song and artist.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First, I have a great conversation with the artist, going over all the details we both need to get started, and so I can give them the best service possible. I’ll listen to their song a few times, take notes, and then listen to their old material and/or their mentioned favorite artists. With the sonic goal fresh in my mind, then I’ll drop the given files into ProTools and start on a good initial level balance of the mix. After that, I’ll start EQ’ing, making all parts blend naturally and harmoniously. Next comes any compression/gates necessary (I am very aware of over-compression problems, but can also push for a slammed track if you want that hyped sound.) Finally, I’ll add on any other coloration desired, effects such as delay. reverbs, phasers, flangers, choruses, distortions, etc. I also do a lot of automations to build natural gain dynamics, panning, and natural flow of the various effects. After I finish the first Mix, typically in 1-3 days (depending on the complexity) I will then send you the results. You will give me feedback for any revisions you want, and I will quickly go back for a few changes, and send another Mix version. We repeat this until it is done! Right now, I am offering up to 10 revisions as necessary, at no extra cost to you. But typically among many engineers, it is an extra few past the 3rd revision. I find for most of my own projects and other mixers, that 2-7 revisions is where the final mix is found. Some need it, some don’t. Mastering: Essentially the same process at its root. Same effort to understand the artist’s goal for the music’s sound. After clearly defining the goal, I pop the tracks into Izotope RX7 to clean up any hidden noises or artifacts. After clean-up, I start with Limiting, then EQ, Comp, Colorations, Imaging, Tape, etc. Each Master is a very custom job, and I always do my best to make each song in an EP/Album sound like the fit together very well, even if there are several mixers/producers on the project. Besides the obvious sonic job, I am critical on creating the best transition spaces between each track, and work with the artist to find the best spacings for the entire record’s flow. If it’s just a single track, then we’re good! Bass: Play along with the song 2-3 times until I land on a groove I like and get the song under my skin. Then I’ll record a sample bass line of the basic groove. I’ll then go though the song a few more times to create nice unique fills to ornament specific sections. Rinse and repeat till it’s done. I record my bass both through DI and my Ampeg SVT amp w/ a few mics. After recording, I’ll do any mixing or editing needed, and finally sending it over to you for comments!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I’m mostly in the box now, but I find this workflow far more successful, fast, accurate, and easy to make quick revisions to your mixes. I have a billion high quality plugins from Universal Audio, Plugin Alliance, Izotope, Acoustica, Slate, Soundtoys, Kazrog, Waves, Antares Autotune, Melodyne, Vocalign, Slate Drum Trigger, Native Instruments, and more. Here I have some of the best re-creations of classic analog gear, and many mind-bending futuristics sounds as well. I am finding that even the best of the best old-school analog mix engineers are switching to “in-the box” with plugins because they are so much faster, reliable, and not to mention, nearly identical in tone to the originals. Win/win situation!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Mixers: Dave Fridmann, Mike Dean, Nigel Godrich, Sean Slade, Manny Maroquin, Alex Tumay, Tony Visconti, Any Wallace, Tom-Lorde Alge, Michael Brauer, Sean Everett, Andrew Schepps. Mastering: Mandy Parnell, Glenn Schick, Bob Ludwig, Joe Laporta, Mike Dean, Greg Calbi, Jonathan Wyner. Bass: Paul McCartney, Pino Palladino, Flea, Larry Graham, Prince, James Jamerson, Bootsy Collins, MonoNeon, Thundercat, Les Claypool, Geddy Lee, Jack Casady.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing, mastering, producing, and session bass. A lot of mixing and mastering these days. Clients will send their stems for me to mix/master, and I give it my best, fairly straightforward. But, I really like spending time and effort to getting to know the artist as a person and creator, their tastes in music, and overall aesthetic direction for the project as a whole. (Usually this is a phone call, zoom video call, meet-in-person, or simply an e-mail convo.) This human-to-human time and info really helps me get inside of their dream, and helps push it to light. I like listening to their old material and favorite artists I’m order to really grasp their “vibe”. Mixing/Mastering is a SERVICE, for the client, and it is my job to cater to their vision. The closer I can get with the artist and their desires for the music, the happier the outcome will be for everybody! Yet, when called for, I also like to get creative in my role as an engineer, trying out new possibilities that may not have happened in the production (vocal effects, reverbs, delays, flangers, etc.) I always run these ideas by the artist/producer, and get their feeling on it before committing. Every job is a custom fit!