AES recording competition medalist, audio educator, mixer, and assistant to Grammy winning engineers.
Kyle Holland is a music producer, engineer, and mixer originally hailing from Chicago Illinois, now residing in Nashville Tennessee. Kyle's musical journey started at a young age while playing his grandmother's organ. Since then, Kyle's musical career has spanned from playing clarinet & trumpet, studying classical piano, and finally to playing guitar and writing music for many rock bands.
Kyle attended a Grammy winning high school where he studied music theory and was first introduced to music production technology. After writing music and performing for a variety of rock bands, Kyle decided to move to Nashville and attend Middle Tennessee State University to attain a degree in audio production. While attending MTSU, Kyle received many honors for his engineering work. He was as a member of MTSU's 2015 Mix team, served as an officer for the schools AES chapter, and was the VP of audio production for Omega Delta Psi, the leading music industry fraternity. He also received the gold medal at the AES international student recording competition in New York.
Now Kyle continues to produce, engineer, and mix local artists from the Nashville area while teaching courses at MTSU in digital audio technology.
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Interview with Kyle Holland
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Neither is better or worse. They are different mediums and ways of working. Analog has a workflow and vibe that for some people helps them achieve a certain aesthetic. At the same time, digital today has gotten quite good, even at emulating the sounds of famous analog gear. Today's technology leaves very little sonic different in my opinion between the two. It merely boils down to personal preference and workflow.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Like most producer/engineers I started out as a musician. I took piano lessons, played clarinet and trumpet in the school band, and took music theory courses in high school. While in high school I purchased a guitar and began playing and writing music in various rock bands. Up through college I continued to play and go in and out of the studio with various rock bands before I got the itch to try producing myself. I'd always thought it was cool but never really had the time or money to pursue it. After I graduated college I saved enough money to start investing in gear and learning how to record. After a few years of doing music production and audio as a hobby. I decided to move to Nashville and attend Middle Tennessee State University to get a bachelors and eventually my masters degree in audio engineering. I teach digital audio, assist other other engineers in town, install large format PA systems, and of course do my own freelance music production and mixing work..
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I feel I've always had a sensitive ear and a good sense for tone. I've always listened to music like a mixing engineer and always know how to make something sound good.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am passionate about all styles of music and have been involved with many of them in some capacity. This allows me to adapt to any given situation and bridge genres while avoiding pigeon holes.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: George Martin, Al Schmitt, Andrew Scheps, CLA, David Bendeth, Vance Powell, Mutt Lange, Dave Cobb, Alan Parsons, Joey Sturgis, Jimmuy Page, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, etc.....
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Let the song tell you what it wants and don't try and make the song something it's not.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Being able to assist on an Alison Krauss session was really cool and a great experience for me. All of the personnel involved were just brilliant and some of the best in the business at what they do. It was just really fun to watch it all happen.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mixing and mastering an album for a rock band from here in Nashville.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I always give 100% of my effort to every song and don't cut corners. I aspire to always deliver a high quality product and do everything I can to the best of my ability to enhance the song.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That not only do I get to work on music all day, but it provides me the opportunity to have a hand in all different kinds of music. I also like how audio engineering is the perfect blend of left and right brain thinking.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That mixing is merely adjusting volume levels.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Their influences for the project, what has been done already and what needs to be done, and what their overall vision is for the song. I want to know what you're hearing and what you think about it.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Do what's best for your music. Don't let money be the overall deciding factor in the decision you make regarding who you decide to work with. Choose the person you believe understands your project the most and overall does great work and provides great customer service.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: -Universal Audio Apollo -UAD plugins -U87 -ADAM A7X -Computer
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: The Foo Fighters because they are one of my favorite rock bands right now and they all seem like really cool dudes who have passion for the recording side of music.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I work on a variety of things. I've worked on rock, pop, hip hop, country, folk, jazz, EDM, and everything else in between. My favorites though are all types of rock (alt, country, metal, indie), pop, and electronic.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First, I like to to talk to the artist to get a sense of who they are and what their vision is for the song. Then I'll let the artist know what I bring to the table and what I hear. Once we've begun working, I'm always willing to share and try new ideas while always conceding to the artist and the vision they have for their music.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: These days I'm doing a lot more mixing and editing than I am producing. Many artists and producers come to me when they've hit a wall in order to sonically take things to the next level.