I love to run analog as much as possible, but not too shabby with everything digital either. Best of both worlds.
Recording studio, mixing, mastering, and session bassist. Studio has a multitude of small format multi-track tape decks with plenty of mojo, a heavily modded Yamaha m1516 console, radar audio converters, quested monitors, a homemade plate reverb, tons of cool outboard with germanium transistors, tubes, and iron transformers.
Average pro tools selection on plugins, with common waves plugs, along with their Steven slate counterparts. Lexicon pcm native reverbs.
Also I am a session bassist. I have an jazz bass as my main electric and a good chinese upright that has been shored up to get rid of all the common bad things in China basses. It's set up more for americana, blues, and getting slappy.
I have over 10 years experience in both studio and live sound, and a degree from SUNY fredonia in upstate NY. I was lucky enough to be able to study under Dave Fridmann, and he has been a major influence in me constantly trying to push myself as an engineer.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Kyle Wierzba
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Sam Hadfield's project. It was the first project that I have done to completion on 8 track, with all my own gear, where we did not dump it to digital, or dump it to another machine, and did more than one song in that manner.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. They both have their merits. I lean toward analog right now a lot more since its better for my creativity and overall happiness.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to make you make your vibe shine through.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working with people creatively.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My upright bass. What the fuck will I do with an 1176 or a Neve preamp with no electricity or people to record?
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I played guitar all throughout high school and had an experience in the recording studio near the end of high school. I fell in love with it. I went to SUNY Fredonia in upstate New York. Studied classical guitar in order to apply for the Sound Recording Technology program there. I got in. Studied under some incredible teachers, including Dave Fridmann. Graduated with an Interdisciplinary Degree combining the SRT program with the Music Business program. I got out of school, went home to Buffalo,NY, where I worked in a studio for 6.5 years. I also worked random live sound gigs, and eventually landed at the Sportsmen's Tavern, a landmark stop on the Americana circuit. I got to mix so many of my favorite artists that I grew up listening to, and discovered a plethora more. I moved to Nashville in fall of 2013 to work on a record with an old college friend. I kind of lost my way playing music in Buffalo, and did not play very much. Moving to Nashville has inspired me to pick up instruments again, and I have fallen in love with playing bass since I have moved.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Whiskey at the end of hard days, beers at dinner.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Trick question. I probably have not met my favorite artist to work with yet. Even if I did, I would still have a newer, cooler project down the road to be excited about, and I would be a better engineer at that time because of all the things I learned on this current cool project.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Quit looking at a screen, start using your ears.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Anything with a live group of musicians playing. I work on all styles of music that has live performers on the other end.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is the ability to be flexible. I try to find the right gear for instrument/vocal. I don't worry too much if something isn't working. I will find another way, quickly, to get the right vibe.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring the ability for the artist to add their input into a song at mix. If they are looking for certain tones, colors, crazy effects, I can be the liaison between their creative mind and the actual gear. I also have a really strong desire to get the right vibe, to me that is of utmost importance during recording and mixing. Vibe trumps perfection.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My process for mixing is that I get the mix to where I think it needs to be. Everything is working together. Then I usually need input from the artist. I am pretty forgiving on "Revisions" if they are adding to the overall creativity of the mix. I don't think I have ever done a mix that I really enjoy without the artist bringing something major to the table during the mix phase. Really, that is my favorite part of working analog. It forces people to all have to get into the same room and work together. When I mix remotely, or with digital, it is much easier to send send off mixes for the artist to listen to, and then we collaborate either over the phone or with Skype to be able to add to the track what they feel is missing. Then modify, do it again. I really don't consider the process revisions until we have the songs sit for a day or two and then make minor tweaks. If we are tracking a record, then it really depends on what workflow makes sense at the time. I am pretty comfortable modifying my workflow in order to accommodate an artist's needs. I don't think I have had a typical session in years. I'd like to keep it that way.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: A heavily modified Yamaha M1516 console paired with the best of things about tape, analog gear, and digital capabilities.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Dave Fridmann, Glyn Johns, Dave Cobb, Jacquire King, George Martin, Geoff Emerick, Al Kooper, Duck Dunn, Steve Cropper, David Briggs, John Entwhistle.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I do quite a bit of mixing for people. They send me their tracks and I edit, mix, and create a great final product. I also do a lot of remote recording. I have been known to pack my studio up into my truck, drive across the country and make a record in a space that the artist feels really comfortable in. Its partially the reason I ended up in Nashville.