Hi dear fellow Music and Sound-Lovers. I am new on SoundBetter and open to dive in! My name is Neil and I am a swiss based Musician and Engineer. I blend Art and technology. Let's get straight to the core of what I can do for you: - Stereo/Mono Mixing - 360° Virtual Reality Mixing - Tracking guitars in any genre -
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with Neil Raouf
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: For those who wanna know my college degree: BSc in Media Engineering (major TV production). But what's MUCH MORE IMPORTANT is what I learned by LIVING: I started out as a 15 year old teenager practicing the guitar 10 hours a day. Without break. By age 18 I consciously practiced music in terms of rhythm, melody and harmony. At the Same time I started messing around seriously with finding 'my own voice'. Where to place my amp? Which effect/signal chain I want to go through? Which playing technique supports with FQ ragne? Ten years later, at age of 25 (we're talking 2011) I brought myslelf the best computer I could get, installed Logic and went berserk with it. The concepts of having EVERYTHING I need to produce and post produce on my laptop really shook my world. Shortly after that I started writing sound tracks and doing sound designs for small adverstising movies. So I was syncing music and sounds to motion pictures. Through that I started working with camera operators, animation designers, fotographers etc. I am still learning a lot from other multimedia creatives no matter the genre. Today I am involved into a lot of audio production for VR (Virtual Reality) projects.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Very listening based. I try to transform every sonic information that is presentet to my visually into a auditive experience. No matter if it's music theroy or a compression ratio. I want to HEAR it not only to see it.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Pat Metheny. Because he's the man. Over and out. I would have loved to have mixed one of Allan Holdsworth' (RIP) albums.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: In gerneral: learn as much as you can about MUSIC and SOUND. In a working situation: Be creative. Be focussed. Be more focussed. Take a break. Repeat.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: All sorts of. One day it is a guitar riff. The other day it is a curch organ and the next day it is a side chain of an EDM track.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I have a over average knowledge about music and soundand everything that comes along with it in general. By that I mean about its history, about vorious styles from the vienna classic area to dubstep. I have an excellent knowledge about music theroy, rhythm theory, notation, arrangment and composition. The best thing is that I can really hear and feel all that. So I not only know what a 'F7b9/13'-chord is in theory but can instantly name it by just hearing it. This knowledge is a UNSTOPPABLE advantage when it comes down to mixing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am both a musician and an engineer. So I never do one thing without having the other in mind. If I track a guitar riff I never do it only do it as a musician. The engineer inside me helps me to think about my signal chain, my gating, my routing etc. It is the exact same thing when it comes down being an engineer. I walways approch it as musical as possible.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Every project is different. So at some point there is always something very unique that represents it. But basically this is what I do when I Mix. PRE DAW: 1. Listening, listening, listening. 2. Digest what I just listened to. 3. Import the Session into my DAW. Either into a template or start from scratch into a complete blank session. Depends. DAW: 1. Organizing what I just imported (Grouping, Bussing, VCA etc). 2. Listening, listening, listening. 3. Leveling everything also unsing the Busses and VCAs. Without any fancy stuff. Just leveling the tracks until they fit. 4. EQing: Just listening where i want to cut, notch etc. 5. Leveling everything again. 6. Panning. Which track needs it and in which way? 7. Compression. Which track needs it and in which way? 8. Repeating numbers 2. to 6. 9. Adding FX sends. 10. Eager to know the customers feedback about my first steps. AFTER CUSTOMER FEEDBACK: Repeat the DAW steps...
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work in a homestudio environment composed out of as less hardware and gear as possible (Check my profile picture). My monitors, interface, drumpad, guitars and MIDI-Keys build the core of the hardware setup. DAWs: REAPER 5.51, ProTools 12.4 HD, Logic Pro X 10.3.2.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Basically too many to mention... Alive: Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Hans Zimmer, Deadmau5 But also Ludwig van Beethoven, Anton Bruckner, Maurice Ravel... I love the music of Allan Holdsworth (RIP). I think in 200 years people will talk about him like they do nowadays about Beethoven...
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: A lot of producton and mixing in the Virtual Reality-Area (Binaural, 3D reponsive Audio). But I also have many years of experience in mixing the Audio for Web content. During my carrer
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: All my self composed and produced soundtracks. I did and still do EVERYTHING.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mixing a Stoner Rock band. Mixing a VR project.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I am NEW on SoundBetter and don't know anyone yet (October 2017).
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. Because that's how I grew up and that's how I started. PLUS: Never had the money for a analog Neve console, a collection of 30 vintage tube amps and the real estate to put it. I prefer to have a DAW and software based solutions.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being creative and technically proficient at the same time.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: 1. This is a teamwork. So be a team member. We are only as good as we work together.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: - Where do you come from? - Where do you live? - How are you? - How much money? then... - Any reference mixes? - What do you imagine your project to be in the end? - How much time?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be accurate and precise in what you want me to do. Be fair. Be on time. Be reliable......and: Enjoy!