If you check out my website you will see that I have worked with a very wide variety of genres including but not limited to; jazz, rumba, gospel, indie, blues, rock, and heavy metal. I thoroughly enjoy working with any genre. To me every project is a chance to showcase my skills while also learning something new.
Studio Rates can be found on my website.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. So in the summer of 2013 I began taking classes at The Art Institute of Washington to earn my Bachelors Degree in Sound Engineering. During my time at AIW I had the opportunity to work on numerous projects including: recording and mixing bands, doing audio for video, and voice over work. I can gladly say I obtained my Bachelors Degree in September of 2017. Since it is almost impossible to get a full time studio job fresh out of college I am currently searching for a job in the A/V field. After interning at Cue Recording Studios in Falls Church they have given me the opportunity to freelance out of their studios. Now it's time to build up my clientele until I can make the jump to full time recording engineer.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
Interview with Darreion
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Towards the end of my tenure at AIW I had the opportunity to work with a really solid metal band. The goal was to use the song for my final portfolio class. We had a good sized studio session booked. Which allowed us to be very tedious and test mic placements. A few days later I presented the raw, unmixed session to one of my professors. This professor ALWAYS had some kind of critique or smart remark to make. Understandably because he's pushing us to be the best we can be. After listening to it he said, "It has potential. Mix it and bring it back next week." So I spent roughly 6hrs mixing it in the studio on campus and brought it back the following week. He listened to it and was like, "Don't f*****g touch it. It sounds great." To me it was awesome because he hadn't coached me along with little critiques and tips to get the song to where it was. I had done everything on my own, and he approved.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Finalizing a bunch of projects from school that I never full finished. That way I can put them up on my website.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I have a few colleagues in the area, but I am unsure if they are on here.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: When it comes to recording or mixing? When it comes to recording I wish I knew how to record onto analog tape. Just for the experience. The knowing our roots and where we came from. Unfortunately I don't know how to......yet. I only know how to record digitally. When it comes to mixing I love using outboard gear. I get really nerdy when it comes to being hands on and actually turning the knobs. I don't always have the outboard gear at my disposal though. So I largely use plug-ins.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That they won't walk away unhappy with their product.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The music itself. The process of mixing. The creativeness of it. How there are guidelines, but so set way to do anything. Allowing for experimentation. Which allows you to find your own personal sound. The people. I'm a huge people person, but I relate to artist and musicians so much easier than the common public.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long I've been doing this? Am I a musician? What's why favorite genre to work with? Then sometimes they will ask a bunch of technical questions. Which I don't mind at all. I just answer them to the best of my ability.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That all I do is push buttons, and that everything happens extremely quick.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Have they recorded in a studio before? Are they fully prepared? Ive had people change up the song multiple times during a session.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Good question haha Like do mic bundles count as just one? Anyway I know a U87, distressor, API 512c, and Neve 5052 would be amongst the list.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've always been really into music. Been playing instruments for over 12yrs. When I graduated high school I finally decided I wanted to work in a studio. So I enrolled in classes and within 2weeks after graduating I was in college. So in total I have about 4yrs of experience. 4yrs of very fast paced experience.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I try and steer away from overmixing. I feel it takes away from the "humanness" of it.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Popular artists across all genres. I believe that I would learn far more from that that I would limiting myself to one genre.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be scared to experiment. If it sounds good who cares if how you got there is unorthodox?
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Anything with live instruments. Live instruments is where I feel most comfortable. However; I have recorded many an electronic instrument as well such as electronic drums, keys, and other things of that nature.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being able to adapt to any genre pretty quickly. I'm also very good with people. So when it comes to working with the artist to find the sound we're driving to achieve there will be no nervousness or shyness when it comes to the artist making suggestions, and vice versa.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A good understanding of where everything should lie within the mix.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Discuss what's being recorded in as much detail as possible days before the session even begins. This allows me to create a Pro Tools session and have it ready when the client walks through the door. It also gives me a chance to listen to reference track in case I am not very familiar with the sound the artist(s) is going for. When we begin I will make sure the artist(s) is as comfortable as he or she can be. Then make sure their headphone mixes are dialed in to ensure the best possible performance. Once we have recorded all that we need, maybe even more just for good meassure, I'll bring the artist(s) into the control room and begin mixing.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My home studio is very basic for now, and so I'm largely freelancing out of a credible local studio.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Far to many musicians to list. I'm inspired by engineers such as; Chris Lord Alge, Bob Rock, Bob Clearmountain, Butch Vig, Rick Ruben, and Andrew Scheps.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recording them in a studio. Giving them a rough mix with what time we may have left, and then doing a more final mix either at home or back in the studio.