Mixing engineer - Producer - Immersive Audio
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Interview with Martin Muscatello
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Last album I produce was "100%" by Olivia Viggiano. I love how that turned out. I played most of the guitars, which I loved doing, and also got to write some arrangements for strings in a couple of songs.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently wrapping up the first immersive music album in Latin America. Also I'm mixing some songs remotely, for local and from abroad clients.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes! Andrés Mayo, best mastering engineer, hands down.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both, yes, both is good. I'll take the best of both worlds.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I do what I love for living. Can't match that.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Aside for "how much", they will ask "do you like the song?", "can you make it sound this way?", "do you also master?". In every case, I will always answer honestly, I prefer to say what I really think and not have to face an unnecessary problem afterwards.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Anything can be fixed in the next stage.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's your project about, music style, band formation, where are you from, what stage are you currently at?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen to material that said provider has worked on, ask for a brief call to get to know them, make sure you two share a somewhat common taste in music.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Sony handheld recorder, my laptop, my monitors, my headphones, and a flashlight.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I worked on a big SSL studio for eight years, first as a runner, but later recording, mixing and whatnot. Later I traveled to LA to share some studio time with some fellow producers, learning. For the last five years I've been recording, mixing, producing, and also teaching in the music school where I studied. On a parallel path I've been researching and producing immersive audio, beta testing software and trying different approaches to 360 audio mixing.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would let other do that for me...
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Phoebe Ryan, cause she's awesome. Taylor Swift, cause she's awesome. Billie Eilish, cause she's awesome. Mark Knopfler, cause that guy can tell story, alright?
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Leave your pride at the door when you come in the studio.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, rock and folk, mostly.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think mixing is the thing that I have done the most, and that's why I think I can do a great job mixing a song. But producing is something that feel quite natural to me, so I would say my stronger skill lays between those two.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I try to make a clear path for the message that the artist is trying to send. In that spirit, I do my best to deliver sounds that will create an emotion that matches the tone of the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start by making sure I won't be interrupted every five minutes, so as to keep in the mood of the song. I make sure to take as many breaks as needed in order not to lose my focus and accuracy. Technically speaking, I try to do all the routing and preparation before actually beginning to mix, so I don't have to stop to do any big changes that will cut the flow.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I mix through a Rupert Neve mixer, surrounded by a nice selection of analog processors. My monitors are Adam A77X with a matching sub. The whole room sounds beautifully balanced to my taste. I use Pro Tools as my main software. My interface is an Antelope Orion32+. The studio features a vast collection of guitar a bass pedals that I seldom integrate into mixes with the help of a Radial box. There is a big live room with an isolated smaller room, both equipped with a bunch of guitar and bass amps. Is one of those places where you don't want to leave.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Chuck Ainlay and his link to folk music sound has always been a reference to me. Also Serban Ghenea, of course, for his unmatched sound in pop music. Humberto Gatica has definitely opened my years and my understanding of the connection that a producer establishes with the artist.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mostly mix. I enjoy that stage, because it lets me play around with the elements and give a twist to the song in terms of sound. I also love producing, since it lets me take part of the whole process and interact with all the different aspects of the song, and the people involved.