I eat, sleep, and breathe music; making a song sound the best that it can is my specialty.
My name is Peyton and I'm a 21 year old audio engineer from Bristol, TN. I just graduated from college with a degree in audio engineering and a technical certificate in sound and lighting, you know, if you care about any of that stuff. I got my start in music over 10 years ago when I started playing piano, then guitar, then drums. I'm now a drummer in a rock band called American Dropouts and I sing and play almost every normal instrument (no crazy orchestral stuff.) I started recording drums about 6 years ago when I figured out YouTube covers were a thing and I've been majorly into recording drums ever since. I started diving into mixing and mastering specifically 2 years ago, and now I'm an engineer at a local recording studio called Steele Creek Studios and I mostly mix and master there, however I do track some when bands come in. My specialties are rock, metal, pop, and I do some rap every once in a while. I do some work at my home studio as well, as you can see in the picture on my profile, but most of the serious work I do is in the studio. I mix mostly ITB, with the exception of some buss compression and eq at the studio. I'm looking forward to working on your next piece of music!
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Interview with Peyton B. Helm
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People never really understand mixing. Like they know what an equalizer is but that’s about it. The biggest misconception i see is thinking that it’s easy and anybody can do it. While yes it’s not that hard, and yes anybody can do it, it takes years and years of constant work to just develop an ear for what sounds good.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen to our work. Two mixing engineers can make the same song sound completely different, so choose the one who’s mixes sound like you want yours to sound.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would chop my left leg off to be able to work with a band like Alter Bridge. That's mainly because they're my favorite band ever.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Never settle. That's how mediocrity is bred. Always strive to make your music as perfect for you as you can.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Heavy Rock and Pop. Every once in a while I'll do some metal and Rap, but it's mostly either Rock and Pop or singer-songwriter stuff, which I kinda just consider Pop at this point.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: In general, knowing what sounds good and what doesn't, and how to achieve that. In mixing specifically, it's being able to make drums sound huge and punchy without replacing them with samples.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I've always viewed mixing as getting the pieces to a puzzle and finding a way to make them fit into one cohesive picture together. That's what I focus on. When I'm mixing I'm constantly focused on how I can serve the song.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work mainly out of Steele Creek Recording Studios. It has a very nice control room and an absolutely beautiful live room. I would attach pictures but the place is undergoing some pretty big renovations to make it more visually appealing, as well as sound a lot better. I mix mostly in the box, but we have an outboard ssl style buss compressor by Stam Audio I like to use as well as a Distressor. Other than that, we use everything plugin wise from Waves and Slate Digital to Fabfilter and McDSP.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I take my mixing influence heavily from Taylor Larson, Adam "Nolly" Getgood, and Michael Baskette, because they have done some of my favorite records and their sound for rock and metal is amazing. (Tremonti, Alter Bridge, Periphery, new Asking Alexandria album)
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of the work I do is mixing and mastering. Typically someone else will record a song and once they get it the way they want it they send it to me to make all the puzzle pieces fit together nicely.