Recording/mixing Sound Engineer Audio Post-Producer Sound Designer/Electronic Music Composer (for films and advertisements)
My name is Christian Duka and I am a multi-skilled sound engineer, sound designer and music producer. I am currently based in London, constantly working with musicians, electronic music producers, AR/VR experience developers and everyone in need of high-end sound design and audio content.
I'm trained and professionally experienced to work in a variety of music environments. I'm especially passionated in mixing and mastering engineer as well as music production; while mixing i always try to add something new in all the projects i work in, to make them recognisable as something different to stand out among other records in the same genre.
My artistic side is related to music production, as I am a musician and electronic music producer. Having been in various bands and electronic music projects my abilities extends to all sorts of genres and tastes, still keeping an unique personal touch.
I am currently lecturing the Electronic Music Production course at SAE Institute in London and working as a freelance sound engineer/designer across UK and Europe.
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Interview with Christian Duka
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am mixing a trap album, working on releasing 4 records with my electronic music project, working with a Virtual Reality and an Augmented Reality company as a sound designer, teaching electronic music production and eventually sleep
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital technologies nowadays can easily recreate the sound of analogue machines, they are extremely more convenient in terms of budget and time consumption without making compromises on quality. Nonetheless I believe there is no objective answer to this question. Anyone born in the 80s or that has been exposed to analogue machines will find himself more comfortable with them, the same works with anyone which has been using digital technologies since the early beginnings. If a producer knows what he wants he will achieve what he needs with whatever tool he has (providing it is of professional quality). At the same time some tools are better than others for specific purposes, so to me the answer is BOTH. A smart combination of analogue and digital processors will bring forth the best of both worlds.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That I create sharable experiences
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I am a DJ
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make your musical intentions clear!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop, Ableton Push, Kemper Profiling Amp (a wonder of digital technology), my headphones and my audio interface. I don't really need anything more... I can plug my headphones into the sound interface and use it as a microphone!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: This has always been my career path since the age of 16. I started of recording local bands and creating music for local films and videogames. It has now been 6 years since then!
Q: How would you describe your style?
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Anyone that has a clear vision of what his music is about.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Only one? hhhmm... if a instrument sounds bad, make it sound even worse! The more work you put into making the sound uglier, the more it becomes PERSONAL and acquires IDENTITY, therefore becoming INTERESTING.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually work on electronic music but I have experience with classical music, grime, hip hop, metal, ambient, jazz, pop and experimental music
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Understanding the vision of the artists and conveying that across music.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Personality and Identity. My work is all about giving voice to the specific artistic nuances of the music makers, to make their pieces recognisable as such. I also bring quality, clarity and a feeling of immersion in the sound, to make the listening experience as active as possible.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When it comes to mixing, I usually I start my sessions ITB (in the box) using ultra-precise digital processors to clean the mix and create definition. I then move into the analogue realm to add colour to the individual elements and craft the 3rd dimension of sound using effects. The value of my work really is the complementary use of digital and analogue processing. I pay a great deal of attention to the stereo-field - the aim is to make the mix sound as wide as possible still being mono-compatible. I am also very careful in treating dynamics - to achieve this I use a great number of subtle compression together with parallel compression to bring forward the "body" of the sound. Speaking of Mastering my work is about maximising the good qualities of the mix and carefully taming possible elements of disturbance. I prefer to use digital processors for their precision except for one stage of compression and EQs to give a subtle amount of colour. When requested I pass the mix through analogue consoles to include their specific timbri characteristics.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio setup is a hybrid of analogue and digital technologies. I started my career championing digital processors as today they can very closely recreate the typical analogue sounds - nonetheless I still sum the various audio signals through the desk that most suits the project. Thanks to my occupation at SAE London I have access to the following desks: SSL Duality, SSL G+, Neve VR, AMS Neve Gemini. I also have access to a variety of compressors and analogue EQ built in the studios, as well as fx units such as the legendary lexicon 480L and many more.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Brian Eno, Rick Rubin
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am equally active as a mixing/mastering engineer and sound designer. The common type of work I deliver is mixing records, but I seldom contribute to the creation of new sounds to complement the records when asked.