Guaranteed Top 40/Radio ready Mixes/Masters. Specializing in Pop & Urban. 11 yrs experience. LA Based. Miami raised. Currently a freelance audio engineer/mixer working with Warner Music/Atlantic Records, Sony/RCA, Universal/Capital Records, Pulse Music Group, & TEN Music Group.
I've decided to extend my services to the SoundBetter community. Offering Radio/Top 40 quality mixes/masters for a fraction of the cost of some of the most sought-after engineers in Pop music today.
Since moving to LA in 2015, I've been fortunate enough to have worked with some of the top songwriters, producers, artists, engineers, A&R's & publishers in today's music. From this, I've acquired a versatile taste in music, editing/mixing techniques, and simply how high you must set the bar in this day and age of music consumption.
I try to approach every mix/master from an audience/fan standpoint and make sure that I'm feeling something special from the song or enhancing the intended feeling if it's not already there. I treat demo mixes very seriously since usually, it tells me how you intended your song to "feel". I will also reference with any song(s) provided by you or choose from songs that have a similar feel/sound, all while giving you your own sound.
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
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Interview with Ryan Summer
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Recently got flown to Brussels, Belgium to mix AND master an album for this artist, Hamza, who's signed to Warner Music France. It was my first time in Europe, so that alone was pretty cool. I was there for 2 weeks and mixed about 19 songs. I think I mixed 2 songs a day at one point, and then the last 2 days, I did the final mastering. It was probably one of the most fun projects i've worked on in a while cause I was able to really get creative with effects and give the whole album a certain vibe. Aside from that, him and his team are like family now so there were just good vibes all around. Definitely greatful for them to put their trust in me and have me be a part of finishing the album.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would describe my mixing style as edgy but clean. My mastering style is more about sheen and being leveled but dynamic, and of course LOUD, without pumping or sounding distorted.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing and mastering. Sometimes, i'll get hired for vocal production sessions if i'm available.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Guitar, some type of woodwind instrument to soothe the mood, my Herman Miller Aaron Chair, my sample hard drive and laptop (in case there eventually becomes electricity on the island) LOL. Now, without taking this question too literal and assuming there was electricity; My laptop, headphones, Apollo Twin, a microphone and again, my Herman Miller Aaron chair.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mastering 4 records for a female pop/r&b artist for her EP.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Aside from myself lol, my man Keith Ross in Miami is also the real deal!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog for sonics and Digital for technicalities. You CAN'T easily achieve that warm, silky high end in the digital realm. You CAN clean up a sound and recall more efficiently in the digital realm.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to treat you and your songs with as much respect and open-mindedness as I would any other song by any other artist, signed or unsigned. I promise to deliver a final product that you are more than satisfied with. I promise to make something work with whatever you give me. I promise that I'm not overpromising by saying these things.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being able to make something/someone sound 10x better than what I started with. Which in return makes the client happy and I get to build a new business relationship.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: "What kind of mic and interface was this recorded with?". This plays a huge part in how efficient or time-consuming a mix may be. If vocals were recorded on a $300 mic with a $150 interface, I'm probably going to be doing more "fixing" rather than mixing. If it was recorded with a decent mic/pre amp, or if you just get an overall good sound, then we should be good.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Communication is key. I like to nail the mix/master in one shot. Tell me everything you can about your vision of your material, expectations, and if you have a reference song in particular that you'd like your's to stand up next to.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: You mean when I was in High School lol? I didn't have a career path then besides making money by being a home-based barber. Once I found my niche in music in or around July 2008, I made the decision to run with this as a career and never look back. It just fit and felt right. I remember knowing how to sing harmonies to songs when I was like 7 years old but had no clue what a harmony was. At around 10 or 12, I would play with the 808 kit on a Casio keyboard my mom got me, and play the same patterns as Juvenile's "In My Life" lol, along with other hip-hop songs that were out. I also was very mechanically inclined with computers around the same age and would be able to take my whole PC apart to clean it or reinstall the whole operating system. It's crazy that I've been doing this for a decade now.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with The Weekend and Bruno Mars to see their creative process, as well as and some of the other upcoming talent who write their own songs/melodies. But to be honest, a lot of the time, it's the songwriters and top-liners who are the ones that are inspiring to watch and work with. The way they pull these timeless melodies out of thin air is magical.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: One music production tip? I would say to not overthink something. Some of the best, most authentic sounding songs are made within minutes! If it doesn't come natural, then it may just end up feeling forced. Also, I STRONGLY believe in, "less is more". If you can make something sound special with one or two sounds, then you won't have to add in a bunch of other distracting elements to make up for something not sounding interesting enough.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop. Radio stuff. Mostly singers (male or female). Sometimes it's just acoustic guitar or piano and one vocal, other times it's a full arrangement with stacks of vocal backgrounds and harmonies.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill would probably be mixing vocals or "fixing" vocals. From owning my own commercial recording studio in Miami, FL, I would mix records that were recorded in the worst possible environments or equipment, and make them sound expensive. Afterall, I wanted to make sure my bills would CONTINUE to be paid. In addition to just vocals, I'm a producer as well, so the sounds/drum samples, arrangement, and transitions are paid close attention to as well. I can easily find something in my continuously-updated sample library to add to the production or play something new if there are any missing elements. This is usually not something I do too often unless the people I work with give me that creative freedom and are willing to pay a little more or give me a split of the song.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Making it sound expensive. That's really the best way to describe what I aim to deliver. Why would anyone pay to have something sound cheap? Aside from the sonic quality aspect, I bring my taste, a professionally trained ear, and my creative decisions (unless I'm instructed otherwise).
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Make sure to eat breakfast, drink coffee, objectively listen to the rough mix with a few different perspectives, then TACKLE the mix with everything I have in my soul. I like to start immediately after listening to the demo since my ears are unbiased and I know exactly how I want things to sound.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a semi-acoustically treated room (but one that I know very well), with Yamaha HS8s being my main monitors, Avantone mixcubes for getting low end audible on cell phones, bluetooth speakers, etc. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO headphones, and the trusty old Apple earbuds along with my iPhone and Bluetooth speaker to reference on. For interfaces, I'm using my UAD Apollo Twin Duo MKII with my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) with the highest specs, Running Pro Tools 11.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Creative ones! Ones who think outside the box and set the bar higher.