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.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Ryan Summer
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog for sonics and Digital for precision. You CAN'T easily achieve those warm lows, smooth mids & 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.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: "What kind of mic/interface/pre-amp 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: 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 naturally, 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 & Urban. Top 40 stuff. Mostly singers & occasional rappers (male & female). Sometimes it's just acoustic guitar or piano and one vocal, other times it's a huge arrangement with 30+ instrument tracks & 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 get songs that were recorded poorly, 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: 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 reference monitors, Avantone mixcubes for checking low end on cell phones, bluetooth speakers, etc. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO headphones, Apple earbuds/Airpods Pro along with my iPhone and JBL as extra references. For interfaces, I'm using my UAD Apollo Twin X Quad with my MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019), 2.3 GHz i9, 32GBs RAM, Running Pro Tools 12.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing and mastering. I also get hired for vocal production sessions when i'm available.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Creative ones! Ones who think outside the box and set the bar higher.
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: 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: 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's your typical work process?
A: Make sure to eat breakfast, drink caffeine, listen to a few favorite reference tracks and then 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 what needs to be done.
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.