John "J-Hi" Hiler

Producer / Mixer / Writer

John "J-Hi" Hiler on SoundBetter

Maker of Music, Turner of Knobs, Clicker of Mice, Bender of Ears, Tickler of Ivories, Wearer of Hats, and Hearer of Voices. 29 years making records professionally. Specialties: writing, producing, mixing, engineering, programming, scoring, consulting

Classically-trained in Music Composition.

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Interview with John "J-Hi" Hiler

  1. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  2. A: Split evenly between Co-Writing Sessions, Producing, and Mixing. As a former label owner, I also do freelance consulting with artists on their careers.

  3. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  4. A: My inspiration comes mostly from within. Externally it's everyone from Bach to Flying Lotus. Quality is independent of the vessel.

  5. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  6. A: For production and co-writing I work mostly in commercial studios, but in my private studio I have a custom Hackintosh, a custom analog mixer, a 4 Terabyte sample library, and most plugins.

  7. Q: What's your typical work process?

  8. A: It varies depending on my role.

  9. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  10. A: Vision. I can hear the final result in my head before we begin. Expertise. Classical music training, a.k.a. over-qualified. Experience. 25 years of learning from the best in the business.

  11. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  12. A: Empathy.

  13. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  14. A: Pop, EDM, Rock, Alternative, Metal.

  15. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  16. A: Listen. Hear what is not said. High-pass the side-chains on your compressors.

  17. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  18. A: Anyone open to trying to make the music of tomorrow.

  19. Q: How would you describe your style?

  20. A: I am water. I do not show scars. I bend to will, but I am stronger than stone.

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. A: 26 years. Classical pianist, then Alpha MIDI idiot, then studio rat, engineer, mixer, remixer, then producer, composer. Self-employed for 23 years. Owned a couple labels eventually. An artist the entire time.

  23. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  24. A: My Hackintosh, MIDI controller, A/D/A converter, any decent condenser mic, and headphones.

  25. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  26. A: Don't hesitate. Do it now. You'll be glad you did.

  27. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  28. A: I want their whole story. The more I understand them – their life path, hopes, fears, dreams, goals – the better.

  29. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  30. A: I'm too expensive. You get what you pay for.

  31. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  32. A: What is your vision for the song/album/band/project? (Answer is classified.:-)

  33. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  34. A: Everything.

  35. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  36. A: I will finish on time, on budget, and I will blow your mind.

  37. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  38. A: Yes.

  39. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  40. A: No.

  41. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  42. A: Writing and co-writing pop songs, scoring a film, mixing a metal record, and scoring a commercial for TV.

  43. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  44. A: For all my projects I am a proud papa. I love them.

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