Peter Drake

Old Guy Who Knows His Job

starstarstarstarstar
7 Reviews
Peter Drake on SoundBetter

I have been producing various genres of music since the days of 2" tape and giant recording studios. I have produced records that have done well on commercial radio and actually sold in stores. Most importantly, the recordings I have produced have helped artists sound better and advance their careers.

I started working in NYC in the early 80's with such Jazz clients as Gil Evans and Ornette Coleman. I later progressed to producing jazz and then crossover records. My interests shifted to vocal music, especially R&B and pop.I also produced Brazilian pop and Afro-World Beat albums. Many of the vocalists I've recorded felt they made the vocal of their lives with me. I was a producer first; I started to learn engineering years ago when a) I built my own studio, b) recording budgets shrank and I had to do more myself, c) my long-time engineer died, and d) I found I had an aptitude for it. I'm not a "bedroom producer;" I learned my job during the era in NYC when commercial studios were more viable and worked in many of the "name studios" such as Electric Lady, RPM, Skyline, etc. Most of my Jazz work was done at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in NJ. I have a real console, real monitors, real microphones, real outboard gear, plus the latest iteration of Logic and way too many plugins. (I also have one of the few Studio Vision Pro systems left on Earth.) I'm 30 minutes from NYC via mass transit.

I'm also not a big-deal producer guy :) I know what it's like to have some success, but also to see artists get kicked in the teeth by the record industry. I know what it's like to love music and the work you are doing and I understand artists' dreams and concerns. I will make you sound better.

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

Reviews (7)

Endorse Peter Drake
  1. Review by Sakinah Iman
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Peter Drake is nothing short of genius! The first time I went in the studio with Peter, his breadth of knowledge blew me away. The layers of singing very softly here, strong belts here, but only whispers here, and using fun sounds with my teeth as a percussive instrumentation there, like Wow! The final product always came out sounding EPIC. Just listen, the mastery speaks for itself.

  2. Review by Eddie stockley
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Wow peter drake.. Right up there with mariah carey and the lyrics that can change lives. I am pleasured to have worked with him thru the years and shared a plethora of talented people with him. He deserves evey award there is. 30 years and i have never had an arguement, nor fight over ideas. He has always trusted me and I will continue to trust his work!!!!!

  3. Review by NyaLi Music
    starstarstarstarstar

    In my experience being produced by Peter, I have felt nothing but comfortable, taken care of, and regarded as an equal - despite the fact that he possesses a lifetime more experience and knowledge than me in the industry. Definitely an underrated gem that I would work with again, no second thoughts.

  4. Review by Kalim smith
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Hey I’m an artist an I go by the name smitty. I’ve worked with peter drake about 2 Years ago. Working with him was one of the best experiences I’ve had in the world of music. Peter is very professional, hard working, an dedicated to making sure that his sound is like no other. Ultimately he is a phenomenal producer an song writer who I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again.

  5. Review by Shaun Purefoy
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    One of the best experiences a person could ever have, with recording music, is working with Peter Drake. He's a phenomenal songwriter and producer and knows exactly how to get what he wants out of the artist. He's hellbent on making things perfect and takes the time to do so. He's all about the music and doesn't waste time making crap. He's considerate of the artists and takes good care of them.

  6. Review by Luis Cooper
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    We have worked with Peter Drake and for almost 4 years I have to say that it has been an important pillar in my career. It is very difficult to find the professionalism, ethics and enthusiasm that Peter prints in each production with each song. Totally recommended

  7. Review by Bernadette O'Reilly
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Peter Drake is one of the finest R & B songwriter producers in the business. His gift lies in intricate, seamless song structure, meaningful, thoughtful and clever lyric writing and excellent music production with an emphasis on getting the best vocal that is humanly possible. Love him!!!

Interview with Peter Drake

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

  2. A: Q:How long have you been doing this? (trying to guess my age) A: I'm old enough to have seen Led Zeppelin in 1972.

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

  4. A: My first professional recording session was in 1976. I started as a musician/band leader, became an arranger and worked up to being a producer in the classic sense. As I said in my profile, I learned engineering out of necessity and became very good at it.

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

  6. A: For production, I usually listen to the artist's work or demos beforehand, make notes, then meet with them to discuss their needs. I think it's very important to earn an artist's trust, so that they can feel free to be emotionally open in the studio to try to make art, not "product." For mixing, I ask that the artist send me their "rough" mixes along with the files, because often artists have very good ideas for their mixes that just need some technical help. In all instances, there is a lot of communication back and forth. I respect opinions and feedback from my clients. We are working together to make something great.

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

  8. A: That I only work with African-American artists. Also, I am funnier than I appear.

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

  10. A: Sakinah Iman's debut ep was released in January. I produced the lead single, Waiting tables, as well as 2 of the other 4 songs. The video has 160k views, and Sakinah's career is happening.

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

  12. A: Developing an artist with whom I have signed a production deal. Sonic and technical upgrades to the studio. Writing. Getting better at what I do.

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

  14. A: NyaLI music. Enya Lim is a great singer. I have only been with soundbetter for a week. It was Enya who told me about soundbetter.

  15. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  16. A: Once the signal hits the converters, it stays digital until it hits the listener's speakers. I'm from the era of 2" 16-track tape. It sounded great. It was a pain. It was expensive. It shed. Editing 2" tape was not for the faint-of-heart. I don't miss it. One of the most obnoxious sounds known to man is the sound of 2 24-track machines trying to find sync after rewinding for yet another pass at a mix. I think the flexibility of digital far outweighs any golden-eared advantage of analog tape.

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

  18. A: I will listen to you, as well as your music. You will sound better. You will sound like you. I will be honest with you. Some of my ideas will suck - we'll erase them.

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

  20. A: Working with artists. Mixing. Learning new things from every project.

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

  22. A: What are your dreams? I don't ask who they want to sound like. I want them to sound like themselves.

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

  24. A: Go with your heart. Listen more, read less. What matters is what comes out of the speakers.

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

  26. A: A radio transmitter, water-filtration system, means of making fire, sunscreen, my wife. Music is extremely important; staying alive is more so.

  27. Q: How would you describe your style?

  28. A: Classic production in which the artist and the song are paramount, not the producer's "style." If I do my job right, I should disappear and the artist should shine.

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

  30. A: I think my material would suit Adele.

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

  32. A: Don't look at the computer screen when mixing. Listen with your ears, not your eyes.

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

  34. A: R&B, soul, pop, jazz

  35. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  36. A: Getting great vocals, seeing the big picture of a song or project and bringing it to completion.

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

  38. A: The experience and perspective of having done this since 1976.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I use a 96-input Yamaha DM2000 digital console, Meyer HD-1 monitors, classic outboard gear and microphones. The room was analyzed by Sam Berkow. I mainly record and mix using Logic LPX. I also use Melodyne, Drumagog, Autotune, and almost all of the UAD plugins. My most important tools are my ears and experience.

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

  42. A: I always liked Arif Mardin's attitude. When asked about his production style, he said "I go with the artist."

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

  44. A: Record production, mixing, co-writing, artist development

loading
play_arrowpause
skip_previous
skip_next
I'LL KEEP THE RAIN

I was the writer/producer/engineer/mixer in this production

Terms Of Service

I listed some flat rates, but I think I'd need to know more about your project in order to give you a fair price. I understand independent artists' budgets. I'll work with you.

Gear Highlights
  • 2 ears
  • 1 heart
  • enough experience to know that it's not the gear
  • it's the talent.
More Photos
More Samples
SoundBetter Deal

I produced this song on Sakinah's recently-released record: https://youtu.be/sNX4wrnmhSI