Daniel has been in the music industry for 10 years. He has worked with some of the industries leading GRAMMY-winning producers including Mark Ellis (U2), Ben Hillier (Blur, Depeche Mode), Danton Supple (Coldplay) and recently worked with 11 times GRAMMY winner John Legend.
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Interview with Daniel Holsinger
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My biggest inspirations in the mixing world is Michael Brauer. I have spent years talking to him and learning his techniques and have my own ITB mixing to compliment this. Other guys who I truly admire are Tchad Blake, Manny Marroquin, Greg Wells and Mick Guzauski.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My favourite has to be the John Legend project. It is yet to be released!!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am working on a production for an artist who reached out wanting to make an EP. We haven't finished but he already wants to make more! I'm blessed.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Honestly, I haven't checked maybe I will update this when I find them.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Analog for recording and digital for everything in between. We live in such a fantastic time where everyone has the ability to express themselves it would be possible without both mediums.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I care what happens to your music. It doesn't matter if it's a label or an indie artist. I want you to always succeed.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the people I get to work with. We are always having fun.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: Can I do this or that in a song? A: If it feels good, do it!!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People think we do magic. They think we have and use every piece of hardware or plugin under the sun. We don't we listen and then we make small adjustments to help bring your music to life.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I always ask about emotion. For me, that's the most important part of the music.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Look for someone who is looking for the little guy to win. (That's me.) I know how hard you are working to get where you're trying to go. I am still doing it myself.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Some weatherproof speakers (this is a desert island, there are going to be storms, right?) A device with a subscription to Tidal to play music. Seriously it would have to be my speakers still, and my computer. I don't need anything else.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out playing the trumpet in a jazz band. I quickly moved to an orchestra and played in some fantastic venues. A highlight was performing in the Royal Albert Hall. Eventually, I found my way into a studio and fell in love. I felt completely at home. I have been in one ever since.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Organic and emotional (you might be seeing a trend).
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Living = Everyone Dead = Queen
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Always strive for emotion in your music. Not perfection. Often the imperfections are the devices that encourage emotion. When you look back on songs, you love, and you ask why do I like that song? It is always because it makes you feel a certain way. I'm looking to help your listeners respond to your music in the same way. That's why my clients love working with me. Because I help people feel the music, the way you feel about it.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I work on everything. I love working on pop production to indie alt-punk stuff. Music is music. It is all about how it makes you feel.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Getting your music to stand out.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring the knowledge and skills to take your mix to the next level. You will stand out to your peers. I know how to guide the song as you intended and bring an emotional connection to the listener. They will love it so much they will have it on repeat.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For me, the first part of the process is a phone call or email. Communication is key to a fantastic mix. I want to know how you felt when you wrote the song. What emotion are you trying to get across to the listener, and how can we emphasize that feeling? After we have nailed down the nuances to the song, I get to work. I ask for Wet and Dry Stems (if possible). I always start with the Wet stems. You have spent a long time working on the sound of your record, and there is no reason for me to have an ego and try to change what works already. If I think I can improve, then I will, but if it sounds good, already there is no need. I have no ego about what I do. This isn't about what reverb or fx I can add, for me it's all about the emotion of the song. If there is an issue, I will check the dry stems to see if the issue can be fixed, if not I jump on the phone and will occasionally ask for a new bounce. I never rush the process, and I am never worried about time. I work until it's finished. Some mixes take a day some take 3. I don't send you the song until I am confident that the mix represents what you are after, and then I keep working until you are 100% satisfied and happy.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I am completely ITB these days. I could imagine life any other way.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I love to mix and master. I have found over the years I have a much better talent for these two skills and have spent the last 5 of 15 years honing in on these.