Smallfish Recordings

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7 Reviews (7 Verified)
Smallfish Recordings on SoundBetter

If you are recording Folk, Indie, Rock or Prog and want a mixing and/or mastering Engineer who will work hard to deliver the best possible impact for your music, Smallfish Recordings is here for you. I focus on building a great working relationship with the Artist, built on trust.

There's a whole bunch of equipment here and a carefully calibrated listening enviromnent, but what really matters is the end result. It's also important that the artist has the opportunity to engage in the process, building confidence that their creations are in good hands. Working online requires really personal attention and a sense of real engagement before the artist will trust the studio.

This is why I only charge when you are truly happy - until you've heard your material translated by an independent Engineer, you can have no confidence that you have made the right committment. (Note that there is a minimum charge of $20 through this platform, so we'll have to suck that up!)

Take the first step now at no risk. It's a passion, not just a business.

For lots of audio examples, client lists and details of what I can offer, visit the smallfishrecordings website.

And please just ask if you have any questions at all. Let's chat!

Send me a note through the contact button above.

7 Reviews - 1 Repeat Client

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  1. Review by Ryan D.
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    As a novice mixer I really needed some help getting my mix sounding better. I basically needed a pro to take things over! Jon was great from the start. Explained everything clearly and just "got" the sound I was trying to get straight away. Great communication and a great mix at the end of it! Thanks

  2. Review by Bav
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    Smallfish Recordings, Jon, did excellent work on my project, happy to explain things and to make revisions until i was happy with the final product. Highly recommend.

  3. Review by Drifting S.
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    Smallfish Recordings did a fabulous job, and delivered a very professional and warm mix and master for our upcoming album. Kudos to Jon for his positive attitude and his amazing patience, even when we were giving him a hard time! When next record is ready to mix, we will definitely keep in touch with him, thanks again!

  4. Review by Jimmy W.
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    Thank you Smallfish Recordings!
    You've done an amazing job on this song for a very affordable price. Im super happy it turned out this good. It feels like a boost of confidence and energy working with you on the rest of the songs for the EP.

  5. Review by Zach K.
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    Jon was a pleasure to work with. I'm very satisfied with the song!

  6. Review by david n.
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    I had a great experience working with Jon and Small Fish Studio. Jon was patient and really worked hard to making my music sound great in mixing and mastering it. He listened and addressed my concerns tweaking and performing revisions. I'll be working with Jon again.

  7. Review by Filippo c.
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    Great comunication ! ( and great sound!)
    I find a professional studio that really helped me with my tracks.
    I really hope to work again with smallfish recording.

Interview with Smallfish Recordings

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

  2. A: Mixing - 60%, Mastering 40%. Sometimes both of course. Many of my clients are fairly early stage in their careers so need a lot of guidance and coaching through the process. Happily, this is something I really enjoy doing.

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

  4. A: I grew up listening to jazz and country, then moved onto rock and more progressive artists. I have always been a bit obsessive about production and the whole studio process. I'd have to be to put in the crazy hours sometimes required!

  5. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  6. A: I have an analogue/digital hybrid studio specifically designed for mixing and mastering with a lot of work having gone into acoustic treatment. Workflow can be very fast like this but also retains the option to incorporate analogue flavour through a gorgeous Focusrite desk.

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

  8. A: The client shares their digital audio either as stereo files for mixing, or individual audio tracks for mixing. If you are working in Logic or Garageband, I can take the project files directly. I prefer using Dropbox to share files but all the major platforms can be used. I always work closely with the client in the development of mixes to ensure the vision they have is aligned with the results. I will always try to add my own input and advice in terms of style and presentation. Working with me, you will feel very closely involved even though you are not here in the studio.

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

  10. A: With many year's experience in music, I bring the skillset to work very quickly to a great result, even if there are a lot of challenges in the source material. There are very few issues that I haven't figured out how to deal with effectively. For me, music is all about emotional responses, so that's what I'm always focusing on.

  11. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  12. A: Taking even poorly recorded material and giving it the kind of polish that regulary provides "WOW!" moments from clients. Communicating frequently with clients to include them in the process to ensure a result that we are all blown away with.

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

  14. A: I have had most work in the Progressive Rock and Metal genre. I love the technical and artistic challenges here that scare some engineers away! More recently, I've been producing indie bands on the Olive Grove record label as well as working with US clients in the Americana and electronic fields.

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

  16. A: Communication is key. I heave learned that technical skills are worth nothing if you can't build trust with artists. This is such an important service - handling people's hopes and dreams, as much as their music. Build a relationship, then build a record!

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

  18. A: I do enjoy wiorking in Progressive Rock because there is so much scope both technically and artistically. Rock more generally is fun, especially drum mixes which is probably my favourite aspect. Otherwise, I really get a kick out of working with early stage artists and leading them through the magic of the process.

  19. Q: How would you describe your style?

  20. A: Dynamic - I do not enjoy smashed mixes. I will always try to allow the expression in the music to come through transparently because that's where the emotional impact comes from. I do try to deliver scale and depth as far as possible. I love working with delay, reverb and modulation to add that 3 dimension. I have been described as "Boorishly Artistic" in reviews (I had to look it up too!)

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

  22. A: I enjoyed being a musician in my early years and became fascinated by the very earliest computer based platforms and midi systems in the 1990's. I have followed the development of the DAW from the very beginning and for all those years have been working independently in the area, with some live work at times.

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

  24. A: Laptop, AKG cans, iLok and a very long power lead. Beer. Is that gear?

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

  26. A: It can be a daunting and intimidating prospect going to a professional for the first time. I totally understand this and so my main advice is - just do it. I will make the whole experience fun, easy and exciting. All my clients come back for more, so soon become friends too.

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

  28. A: You want it when? :-) Seriously, I encourage clients to focus on the consistency of recording so that the mixing process can be optimised. For example - mic the drum kit exactly the same way each take! Otherwise I am always curious about the vision they have and will often ask for reference suggestions to help us land on the same page.

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

  30. A: The hourly rate is above legal minimum :-(

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

  32. A: Can you make Y sound like X. The answer is usually "it depends". Can you make it louder? - my least favourite question, so be prepared!

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

  34. A: I love solving problems and in a typical mix, these run into the thousands in terms of the many options and decision you can make. I get very excited when the true potential of the material begins to emerge and I know that the artist is going to have a huge smile on their face when they hear it.

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

  36. A: While there really isn't a "best" version of any artistic project, I always exceed expecations. It's why I do it.

  37. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  38. A: Both. Digital for speed and precision, analogue for feel and overall control. The lines are very blurry these days however, with a ton of excellent digital emulations, most of which I have at my fingertips.

  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: A metal project which was first conceived over 10 years ago - now almost ready to see the light of day. The label keep me supplied with multiple releases including the usual Christmas specials that always make the season fun for me.

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

  44. A: A prog rock band came to me with an early and much loved album that they wanted remastered. I offered to re-mix the record from scratch in order to really deliver on its potential. The reception from their fans was incredible and was both a relief and a buzz.

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Drifting Sun - Sampler

I was the Mixing and Mastering Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

$20 initial trial - mix and master. This is Soundbetter's minimum charge. Rates are negotiable and are based on projects, more than individual tracks. I always try to work within sensible budgets.

Gear Highlights
  • Unity Audio monitors in an acoustically treated studio
  • Focusrite analogue mixing/summing desk
  • MOTU converters
  • huge collection of top plugins
  • TC Electronic Powercore.
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