Looking for a modern mix which speaks to the emotions of your listeners? Yes, then look no-further. My mixes are designed to not just sound good, but to feel good, mixes that resonate with the subconscious human psyche and have a long lasting impact on the listeners.
Mixing engineers have a unique ability that allows them to identify the problems in your music and how they can be improved. Without such a skillset is can be difficult, frustrating and time-consuming to attempt mixing yourself, especially when you have lost all objectivity. My passion is improving the sound of your music. I help clients by elevating their music to the next level, turning lifeless boring mixes, into mixes with style, character and personality. I enjoy this challenge and work tirelessly to achieve mixes that are exciting and memorable.
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Interview with Billy Tough
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Right now, 21 pilots. without a doubt. go listen to 'jumpsuit' and you'll see why.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Experimentation is the only way you will become unique. At some point you have to stop watching youtube amateurs.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Finding and bringing out the emotional characteristics of a song. This can mainly be done in the production phase of creating a song but I just try to emphasise those characteristics for maximum impact on the listener.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I strive to create mixes that are emotional. Mixes that appeal to the listeners subconscious. I want my listeners to feel the music not just listen.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run my studio from my apartment in Oslo. My studio space is purpose built with great natural acoustics for a balanced frequency response. I run Logic pro x from my iMac with an UA Apollo duet interface and Yamaha HS7 monitors. I also have a pair of Adam A5X monitors and a surround Sonos system for wireless referencing. I own too many audio plugins of which I only use 20% of. I have a very simple set up but my equipment is familiar and trustworthy. The simplicity of my studio helps me to focus on whats important, it allows me to work quickly and efficiently without distraction. Clients are welcome to visit.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: There are so many great mixing engineers out there, but if I was pushed to choose, they would definitely be Michael Brauer (Coldplay, Elle King) and Jaquire King (James Bay, Kings of Leon). Oh, can't forget Tchad Blake (Artic Monkees, Sheryl Crow) either. These guys are the leading engineers in my opinion and ones I measure my own mixes against.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing work is the most common type of work I do. I only wear the one hat and I am good at wearing that hat. I can do simple mastering but I believe each profession is a lifetimes work of dedication and I wouldn't presume to be a good mastering engineer. I leave that to the professionals. I also do a lot of track editing, it seems these days thats part of the mixing engineers job.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. listen to Artic Monkeys 'R u mine' and tell me you can't get a great mix in the box.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise I will put 110% effort into the mix.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: When I get to work on great music. There is nothing better than pulling up the faders and realising you have a gem of a song in front of you. Its also great when a client likes and appreciates the work you have done for them.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Believing that the mixing engineer wants to make production decisions for you. As a mixing engineer we have a million and one decisions to make, We dont want to have to make extra decisions that should have been made in the production process. For example when an artist send 5 bass tracks because they can't make a decision as to which is best. The less tracks we have the better. It makes our job easier. I suggest that if you have a high track count, be decisive and get it down to 48 tracks. 48 is a manageable size for a mixing engineer.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: 1) Describe the sound you want? I feel its important to find the words that best describe the sound you want. for example, warm, clear, punchy, close, dynamic, impactful. This gives me a better understanding of the clients expectations. 2) Who do you want the mix to sound like, Give my bands/songs? By asking this question Im really trying to find a direction to take the music in. I can then research particular songs by the same artist and use that as my compass. Obviously it won't sound exactly the same but we can get in a similar space.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I am not the most experienced engineer in the business, far from it actually. But I have extreme energy, creativity and desire to provide great mixes for my clients. I would say give someone like me a shot. I will happily provide you with a test mix.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1) Suntan lotion, 2) walkman, 3) Oasis (WTSMG) cassette, 4) speedo 5) and a whistle (why not)
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style of mixing depends on the type of music in front of me. For example I will approach an acoustic song completely different to and EDM song. Its just about making the right decisions for a particular song. I will often ask my clients to provide a reference track to give me a sense of direction, and this will often guide my sense of style.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, singer-song writer, rock, Indie, EDM.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Once I have agreed to mix a project and received the audio files from a client, I begin the project asap. I will email the client when I start the project and give them an estimation on how long the process will take. This may differ depending on the track count, but it will usually take a day and a half. If the client has a time budget, I can get a mix done easily in a day, but if not I like to keep hold of the tracks a little longer just so I can listen with refreshed ears. I may contact the client in-between if I am unsure of certain details about the song, but I generally lock myself away for the mix duration, Although Clients are definitely welcome to contact me anytime. Once the first draft is finished I will send the mix to the client for evaluation, at this point If the client would like me to make changes, I will happily do so. I offer up to three revisions on a mix, but I am a true perfectionist so really, I will work with the client as long as it takes. I want my clients to be brutally honest about my service and say when they are not happy.