Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
Roger Sanchez's Another Chance. I played guitar and bass on the song and it went to #1 on the pop charts around the world and sold over a million copies. That was an amazing thing to be a part of. And Roger gave me the opportunity to remix it and released my version as the b-side to the 12" in France. Amazing.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently mixing Hip Hop artist Malachi's upcoming album as well as producing and engineering an up and coming young R & B singers new EP. More details to follow!
Analog or digital and why?
Digital. There are many reasons. I worked with analog gear for many years. On SSL J series consoles, vintage modular synths, Multitrack Tape machines, samplers, expensive outboard gear, etc. Yes they sound amazing. But they also break down and require maintainance and you can lose days if not weeks of time when something vital breaks. Digital is portable, sessions are instantly recallable, workflow is easier in my opinion and that far outweighs what little bit of sonic character I maybe losing in the box. Plus my electric bill Thanks me.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
That I will work with them on their project until it meets their expectations.
What do you like most about your job?
That it's always different, I get to hear lots of music, and I love playing with sound.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
"When will it be done!" To which I say "soon! "
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That a mix is going to save a subpar song, performance, or recording and transform it into a classic.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
How can I help you? Lol pretty basic. I also ask them what they expect from the project and for reference songs whose sound they like or have specific elements they want incorporated into their mix.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Pay attention to the feeling you're getting off of the person you are speaking too. Are they listening to you or are they rushing you and telling you to just send the tracks? If the person doesn't feel "right" then you shouldn't hire them.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A Computer loaded with Reaper, a pair of LSR305s, a good condenser mic, A Fat Strat guitar and a midi keyboard.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started as a guitarist playing in metal and punk bands as a teen. then I bought a Fostex 4 track and a Shure SM57 and started recording demos, Rock, 60s type stuff, Metal, New Wave, anything i liked. loved that 4 track. I learned alot about bouncing tracks and pre mixing, micing amps, the basics. I really loved the engineering part as much as the writing and performing so I got a job at Soundworks as an assistant and stayed there about two years. At that time I was really into electronic music, Kraftwerk, House Music, Dub Reggae and I got the itch to to make records and so I left the studio and concentrated on producing House Music that was infused with the synths of Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder and used what I learned in Soundworks to record and mix my own releases. I released 12"s here in the US and in Europe and at the same time did alot of session work playing guitar and bass on alot of records and still engineering for other people at the same time. Then I noticed that mixing was my favorite part of the process and what I looked forward to doing more than any other part of the job. And that's when I decided to focus on mixing mainly and that's Where I am!
How would you describe your style?
That's not something I can put into descriptive terms. My style is the culmination of every record I've ever loved or hated.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I want to work with artists that are dedicated to their work and are willing to put the work and time in to achieve something memorable and not something transient. Period.
Can you share one music production tip?
Get it right at the tracking stage, take the time and care to get great performances and great tones because no amount of mixing can remedy Poor performance and poor sound. Work on your arrangements! Arrangements can make or break a song.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I love alot of music and so I mix alot of music. Metal, Hip Hop, EDM, Rock, Indie, Jazz, but my first love first and foremost is Rock and Metal. It just holds a special place in my heart.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill is trusting my instinct. That if it feels right and feels good then it is good. And that if it doesn't feel good to trust that and start over.
What do you bring to a song?
I think what any good mix engineer brings to a song is their taste. Technical know how is a means to an end, it gives you the ability to translate what's in your mind into the outside world.
What's your typical work process?
First thing I do is talk with the client about the song(s) after I've had a chance to listen to the rough mixes and get a feel for what they want. After we've decided on the approach, I just bring up the multitracks do a quick balance and listen for about an hour or so. This gives me a chance to learn the song, the parts, the dynamics and transitions, and also if there's anything jarring that needs fixing or to be finessed. After that I fix whatever issues the tracks may have and maintainence work, phase issues, tuning issues if the client wants the vocal tuned, odd resonances, am I gonna need samples, things like that. That can take anywhere from an hour to 4 hours depending on the tracks. After that its all instinct really and I mix based on what I'm feeling from the song. Usually a mix takes 2 to three days, that's with revisions that may need to be done and tweaks that the client may want.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Jason Corsaro is the engineer who made me want to do this. I absolutely love his work. An absolute giant to me. David Bianco is another whose work I love. Andy Wallace's work with Rick Rubin. Bob Clearmountain, Alan Myerson, Andy Sneap, Colin Richardson, Bob Power, Conny Plank, Daniel Lanois, Mike Shipley, Bob Rock, Randy Staub, Hugh Padgham, Steve Lillywhite, Nick Launay, Alex Perialas, and so many more.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I work ITB. My DAW of choice is Reaper, I just love this program. I use Waves and Soundtoys plugins mostly and the PSP Lexicon PCM42 delay. I find they can get me where I want to be in a mix. I monitor thru LSR305s mainly along with ns10s, KRK Rockit 8s and a few desktop speakers to test how it sounds on a smaller set of speakers. I record thru the Steinberg UR22 interface and find it suitable, without any artifacts or loss of quality. I use an Oxygen 8 for keyboard parts and have an extensive library of sounds and samples that I've collected over the years For which I use Kontakt 5.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
What I do mostly is mixing. But if the client sends me something and they feel it needs some more fleshing out or some help with the arrangement or they want some live guitar or bass then I may add some instruments, change the arrangement to better play to the songs strengths while being as transparent as possible and we go back and forth with that until they feel it's working great. First And foremost we talk at length about what they are looking for the end result to be and then we work towards that. If they want their rough mix enhanced then that's what we work toward, if they want something more radical and give me carte blanche then we can experiment with the interpretation of the song and the mix.