6x Award Winning Producer & Mixer. #1 on iTunes, 2018 Billboard Radio Top 20. Internationally renowned Audio Educator, Mentor, and specializes in working with dynamic powerful singers. When you are ready to take your career to the next level, Dr. Ford can deliver music competitive with the industry greats.
Located in a private Studio suite at the world-famous Sound Kitchen in Franklin TN, Dr. Ford is a master Producer and Mixer. Specializing in strong, powerful vocalists, he is known for his "lyrical mixing" strategies, and the ability to take a good record and make it great. Endorsed by some of the top companies in Pro-Audio, Dr. Ford's private studio hosts a collection of "tier 1" equipment, in a beautifully treated room, guaranteeing that your music will translate perfectly to the world stage.
Dr. Ford got his start DJ'ing during the infamous 90's San Francisco Rave scene, moving to Los Angeles to learn the art of recording, and earning several degrees in Music from Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA. He then studied under Industry giants Ronnie King (Mariah Carey / Tupac Shakur / Snoop Dogg / Dr. Dre), and Jack Joseph Puig (Sheryl Crow / Counting Crows / Goo Goo Dolls / John Mayer / Black Crows / Weezer / U2) and honed his skills, becoming a true Artist in the studio.
"My passion is to help people achieve their dreams through music creation. When an Artist comes into my
care, whether for a day or a year, my job is to honor the song, and achieve a sound that is competitive
with Major Label releases, allowing my clients the opportunity to succeed in a global market... and chase their
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10 ReviewsEndorse Dr. Ford
Daniel Ford is a sensational mixer, producer, and person. He is an artist himself - passionate about his clients and every project he touches. As a drummer and keyboardist who has worked in almost every genre, he is comfortable in any studio situation and brings that broad base of knowledge and experience to all that he does.
I’ve done 5 songs with Dan and will continue to work with him on all future projects! He’s not only an amazing producer but an efficient and very talented engineer. He’s extremely professional, easy to work with and delivers the best quality in a timely manner. I can’t recommend him enough!
I have had the opportunity to work with Daniel whilst recording my first album. I right away noticed that I was working with a pro whose intentions were truly to help me get the best of my vocals each and every time. I would recommend this fella in a heartbeat. If you're looking for someone with a great ear, look no further!!
I got the opportunity to work with Dan on both of my solo projects. He is truly the absolute best to have spearheading the lab. His ear is ridiculous and he makes sure to get the best performance possible from each session. We currently have a Top 20 Billboard radio single out that Dan produced. I highly recommend him!
Dan is an absolutely pleasure to work with. His ear is impeccable, his ability to connect with the artist's vision is spot on, and he gives excellent communication throughout the process!
I am always equally honored and humbled to work with Dr. Ford on my music projects. His passion and quest for continued knowledge of all things music makes him one of the best in the business. Your dreams as an artist quickly becomes his dreams for you. It is always a pleasure working with him and watching the process of making music come to life.
What can I say about this gentleman? If you have talent, he’ll manifest your sound into something more amazing than you thought possible..and if you don’t, he’ll make you sound like you do lol. Dream it up and he’ll make it happen. It’s what he does.
I have worked with Dan on commercial and personal projects. He’s straight up amazing. He helped create a unique sound for me. Heck...He made a dream come true.
Dr. Ford is one of the coolest people on the planet! He's also very talented and really knows his stuff when it comes to mixing and producing. We've worked together many times and he always delivers a perfect result.
I have worked with so many producers, and there is no one else I would trust at this point to be at the helm of the ship with me other then Dr. Ford. He is able to listen to exactly what you want to create and turn it into something musical, current, and unique to you. I have never referred an artist to him that has not come back raving about their time with him.
Interview with Dr. Ford
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Right now, (January / February 2018) I have a song in the Billboard Radio Top 20 (Neilsen Soundscan) which I Produced and Mixed. The Artist is Phillip Brandon (Lion King / Trans-Siberian Orchestra), and his Mom is singing the backgrounds vocals. I love Phillip's rich Baritone timbre, he was a joy to work with, and it was really fun having his Mom come in to sing... she was an original "Ray-lette"!!!! (Ray Charles BGV's)
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am currently working on an Adele / Sam Smith type EP for a female client, full of lyrically dark / deep / meaningful content. Mostly Piano ballads. Also, I am producing a 12-Song Pop / Country Album for a powerhouse female vocalist, and in between have been contracted by a Publisher to make modern Funk / Pop songs for a TV / Film catalog.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I work with several great songwriters, top-liners, and musicians on Soundbetter, and can gladly give referrals when appropriate.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: My studio is both Analog and Digital, because I want the best of both worlds, but none of the hours of "recall". I have set up my studio with the best analog gear available (and I continue to expand my collection), but have the flexibility of digital and the ability to switch between songs on the fly.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will treat you with respect, and never talk down to you. I've worked very hard (especially during vocal production) to refine my communication method in a way that keeps a Singer in a good mood, loose, relaxed, and comfortable being vulnerable around me. In this modern time and political climate, I promise to never put someone in a situation that could be uncomfortable, and I strive to create a "safe space" for my clients.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Making my clients happy and proud to work with me.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: Can I attend the session and watch? A: Attended sessions are more expensive, because of several reasons. Mostly, because having some's questions and opinions during a very personal process slows everything down. Production obviously requires the Artist and Producer to create together, but during the "Post Production" and Mixing phases, I prefer to be alone. This allows me to get into a "flow state" where I can truly concentrate. Also, my tolerance for listening to half a second of audio on constant loop while massaging the sounds is incredibly high. Most session attendee's cannot listen to .5 second of audio for more than a few passes, and that can hinder the process. Also, I have a picture in my head of where we are headed, and the journey there sonically may be confusing for someone not in my shoes. Often times the puzzle does not come together until the final minutes of a mix, and that can also be very confusing for a client. It is for this reason, that I do not deliver "progress update mixes", and instead my first deliverable will be the first version I feel is worth listening to and could be used commercially. 99% of the time, an Artist will have changes, and that is totally acceptable. Once I have done all the hard work, making "tweaks" is fairly easy and quick.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception about what we do is that it's easy, and that people can get a professional and competitive album from bedroom studio. I spent my formidable years battling against the imperfect listening spaces I was forced to work in because of the limitations of acoustics and sub-par speakers. In the end, I doubled down on acoustic treatments, saved up and bought the right equipment, and travelled across the globe in search of knowledge on how to create competitive music. The secrets I learned from the Masters I studied under were spiritual in nature, and go far beyond the basics of EQ and compression. It's about how you deliver emotional connection, and creating a link between a speaker cone and the audience's soul. It's not easy, and I have spent more than half my life learning how to do it. Having come this far, I realize I may work my entire life trying to master this craft, but what a fun life it will be helping my clients achieve their dreams.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask prospective clients dozens of questions, designed to get an Artist to open up about what matters, so that I can laser focus on the target we set together, meet and exceed expectations, and deliver music that you can be proud of.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I am a premium service provider, in a premium location, on premium gear. When you chose to hire me, you are getting 20 years of experience, where I beat my head against the wall trying to figure out how to deliver a truly professional sound. I am more expensive than most people on Soundbetter, but less expensive than paying someone cheap the first time, and then hiring a Pro to "save the record" when the discount service provider was not capable of satisfying you. Choose to hire me because you want top quality, and understand the value in doing it right the first time. In exchange, I treat my clients like gold, and am here to help in any way possible.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My best mic, my best mic pre-amp, my computer (loaded with the best software), a guitar, and a keyboard.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started DJ'ing in the 90's rave scene in San Francisco, opening for the famous DJ's of the era in Oakland warehouse parties. From there, I studied under masters of the craft "paying my dues", until I was finally in a position to open my own studio.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Top 20 Billboard across all genres. I focus on modern, cutting edge sonics, and staying ahead of the trends when creating backing tracks.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I love working with power-house singers. Right now I dream about Producing music for Queens of modern music, in all genres... from Pop stars like Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, and Halsey, across the board to Country stars like Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Cam. I love working with strong Male singers as well, and would happily produce for Neo, Usher, Tyrese... Blake Shelton, Eric Church, and the Zac Brown Band. I am musically eclectic, but I love big singers who make me feel, cheer, scream, and cry.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: A Singer is the most delicate instrument in the studio. It is the only instrument directly tied to the human body, and therefore can be easily effected by stress, emotion, muscle soreness, and mood. When a Guitar goes out of tune, it's the string. When a Vocal goes out of tune, it's a human. In the end, people often don't notice how great a Snare drum sounds, but they always focus on the vocal, the lyrics, and the emotional connection of the music.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop / Country / EDM / Rock / RnB
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Helping Artist's realize their potential, and then creating a sound that is internationally competitive.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My heart, soul, and the care of an experienced veteran. My job is to figure out how to take your music, and make it the greatest version of itself. Sometimes this means editing, sometimes it means recording, but it always means honoring the Artist, the songwriting, and delivering the finished product on time, in a professional manner.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It all starts with coffee. For Production, I spent a fair amount of time with my Artist figuring out exactly what they want, and discovering what matters to them sonically and emotionally. Once we agree on a direction, it's either songwriting, or jumping right into track creation. Depending on the style, we bring in session musicians, or sequence. Once the arrangement is done, and the vocals have been recorded, it's time to do the mix. I employ a special process I have developed called "lyrical mixing", a technique I teach worldwide in seminars and master classes. This has to do with discovering the emotion behind the lyrics, and figuring out how to connect the listener to the sound in the record, while still making the record globally competitive. This process has won me 6 awards, gone #1 on iTunes, and now a Top 20 Billboard Radio spot. When the mixing is done, I partner with one of several professional Mastering Engineers to finish the project and make sure it will be fantastic.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a Tier-1 Studio setup. Most of my gear is "Dangerous" but these easiest way to describe it is a Digital / Analog Hybrid "stem mastering" rig specialized to make competitive mixes. My gear is in a phenomenal sounding room, beautifully treated acoustically, and near perfect translation.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Dr. Dre, Max Martin, Ken Lewis, JJP, Manny Marroquin, Michael Brauer, Dave Cobb, Dave Pensado, Pharrell, J. Dilla, BattleCat... the list is so long, I could sit here all day naming the greats of our industry who deserve their names read aloud. I am inspired by talent, drive, honesty and integrity.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Top down Production and Mixing. I take custom orders from Publishers and Labels, can do Sound-a-likes or brand new arrangements. Clients who come to me chose me because they want a sound competitive to the current Billboard Hot-100 in Pop / Country / Urban / Dance / RnB.