I started out as a musician and grew to have a passion for the creation process whether it's writing, recording, or mixing. Coming from a musical background and playing in bands I understand how it feels to hear your music come to life after a recording or mixing session. I want the people I work with to feel that same sense of accomplishment.
Mixing Engineer and Producer based out of Burbank, CA with a Bachelor's degree in Sound Recording Technology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell; currently employed by The Record Plant in Hollywood, CA. Over 10 years of experience playing in bands, writing and recording music, and mixing. Previously employed by Red13 Media in Framingham, MA where I worked with rock band Lansdowne as an assistant tracking/mixing engineer and numerous indie artists. Mixed local bands live on the radio for 4 years at 91.5 WUML for Live from the Fallout Shelter, Stress Factor, Left of the Dial, Blues Deluxe, and Almost Acoustic.
I am currently an assistant engineer at Record Plant Recording Studios in Hollywood where we strive for excellence in the recording and production of music.
Offering mixing and production services to those who need it!
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
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2 ReviewsEndorse James Keeley IV
James Keeley IV has been incredible to work with. I am so happy with our finished product and can't wait to start work on the next. James was so attentive to every detail, really understood what I wanted, and worked on my song with the same intent that I did. Perfect experience.
Jimmy Keeley simultaneously maintains a patience necessary for getting and adjusting a good performance, and an efficiency that swiftly processes an artist’s requests and returns meaningful revisions. As someone fairly new to tracking and mixing just from a musician’s standpoint, I could not have asked for better understanding during the recording process. My critiques and concerns never fell on deaf ears. Jimmy was very obliging in educating me on the steps he was taking along the way, as well as any random question about production I threw at him.
Interview with James Keeley IV
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Scotty Desmarais. Great person, great engineer, and has tons of experience.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. There are certain things you can't capture in the digital domain, but the flexibility of a digital setup allows work to get done faster, allows for fast mix revisions, and consistency
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise you'll be happy with your final product no matter how long it takes to get there.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the process and the reactions I get from clients when they really enjoy a mix or get surprised by a weird mix decision I made and end up loving it.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: A big misconception with mixing is that it is simply a technical job, but in reality it is both extremely technical and extremely creative when done professionally.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Who are some of your biggest musical influences? What's your favorite album or song? What music do you like that's come out recently? What do you know about mixing? How do you record your music?
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I played in bands from when I was 13 until now. I recorded a lot of the music I was making with the bands I played in. Nothing notable, but it was a great way to learn and I loved all the time I spent creating music. I decided to go to college for audio engineering. I majored in Sound Recording Technology at UMass Lowell and graduated with my Bachelor's degree in 2017. In college I worked as a live mix engineer at the college radio station 91.5 WUML. I mixed a lot of different music live on air for bands and singer/songwriters. Outside of the radio station and classes I played shows in a cover band and freelanced as a tracking/mixing engineer. After graduating I moved to Los Angeles and got hired by The Record Plant in Hollywood, CA and still work there today.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I was taught by a lot of older engineers when I was going to college. I learned how to record and mix on tape using a large format console and I loved that sound so much that I wanted to bring that sound to my mostly in-the-box mixing setup. I still use more modern techniques like M-S, Multiband, processing, but I like to use a lot digitally modeled classic gear. I like to use a lot of automation in my mixes to keep things interesting and changing as the song progresses. My mixes tend to highlight lyrics and the musical content itself without being too over-bearing or cheesy. Every song is different though and requires it's own unique approach.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be afraid to try new things. If it doesn't work out it's okay, but you never want to miss out on something that could turn out sounding incredible.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I mostly work on Indie music or with singer/songwriters. I've worked on rock, pop, metal, and classical music as well.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I feel like I have a balanced skill set in terms of mixing, but If I had to pick something I'd say, "musicality."
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As a former musician and producer I tend to have more musical mixes than most engineers. I have a good sense what instruments should be highlighted and mix to enhance the message of the music rather than show off my own skills. I'm also down to try new things and am constantly experimenting with new techniques at my home studio, which often leads to more interesting sounding mixes.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually like talking about the clients musical influences and about the sound they're going for before getting into mixing. Once I have a good idea what the client wants I'll start by organizing and cleaning up tracks for session preparation in Pro Tools 12 or Logic X. After everything is organized I'll start mixing and print a few versions of the mix until I'm happy with the results and send that first final mix to the client to hear their thoughts, ask if they want anything changed, and then go back to mixing if revisions are needed. Once the client is happy I usually send them the final mix and a pseudo-master of the mix.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I mix on a Pair of Yamaha HS8's and use a pair of AKG K701 headphones for reference. For an audio interface I have an Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt, which I'll often use to run audio through guitar pedals for cool effects. The room I work in is treated with acoustic foam and bass traps to help with accurate monitoring. I have tons of plugins from Waves, UAD, FabFilter, Slate Digital, McDSP, Metric Halo, Flux, and AudioThing
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: In terms of mixing I'm inspired a lot by Manny Marroquin, Ryan Hewitt, Tom and Chris Lord-Alge, who have mixed some of my favorite sounding albums from the early 2000's when I started really getting into music.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mostly work with artists as a mix engineer and producer offering creative feedback, and ultimately mixing their songs until they're completely satisfied. On occasion I have been asked to play or add additional instruments to productions to enhance the music after the initial recording.