Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
There have been many - probably 2 for different reasons
1. A charity 2 CD compilation of 27 artists who donated tracks (and Tommy Emmanuel recorded a track for) to raise money for Father Riley;s Youth off the Street and raise awareness of the issues facing disenfranchised youth in our cities (called Draw the Line). I am proud of this (as I am with a previous charity compilation I concepted) as it was for a cause, raised awareness and money - and get engagement with the music industry into the issue.
2. 3 years ago I had the chance to produce a 'good sized' budget album for a label producing one of the contestant in The Voice here in Australia (post contest). My role was producer with discretion - so taking the initial songs and arranging them to the finished piece positioning, organising and supervising the recording of all session musicians (from strings all the way through) and the singer, initial mixing then bringing in a mixing engineer to finish off the pieces and working with mastering.
I was proud of this project because not only did the end product fulfilled all expectations of all parties, the works had impact from the minimal with just voice and guitar to the big ballads - and I had control of all aspects (google Tim Moxey 'Still with Me') ... and Tim had a 4.5 octave voice that was a pleasure to record LOL.
What are you working on at the moment?
A few projects.
An ongoing project with a blues band - Scoring an orchestral piece to record in a month for a video sound track - Collaborating with 2 artists on developing their original songs into musical pieces that we will promote into the sync market - Mixing an online client's instrumental EP - Editing some voice overs for a client who is doing online meditations- and in pre-production for 2 singer song writers albums and the category winners singles in a local singing competition I do as a sponsorship each year (and composing some stuff for myself).
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Not in my areas. Have a session singer worked with from here, Tayla who would be good for people to use if needed.
Analog or digital and why?
Mainly in the box
But if 'live') then Analog to capture 'the' sound we are after' (unless creating parts using virtual instruments/samples or EDM of course) - then digital with a little analog at times in post - why? It suits me
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
That I will do whatever it takes to achieve the agreed result for their project
What do you like most about your job?
Music is my passion - and I get to do my job within my passion. I get to be a part of kernels of ideas being born and come to fruition/bloom into a finished product that often exceeds expectations.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
1. How much does it cost? And my answer is initially - it depends - based on complexity and answers to the above questions and others
2. How long will it take? Answer again depends on same things (complexity and project parameters)
3. How much of it can I do? Answer - as much as you like depending on if you can fulfill YOUR expectation of the end result of that part of the project. (eg. if you want to drum or have a friend do it - go for it, hopefully you/they are good drummers (or substitute guitar, souzaphone or whatever)
4. I can do it all myself cant I? Sure, if you can (follow on from the last question) Hiring a studio and a producer like me is only viable if it brings something different or better than what you can do yourself - if it doesn't, don't do it.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That it is easy.
That anyone can do it - in their bedroom these days without any training, experience and dont need a studio (sure 'some' can).....and then they wonder why they are not getting radio play/sales etc) -
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Again presuming more than just 'record a vocal for me .....
1. Deep down - why do you want to record? To capture ideas, a demo to get gigs, a commercial product to make $$ from? Or? - - and why/do you understand the implications of that?
2. Extent of the project (usually based on listening to rough demos) - minimal, expansive?
3. What can they bring to the table to facilitate that? ie instruments (them or friends etc) and so what needs to be sourced?
4. What role do they want to have and want me to have?
5. Time frame - any deadline that 'has' to be met?
6. Rough budget? And how can we make all that be achieved within that (or as close as possible, compromise so that the agreed result in the end is achievable and expectations are managed)
then on to the practical rest - which is individual project based
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Find someone who suits you, fits as you need to be comfortable working together when things need discussion - and someone who 'knows' your genre. The example I always give is - - no drummer I know can play all genres as good as they can others. a mainly rock drummer while he can hit the skins with swing, probably doesnt have all the inflections etc that a mainly jazz drummer has. Similarly while we can produce many styles there are variations and preferences.
Also Hiring a studio and a producer like me is only viable if it brings something different or better than what you can do yourself - if it doesn't, don't do it.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
OMGoodness thats a hard one.
An acoustic guitar, a microphone (probably my MiLab VIP 50), a computer & interface (so we are presuming power on this island LOL) - the rest I could work out ....... oh and a communication device LOL
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
been doing this for 40 years professionally - full time for the last 20 years.
Started as a performer (singer and guitarist, song writer) in rock and choirs (philamonia and a capella) then jazz - then moved more into production, helping people achieve their goals - and so moved into production - - and also became a mentor/music industry advisor (as my 'other' business when part time was marketing, management consultant)
How would you describe your style?
Personal and adaptable - willing to do 'what ever it takes' to achieve the agreed goal of a project and continue to have satisfied clients who return again the future
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Cant answer that - as every client brings experiences and learning/laughs/enjoyable moments from the unknown to the established. I have had just as much fun working with an unknown guitarist who played like John Butler, to a singer with a 4.5 octave voice, a blues band developing original songs, a hip hop rapper who tracked songs about important society issues, to scoring and recording a symphony orchestra - and much more.. This is my passion and all of it is exciting and I 'like to work with'.
Can you share one music production tip?
Really picture the end vision of the project - what (and why) it should sound like/look like .....then
a. capture all the recordings as close to the tones of each instrument as you can to achieve that at the source, and
b. stay focused to that end vision and dont get distracted along the way
What type of music do you usually work on?
Mmmmm that's a hard one. Simpler to say what I dont work on - which is very heavy/metal rock (esp with growls etc) and traditional rap where they don't speak to the rhythm of the beat. Basically anything in between from orchestral/choral to blues/folk bands to solo singer/songwriters
What's your strongest skill?
Helping clients achieve their goals/vision for a project - in whatever capacity that may be (advisory, full producer role, pre-production, arrangement, recording, mixing/post, or a combination)
What do you bring to a song?
40 years experience in a range of aspects of the industry, genres and feels, from classical to rock from solo, small band and a capella to orchestral. I suppose all that gives me the ability to both input 'what I am hearing' that may be different to their, picture the commercial end product (no mater how minimal or complex) and also problem solve when things get stuck. I also have the experience to bring that vision of the end product of the project to fruition (and the satisfied clients to prove that).
Of course it can also be just recording a vocal for an artist to send to another producer and ensuring the vocal is captured cleanly :-)
What's your typical work process?
Presuming more than just - 'can you record a vocal for me for someone else' type job .......
I really like to understand the client , their project and vision for the end result - so I ask questions and do a bit of back and forth (whether face to face or via email/skype etc).
Then I will sketch out a project flow path with all parameters. All of that will be in an email that is agreed to - so that we are all on the same page and expectations are managed.
Then I get to work - recording set up &/or hiring and running session musicians etc etc - checking in with the client as need (I am big on communication) depending on the project until completed.
Tell us about your studio setup.
When we moved to Rosebud 3 years ago we had found a property with an acre of gardens and a house that provided the atmosphere to be creative and work in. There was also an existing very large shed with concrete floor and weatherproof. On arrival I commissioned the architect and acoustician to design the production studio that suited me - and then experienced builders to create my space that is acoustically excellent and feels a 'right fit' - that is PavMusic's Production Pit.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Way too many to mention. This has and is my life so I am constantly listening to all sorts of music, genres and different production methods and thoughts.
In fact, presuming they can sing/play or produce a finished result - everyone who is creative and co-exists in this industry inspires me
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Producing, arranging, recording, mixing, in some combination or separately - that's about 70% - and then there is collaborations, composing, voice over work etc - thats about 10-15%. And the balance is mentoring and advising on music industry business to individuals and groups.