Billy Hickey

Engineer and Mixer

Billy Hickey on SoundBetter

I'm an LA based engineer that has worked with many of the top artists and producers in the music industry. This includes a wide array of artists including Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony, Lana Del Ray, Afrojack, RedOne, and many many more. I'm always looking for new and inspiring artists and music to work with.

I'm a recording and mixing engineer with a wide range of experience. Everything from pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, and everything in between. I love fun new styles and sounds, and always try to impart a sense if size, depth, drama, and texture to everything I work on. I really love blending and using acoustic instruments in modern productions for new sounds.

Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Billy Hickey
  • 2 Chainz
  • Ariana Grande
  • Jordan Smith
  • Fifth Harmony
  • Banks & Steelz
  • Banks & Steelz
  • Banks & Steelz
  • Nick Jonas
  • Ciara
  • Bette Midler
  • Britney Spears
  • Joel A. Martin
  • Vernon Burch
  • Marcus Johnson
  • Marcus Johnson
  • Marcus Johnson
  • Kevin Peter Jones
  • Adrienne Townes
  • L!SSEN
  • L!SSEN
  • L!SSEN
  • Lemonface
  • Doug Powell
  • Marcus Johnson
  • Daniel Feels
  • Banks & Steelz
  • Banks & Steelz
  • Banks & Steelz

Interview with Billy Hickey

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I worked on the Banks & Steelz (Paul Banks of Interpol and RZA of WuTang Clan) record a few years back. I recorded the large bulk of it. I just really loved this record because it was the perfect example of two artists coming together making the music that they wanted to hear. They didn't worry about it playing on top 40, or even if it related to either of their past works, instead they just came together to create something they had never heard before, utilizing both of their's strengths and skills in the process.

  3. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  4. A: Doesn't matter. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately, no one knows what you used at the end of the day. If using an analog piece of gear will inspire you and help you craft a cool tone, then great! If you can conjure up some unworldly awesome sound in you laptop, great! Personally I try to get the best out of analog gear while recording, making sure what is recorded sounds great going into Pro Tools. Then I'm not shy about twisting and turning it digitally if need be. I have a few pieces of analog gear that don't have a digital equivalent that I can print into the mix, but I'm mostly "in the box" while mixing. It gives me the most flexibility and recall-ability.

  5. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  6. A: Being able to hear and contribute to passionate people's music and art.

  7. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  8. A: Every mix engineer imparts their own style and personality into their mixes, but we also take guidance from you as to what your looking for to help shape our perspective of what the final mix should sound like. Its also really helpful when the sessions/ stems are well organized and labeled. Avoid "audio 1" and "instrument 2" labels. Labeling harmonies and doubles as such will make getting the mix started that much easier and faster.

  9. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  10. A: A Pro Tools rig, my B&W speakers, 1073, CL1B, and a 251. Thats pretty much everything you need to make a record!

  11. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  12. A: Around the year 2000 when I was in high school, I decided that engineering is what I wanted to do with my life. I engineering my first commercial release in 2005 and have been making my living recording and mixing records ever since then. I started in Washington DC where I worked with a wide variety of music and artists. I moved to LA in 2011 and I began working at the infamous Record Plant Recording Studios. That put me in a position to work with some of the industries top musicians and producers where I've been fortunate to develop great working relationships with some of the top producers and artists in the world.

  13. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  14. A: Mixing shouldn't always be where the sound and style of the track is created. Instead, commit to sounds and tones early on. When producing and recording take a little extra time to make sure the sounds you create fit within the style and vibe that you want, and are not just place holders. Never leave a sound in your recording that you hate saying (we'll fix it in the mix)! If you can love the sounds you hear while you write and record, it will make your record that much more inspired. Then my job as a mix engineer is to take the sound YOU created, and make sure everyone else hears it the way you hear it in your head.

  15. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  16. A: The majority of my work is with pop and some hip-hop music, though I have a history with and love for rock and jazz music. My first love is recording and mixing old school live instruments. While the majority of music I work on comes from digital instruments and laptop productions, I've done a fair amount of productions that blend live instruments with digital ones as well.

  17. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  18. A: I pride myself on being able to not only mix acoustic instruments, but also giving programmed drums and synth sounds a texture to make them feel like they sit in front of the speakers.

  19. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  20. A: I bring a unique old school mixing knowledge and sensibility with an eye on current and future sounds. I really try to make sure every song has the right sense of drama and emotion it deserves while drawing the listener in.

  21. Q: What's your typical work process?

  22. A: When mixing I first listen to the rough mix. This can help show the style and vibe that the producers and engineers before myself have begun envisioning for the track and it also tells me how they and the artist(s) have been hearing the song for the last few days or even weeks. I then try to figure out how I can push the envelope a little further in the direction that the song is already heading in order to truly let the producer and artist's vision shine through.

  23. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  24. A: I work out of multiple places, but my personal setup is a Pro Tools Ultimate rig. I use a wide variety of plugins being augmented with some hardware processing.

  25. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  26. A: I love the huge and deep sound of most music from the 90's, but also love the cool textures and tones you hear in a lot of pop music today. I love artists like Bruno Mars, Sam Smith, and Adele who combines old funk and soul sounds with modern pop production. Anything unique and new that innovates and evokes emotion is what inspires me.

  27. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  28. A: That I will do everything in my power to make sure you love your mix.

  29. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  30. A: That a mix engineer's job is to take a recording that you hate and turn it into something that you love. You should love what you already have but recognize it's potential to get even better. The mix engineer's job is to help you realize the next level of what you have recorded.

  31. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  32. A: How do you feel about the rough mix you have so far? What artists/ songs inspired the sound that you are going for with your record.

  33. Q: How would you describe your style?

  34. A: Dynamic, full, edgy, inspiring, and sprinkled with ear candy.

  35. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  36. A: I love working with anyone who loves the music they make. Too many artists are worried about the commercial appeal of what they are writing or recording, and they chase trends ignoring their own creative inspiration. The artists who make the music they want to make are truly exciting to work with, and these artists are typically who creates the trends that everyone else chases.

  37. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  38. A: I am a recording and mixing engineer. My clients appreciate the attention to detail, and dedication to quality and a uniqueness in the sound and style of their music.

Terms Of Service

Please send stems or consolidated Pro Tools sessions. Average turnaround is 2-3 days, 3 revisions max. Pricing may vary depending on turnaround time or scope of work.

GenresSounds Like
  • Ariana Grande
  • The Roots
  • Nick Jonas
Gear Highlights
  • Pro Tools HD
More Photos