FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Producing (which includes engineering and mixing)
Post-production (editing, mastering, re-mixing, etc.)
Studio design and consulting
Session drumming and percussion
As a project manager, a producer helps plan and execute all aspects of making a record. A producer manages the technical quality of the recording—from the tonal quality of the instruments to the final steps of production and post-production. The producer also helps the client create a budget, schedule and overall game plan for the project.
I can be as involved as a client wants—from selecting, arranging and refining the songs (helping with song structure, developing melodies and harmonies, choosing instrumentation) to being a coach, doing whatever it takes to elicit the best performances. Most people who have worked with me as a producer usually hired me for my creative input. But I also work with people who already have very specific ideas and want to work with someone as a sounding board.
The skill of making records is something that takes many years to master, even if you have a natural gift. Making a record is a complicated puzzle. The tools and equipment are one part of the puzzle, but other important parts include the skills and experience of the person using tools as well as the physical environment in which you're recording. It's important to have someone who can focus on the technical aspects so you're free to follow your own creative inclinations.
Probably. I have a lot of experience mixing projects from a wide variety of sources—from bedroom recordings to hi-fidelity studio tracks—and have learned how to get the most out of what's available. But if the raw tracks are unusable, I'll tell you. The quality of the performance is key to making great records. Even with affordable modern recording tools, nothing replaces a great performance captured by a great, well-placed microphone in a great-sounding room.
You can improve some of a song's impact by how you present the various elements, whether it's drums, guitars, string sections, samples or the way you treat the vocal. All of these can have a profound impact on how the listener first responds to a song. I have a broad knowledge of a lot of different musical styles, having mixed stuff as widely different as a song for Obie Trice, a polished pop record such as The Never's "Antarctica" or a live blues record like Roomful of Blues "That’s Right."
I'm really partial to a combination of vintage analog and modern DAW (digital audio workstation) technology. I like the flexibility of digital recording, editing and mixing but still really like the tones you can get from good analog gear. Most of the analog equipment is used to process the signal before it enters the digital realm. Some of my favorite stuff is the Studer A800 2-inch tape, Sony 3056 mixing console and Protools HD.