ABOUT

I’ve been a musician and recording engineer for more than twenty years. I started, like many in this field, by listening to Beatles vinyl and wanting to know how they made those sounds! For me, playing an instrument was always intertwined with wanting to be able to record those sounds. In middle school, I got a little Fostex 4-track recorder and spent my time recording and bouncing tracks down. Since then, I’ve made it into my full-time job and joy to work with artists in producing, recording, and mixing their records.

I live in Austin, TX with my wife and two daughters, and work out of my studio, The Audio Village, which I’ve owned and operated since 2005 and done dozens and dozens of records over the years.

I also work on staff at The Austin Stone as Director of Music, where I produce, engineer, and mix our records, most recently With/In (Capitol; Re:Think). I also manage our label, Austin Stone Music, working with dozens of songwriters, as well as a team of talented promotion, resource, marketing, and legal folks! 

RECENT WORK

Here are some projects I’ve been a part of recently, in various capacities. Click on a link to listen in Spotify (most can be found on any streaming platforms).

STUDIO

I’ve owned and operated The Audio Village since 2015. Our current location is in south Austin, TX on a 5-acre property. It’s a relaxing place to come and create, away from the city, but only a short drive into downtown Austin. The Audio Village has a 25′ x 25′ tracking room, as well as a 19′ x 10′ control room, and a 16′ x 13′ lounge.

The studio is a Pro Tools based studio, built around a Toft console and utilizing a highly hybrid approach: we have tons of analog outboard gear as well as extensive software, including plug-ins and soft synths. We also have a Yamaha Baby Grand in the tracking room, as well as tons of instruments, guitars, amps, Rhodes, etc. For a full list of gear, visit The Audio Village. I would be honored to have you come record with me or work on a mixing project together.

Additionally, I often do a lot of “distance” work, where I may record guitars/bass/keys/drums/etc. for a client who does not travel to Austin. Other times I may consult on the production of a project, even helping with budget, workflow, royalty structure, etc. We can figure out a great way to solve any needs you may have! Send me a message and let’s figure it out!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kinds of services do you offer?
Over the years, I’ve done work in just about every avenue of record-making. I own a studio and do lots of production and engineering, and work extensively in post-production in mixing. But I’ve also done lots of songwriting, arranging, performing; I also do a lot of “distanced” guitar, keys, and percussion tracking (taking existing productions and recording these elements at my studio in Austin.) Further, I am actively involved many things in the non-“creation” side of record-making, including helping project manage records, develop marketing strategies and plans, and communicate with labels.

Most often these days, I tend to mix records more than anything, just given the nature of distance and availability of all parties! But I’d love to work with you to figure out how I can best serve your project. Send me a message!

Why shouldn't I just produce/record/mix/etc myself? Why are some things worth outsourcing?
Obviously, it is up to the artist to decide what parts of their production they want to do themselves, and what parts they want to bring someone in on to assist. Simply put, I’ve learned, in over 20 years of record-making, that almost always, collaboration is better. With rare exceptions, it leads to better art overall.

It can be difficult to let go of parts of the process, but typically, trusting someone who isn’t as “connected” to the songs as you may be has a huge benefit: they have an objective opinion that you may not. If you’ve written the songs, arranged the songs, and worked on the songs for years, sometimes the best thing you can do for the songs is allow a professional with a fresh eye a chance to speak into what will make the songs better.

Personally, I highly believe that hiring a Producer is important unless you really feel confident in putting together a project and balancing the technical aspects with the feeling you’re going for. I always advise someone to hire a Mixing Engineer to mix their project: unless you have extensive skilled training, Mixing is a combination of technical and creative needs. And again, a Mixing Engineer will hear the songs fresh, without subjectivity, and bring out the best in what has been recorded.

What does it look like to have you mix a song/abum?
It depends on how far along you are in the process and what all I can help with. Most often, I am sent either Pro Tools sessions or audio files via Dropbox or similar, and I’ll go from there. I am happy to do drum editing and vocal tuning if that is needed. Additionally, I am happy to add percussion elements to help round out the production, but obviously only if the artist/producer want.

Once we have the final set of tracks, I usually prefer to do a first pass mix on one song (usually the single or the song that is most representative of the whole project), and make sure that it is going in the direction that the artist/producer want. Depending on schedule, mixing the first pass of the first song on a project usually takes two or three days.

What are your rates?
I don’t ever want budget to be a primary reason to not be a part of a project, especially one that I love, so please contact me and let’s discuss your budget and what is realistic!
Can I be present when you're mixing?
I always leave it up to the artist/band if they want to be present for this incredibly important process; it is, after all, your music. Anyone who wants to be present at any part in the process is more than welcome to!

However, I generally suggest that the best option is for artist/band to be present after the first pass is already completed, once revisions begin. There are a lot of reasons why, but the summary version is that since everyone has their own way of working, those rhythms can often clash in a counter-productive way.

I have a way of working and need to follow that process for the mix to go as smoothly as possible and get the best result, and it can be understandably hard for all those present not to interjection during the process as they hear something. Sometimes the mixing process is a roundabout one: what I try in one moment may be abandoned altogether in the next hour, but sometimes you have to take that detour! That can be hard for those present to be patient through it.

So I usually suggest letting me take a crack and the first mix by myself to get us to a solid first mix as quickly as possible, and then jumping in togethe to tackle revisions.

How should I prep my songs for you to mix?
Here’s a pretty extensive document I have on the subject to set everyone up in the best way possible!

Mix Prep

How many revisions do you do for mixes?
In this day and age, limiting the number of revisions on a mix is mostly counterproductive to me! It made sense in the days where mixes were 100% done on analog gear that had to be recalled. However, these days, that is a rarity, and even with analog gear that I may use, I print stems for easy recall and later adjustments.

With that in mind, I don’t have a hard and fast number of revisions for a mix, but I do suggest going into the process with the mindset of doing the original mix (Mix1), followed by no more than 3 revisions (Mix2, Mix3, and Final Mix). While there’s nothing magical about that number, without a “deadline” (albeit self-imposed), the truth is that we could probably iterate and iterate forever! Imposing a limit on ourselves helps get to the focused goal faster. That being said, I will be happy to revise until you are satisfied!

What sorts of deliverables will I get once a song/album is mixed?
I’m happy to deliver anything specific you need, but in general, I’ll provide you with the following of the final mixes:

  • Final Mix
  • Final Mix – Vocal Up
  • Instrumental mix
  • TV Mix (no lead vocal)
  • Stems in 48kHz/24-bit

What's a spec mix? Do you do them?
“Spec” mixes usually occur when an artist/producer isn’t quite sure who they want to mix their project yet, and have several mixing engineers mix one song to see which feels closest to what they’re wanting. The mixing engineer only gets paid for the mix if theirs is used.

I’m usually happy to do a spec mix to see if I may be a good fit! I understand the need for finding the best fit for your music. However, I would say that it usually depends on my schedule an availability on whether or not I am able to accommodate this request! Contact me and let’s chat.

Can I send you tracks and have you add guitar/piano/drums/programming/etc.?
Absolutely! I do this all the time. In this day and age, collaboration in this style is more and more common. I track guitars, keys & programming a ton, and since I own my own studio with a great sounding room, we can easily get acoustic drums (or other instruments) tracked. I have tons of gear (guitars, pedals, amps, keyboards, synths, grand piano, Rhodes, etc.) as well as tons of soft synth/emulations to get any sound you’re looking for.
What is mastering? Do you master as well?
Mastering is the process of taking the final mix (stereo left & right) and adjusting it to sound best, usually with EQ & compression, be brought up to standard levels (mixes are usually much quieter than what you would hear on the radio or Spotify), and tie the whole project together from song to song so it sounds and feels cohesive. It’s an incredibly important step in finishing off your record.

While I have mastered things occasionally, I highly recommend that you hire a mastering engineer to master the mixes that I do for your project. Mastering is such an important and fine art, it is better left to those who specialize in such things. I do not recommend using an “online” mastering tool. While they have their purpose, they do not come close to replacing an actual human being who is making intricate and detailed tweaks to your beloved songs! I have several mastering engineers who I trust and would highly recommend.

Will you consult on production from a distance if I/we cannot come to Austin?
Coming soon!

Contact

I would love to hear from you and help with your project in any way I can!

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