Beyond the technical demands of recording and engineering, I often find myself producing or co-producing an artist’s or band’s music. Working together to make an individual song, section, part, or phrase resonate means participation and investment from me and you. This also means not settling for the easy, default approach, but collaborating with each other to achieve the best possible ideas. Whether it’s a hip-hop project, black metal band, or an indie rock trio, I’m intently listening to the tracks, the takes, and the arrangements to determine what can enhance and enliven the music. I never kick back and disengage from what’s unfolding with your music. I work with you throughout the entire process – start to finish – prepared to offer as much feedback, input, and guidance as you need to elevate your work.
Real Case Examples:
Although I work hard to make every release I record unique and memorable, a few projects stand out (and offer useful examples of what quality collaboration can look like). Not long ago, I worked with the band Frame and Mantle on their album Lost Under Nighttime Sky. In over fourteen days of studio sessions, we put together an incredible, 35-minute album consisting of dynamic production, layered guitars with multiple tones, and trombone & trumpet arrangements that stylistically distinguish the release. Throughout the recording process, the band was receptive to a hands-on production approach, allowing regular conversation, experimentation, and healthy debate that pushed us towards producing a powerful, affecting album that we can all be proud of.
Another local band, JakeTheHawk, reached out to me after hearing Frame and Mantle’s album. JTH liked the unique production we achieved on that release, so they decided to work with me on their full length, Hinterlands. We started – at the pre-production stage – talking through (and listening to) guitar/bass tone references, albums that inspired their writing, and their overriding goals with the album. Although JakeTheHawk’s style differed greatly from Frame and Mantle’s, the collaborative mindset that had worked in that context transferred to JTH’s project. Throughout the recording process, we bounced ideas back and forth, managing to achieve that perfect balance between indulging improvisational/experimental ideas and meticulously parsing through takes. Simply put, we had fun with the creative process, but dedicated the needed attention to evaluate every song for quality performances and ideas. In the end, we were able to “manifest” and improve upon the pre-production concepts we’d started with, adding new ideas that materialized throughout the recording process. JakeTheHawk ended up shopping the album around to labels and was quickly signed to Ripple Music.
Frame and Mantle and JakeTheHawk are just two recent examples of albums I’ve been lucky enough to play a significant role in producing and recording. In both cases, the bands (and I) had a meaningful, rewarding experience that was also extremely fun and friendship-forming. Equally important, because of the attention to detail and crisp production offered at my studio, these projects – and others I’ve been involved with other the years – have helped many bands expand their careers as musicians, sign to reputable labels that support their work, and return to my studio to build on the experiences and successes we’ve already achieved.