Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am an LA based Music Producer, Songwriter, and Audio Engineer. I have been making music for the last 9 years, focused primarily on mastering my creativity and continuously developing my skill set. After graduating from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Production and Audio Engineering, I moved to LA and began seeking employment. With a lot of self-reflection, hard work and considerable luck, I was able to get a job as a staff engineer at the world-renowned EastWest Studios in Hollywood. Working at EastWest has been such a blessing. The people and staff there are incredible, and the studio itself is a spectacle of history and vibe.
When you say mastering your creativity, what do you mean?
Well, throughout my life, especially at school, I was always more enthusiastic about projects that required me to think outside the box. I am passionate about being creative, I believe it is my biggest strength. During my early 20’s I realized that there were ways in which people could maximize their creative abilities. I became obsessed with researching different methods people were using to maximize their artistic potency. I literally tried everything. Vitamins and supplements, lucid dreaming, Marijuana, Red Wine, Yerba Mate, playing with my sleep cycles, the list goes on. I just wanted to become more prolific.
What has been the most useful for your creativity?
Right now, I have a very strict routine. I wake up at 5 AM, drink 1 Liter of lemon water, and begin to write in my journal. There is a great book called The Artist Way, by Julia Cameron. In it, she talks about the importance of journaling, or as she calls it “Brain Drain”. It really helps when I put my thoughts on paper, and free myself from those endless thought loops that can distract you from your goals. Immediately after that, I begin my meditation practice. I practice Transcendental Meditation, which is a mantra-based meditation. I was turned onto it by a Jerry Seinfeld interview, where he explained how it was the only thing that allowed him to keep creating his show for 9 seasons. After hearing that I was sold. Following my meditation, I will go for a run (usually on some steep trails) or do some Yoga for flexibility and strength. By this time, I have given myself plenty of opportunities to reflect, which then allows me to drop into the flow state while I am mixing, producing, or writing.
What is your favorite creative tool?
Like many, my favorite DAW is Ableton. I started out with Logic, learned ProTools for recording and mixing, but as far as creativity is concerned, Ableton. If creativity is a wave, Ableton allows me to ride the wave the longest. I feel like it amplifies the flow state and really allows you to freely explore multiple ideas in a short period of time. Another tool I couldn’t live without is my JDI Re-amp box. It allows me to turn my DAW into an effects processor, before sending audio to my amp. That means I can record a guitar or bass idea, tweak it, comp it, quantize it, effect it, and dial in the perfect part. It’s also great if I want to send things through a spring reverb, or just get a more analog sound out of a digital instrument. Lastly, I love my UAD Apollo. It is the best purchase I ever made.
What advice do you have to young producers or engineers?
First off, if you are creating new music, you need to dissolve any judgment, at least at the very beginning. It doesn’t matter what the ideas are, just keep throwing them at the wall, and see what sticks. You want to uncover as many ideas as possible because one of them could be the catalyst for the rest of the production. Secondly, in recording and producing, it is important that you try to listen to your instincts. A lot of people struggle with answering the question, “Is this idea good or not?”. For me, it comes down to the feeling in my gut. Does it excite me in the right way? Is it making me move, or smile, or vibe? I will follow that feeling for the rest of my career and learn how to nurture and amplify it as much as possible. Lastly, never pay full price for gear! There are always deals to be had, whether it is a New Year’s sale, or simply being patient and keeping an eye on Craigslist. Patience is a virtue.
What is the best part about working at EastWest Studio?
Working at an A-list studio is not an easy task. It takes a ton of sacrifice and is without a doubt, the most humbling job I have ever had. It is a competitive environment, with a very strict hierarchy. There is a reason why studios tend to operate in this way. It is important because you are working with some of the most successful artists, producers, engineers, and musicians in the industry. In LA, music is a business, and you do not want to be the reason someone is losing money. EastWest studio has given me this perspective. You need to be a professional in order to participate as a leader. Working at EastWest has also helped me get over the nervous jitters when being around people with big reputations. You realize quickly that everyone is just a normal person, regardless of how many followers they have.
Can you tell us about your favorite studio experience?
My favorite session was engineering a band called Sumeau. They were recording their new album. I was co-engineering it with Tyler Shields, a mentor and close friend of mine. It was a lot of hard work, but it was really a special experience. The band did an amazing job creating a positive and vibey atmosphere, and the pre-production was perfect. The success of a recording session starts with proper preproduction! I really learned a lot about making an album. We set everything up, recorded 10 songs in 2 days, and then broke the session down, with the whole band helping out. It was incredible, full of laughs, smiles, and good vibes. We are in the process of finalizing edits and adding effects. After that, we will be working on mixing within the next 2 weeks. We really have an incredible team, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the music.
Do you use any analog gear?
I have 1 pieces of analog gear that I adore. It is a Korg CR-4, which is a 4 track Cassette recorder. It is incredibly versatile. It has some great distortion and effects presets on it, and also great sounding speakers. I love sending audio through the speakers and recording them back using SM 57’s. If you want that 80’s cassette tape sound or you are going for a more lo-fi psych-rock sound, the CR-4 is the way to go!
Anything you would like to promote at the moment?
Follow me on Instagram, and let’s work together. I love making music and collaborating with people. If you ever need a mix engineer, please do not hesitate to DM me, and if you want to pick my brain with any questions you have, please feel free to contact me. I love sharing my knowledge and passing it on to others.