Where is your studio located?
My mixing and mastering studio is located in Barre, Vermont.
Though I typically focus on mixing and mastering, I do enjoy working as a music producer for bands. Due to my busy schedule I can only do this with select clients who I hand-pick to work with.
When I do take on a production project, I work with some of the best recording studios in Vermont to get a great tracking space that meets the band's budget.
What should I do to prepare for recording?
This is a very common question! The main thing is practice, practice, practice. The better you know your part, the more likely it is you can lay down a great performance in the studio. For more info on what to bring, download the Pinnacle Pro Sound Studio Prep Checklist.
What's the difference between producing music and recording music?
Over the years the term has morphed. Traditionally, a music producer runs the project from start to finish, helping the band finalize arrangements, booking studio time, staying on budget, etc.
Many recording engineers call themselves producers now (as do some beatmakers), but when I say production I mean production in the truest sense of the word.
When is a band ready to record?
I find that the best bands don't release every song they write – in fact, not even close to it. Bands may write 20-30, or more, songs to put out a 10 track album. It's a careful process of weeding out songs to get to the best of the best.
By doing this, those artists practically guarantee that they have the best chance of success going forward.
What do we need to get ready for mixing?
The process of mixing is one of the easiest to understand, but also one of the easiest to underestimate.
I'm a strong believer that quality audio starts at the source, during the recording phase of a project. Without that solid foundation, even the best mixing engineers can't always rescue a recording…
But at the same time, a bad mix can absolutely ruin amazing recordings, so it's important to choose a competent mix engineer.
So, to finally get to the point: you need to have good recordings, which are already edited and comped, and a great engineer who can mix them for you.
What files do we send in for mixing?
The ideal is always audio files in the native format of the recording session. If you recorded with a sample rate of 48kHz and 24 bit depth, send that. If the files were recorded at 44.1kHz and 16 bit depth, send that.
If you're not sure, ask your tracking engineer to export the files at native quality.
If the session was recorded and edited in Pro Tools, I can take the session files and folders in a .zip, otherwise I just need all of the individual files rendered to start at the beginning of the. session. If they don't start at the beginning of the session, I have no way of knowing how to line them up.
A text file with tempo info for each song is always beneficial, or if there are tempo changes a MIDI tempo map is required.
What do we get after mixing?
After mixing, you get a finalized mixdown – a stereo .wav file at the native resolution of the session. I can also prepare alternate versions of the songs as needed, such as instrumental versions. Just let me know!
What is mastering?
Mastering is the process of fine-tuning the audio and preparing it for a commercial release. Without mastering, files may not be optimized for distribution, both from a technical standpoint as well as a sonic standpoint.
Why do I need to get my music mastered?
Mastering is like the final layers of paint that go on a car. Without that paint, the car isn't complete and although it runs and can be driven, it isn't the best product it can be. Mastering ensures that nothing is out of place on your release.
What do we get after mastering?
A stereo .wav file ready for commercial release. It will be in the red book CD format, so you can send it directly to a pressing plant or upload for digital distribution.
Additionally, if you require a DDP file I can provide that for you as well.
How can I distribute my music?
My favorite vendor for physical CDs is Discmakers. They've been in the game for a long time and have a good selection of options at a decent price point.
For digital distribution (both stores and streaming) I suggest two different options:
DistroKid offers a low annual fee with unlimited releases and no commission. However, they don't have as many features as other distributors do.
CDBaby takes a one time fee for each release up upload, without an annual fee, but takes a 9% cut of digital sales. In exchange, you get more features and better reports of where and how people consume your music.
How do I get people to listen to my music?
The first thing should be creating a buzz. All too often, I see bands drop a Spotify link on Facebook saying "here's our new song" and that's it.
By hyping up the release for a few weeks or months in advance (depending on if it's a single, EP, or LP), you create excitement and get your followers to follow you more closely.
If you want to take it to the next step and try for coverage on blogs, YouTube channels, or Spotify playlists, I'd recommend submitting your music to tastemakers using SubmitHub.
If you're interested in SubmitHub, check out this article I published on optimizing your submissions.
Book an appointment with me using the form below and I'd be happy to chat with you!