I'm excited to work on any music production projects that are innovative or impacting. My approach to production is through understanding the artist's vision and then using my skills and tools to bring that to life. Collaboration and communication is the key to getting the best out of the team and the processes we create.
I've produced and engineered a number of challenging releases, most recently a few succesful albums for the Mediaeval Baebes. These records bring fusions of rock, pop, classical and contemporary folk music which require diverse and reflective recording and production skills. I've also worked with exciting upcoming popular artists Ethan Ash and Daisy And The Dark, as well as established metallers Pythia, indie-rockers Eureka Stockade and a number of classical choirs and orchestras. Diversity is the spice of life.
Producing an album or an EP requires a significant and talented team of people to bring the project together. As Producer I'll take the responsibility of finding engineers, technicians, mixer and mastering engineer as well as session musicians. I have an extensive contacts list and have used some of the UK's best regarded musicians in the past. I'm also a guitarist, drummer and songwriter myself, so can get involved in all aspects of the creative and technical process. For smaller projects I'm happy to take on all of the technical roles myself and collaborate with the artist through each stage of recording, mixing and mastering.
I'm happy working from my own home production studio, at commercial studios, or out on location. I'm a co-founder of Half Ton Studios in Cambridge, but I work in a number of London based studios too and I'm very happy to travel!
My doctorate is in digital audio processing, so I take an innovative approach to recording techniques, mixing and mastering. I'm always keen if your project involves exploring pioneering new technologies or methods or just a big crazy challenge!
There's an article on one of my string recording sessions in Sound On Sound Magazine HERE.
I work regularly as a mix engineer, taking the recordings that have been put together by producers and engineers, or musicians themselves, and utilise my knowledge of music production to bring those recordings to life in the most creative, relevant and professional manner.
Mixing can be quite a personal thing, every mixer has their own style, approach and studio setup, but I try to be flexible and can easily work on any projects in collaboration with the artist or producer to achieve the desired result. For example, I'm happy mixing in Pro Tools, Logic, or Abelton. I'll also work entirely 'in-the-box' for classical music projects (where transparent audio clarity is usually desired), but for rock and more contemporary productions I'll use combinations of analogue and digital processing, drawing together the best elements of workflow with digital-audio-workstations and the sonic merits of analogue processing and summation.
I have licenses for the most powerful audio software tools as well as an extensive array of analogue and valve processing gear. I also have a number of guitar amps and synthesizers which I can use for re-amping and adding delicate contemporary sounds where necessary. I'm also happy to use drum replacement, quantisation and auto-tuning when required, but equally I enjoy a well delivered and recorded performance which requires no processing at all!
I worte a short article on mixing for Sound On Sound Magazine HERE.
I've experience in mixing all genres including pop, rock, metal, classical, folk and electronic music. I'll also be pleased to give mix feedback or act as an external mix-consultant if that fits with your project.
I've mastered a number of albums, EPs and singles for Mediaeval Baebes, Pythia, Ethan Ash, Daisy and The Dark amongst others. Mastering is the final creative process in the production of a record, but it also stands as one of the most technical processes involved in the final quality control of your artefact. In mastering we can modify and equalise the spectral balance, tighten low or high frequency sounds and manipulate the stereo width and density of tracks. These all allow the music to be brought to a comparable contemporary standard to that of similar modern releases.
During mastering we also look at the sound and level of all the tracks on an album and ensure that the complete product is cohesive and representative of the artistic vision. This can be a challenge with songs that have been recorded over a number of years, in different studios or with compilation albums, but it's a very worthwhile step.
Also during mastering, it is necessary to deduce and implement the gaps between songs and suitable fade in and out profiles for each track. Noise removal during quiet sections might be necessary too. The ISRC data and CD Text can also be encoded into the master files at this stage. I will prepare final masters in the standard Disk Descrition Protool (DDP) format, which all manufacturers can duplicate from the highest guarantee of quality control. I can also provide audio CD, Wav and MP3 files too, for upload to digital distribution agents.
Over recent years there has been a tendancy for mastering engineers to make songs louder and louder by adding high levels of dynamic range compression or limiting to a track, commonly known as 'the loudness war'. I have conducted a number of research studies on the effects of applying heavy compression at the final mastering stage, which show that unpleasant, fatiguing and heavily distorted audio is the result - even though louder tracks might have a more immediate impact on first listen. I'm happy to raise and monitor the loudness of your tracks during mastering, but will use my best methods to do this whilst generating the very least possible amount of distortion. I'll give my professional opinion at all times when I think this is becoming excessive and detremental to the music quality.
I've been lucky to work with some of the world's best mastering engineers on a number of commercial and academic research projects, including Mandy Parnell, Friedemann Tischmeyer, Barry Grint, Ray Staff, Michael Romonowski and Adreas 'LUPO' Lubich.
Red Planet Studios
My music production studio is based around an analogue 32 channel Toft ATB mixing console with Dynaudio BM15A monitors and SSL MX convertors, which alow me to work in a very flexible manner for recording, mixing and mastering. The studio is split into two rooms, one for mixing and control, and a second room for performance, vocals and overdub recording.
I own a number of fantastic microphones and analogue processing units, as well as licenses for many of the best software processing tools.
The full studio equipment list is as follows:
32 channel analogue Toft ATB mixer with preamps, EQ and meter bridge
SSL Alpha-Link MX 4-16 (x2)
TC Electronic Studio Konnekt 48 (x2)
Outboard Preamps and DI:
Universal Audio Solo 610
Universal Audio LA610 Mark II
Universal Audio LA610 Mark I
Focusrite ISA 1
RME Octopre (8 channel)
Analogue Valve Compression:
Thermionic Culture Phoenix (stereo)
Universal Audio LA610 Mark II
Universal Audio LA610 Mark I
Drawmer 1960 (stereo)
Drawmer 1968 Mark II (stereo)
Lexicon MX400 Reverb/Delay (stereo)
SPL Desser (stereo)
Waves processing suite
Universal Audio UAD2 plugins
Sonnox audio suite
Sonnox forensic suite
Nugen processing suite
Izotope Ozone and Insight
SPL Drum Replacer
Telefunken AK47 (valve)
Royer R121 (figure of 8 ribbon)
AKG C414 Special Edition (multi-patern), C451 (cardoid pair),
C214 (cardoid pair)
Earthworks SR40 (cardoid), SR30 (matched cardoid pair),
TC25 (omni pair), SR25 (cardoid)
Blue Baby Bottle (cardoid pair)
SE Titan (multi-pattern pair)
Sennheiser MD421 (cardoid)
Shure B87 (cardoid condensor), Beta 57 (cardoid dynamic),
SM58 (cardoid dynamic)
Yamaha YDP-162 Digital Piano
Fender American Elite Strat (USA)
Fender Thinline Telecaster (Japan)
Febder Standard Telecaster (Mexico)
Fender Bullet (USA)
Yamaha APX9C (acoustic)
Tama Superstar Rock Kit
Gretsch Catalin Club Jazz Kit
Roland Gaia SH01
Fender Princeton Reverb
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe