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How I Work

How I work: Minutes to Midnight describes services, tools and anecdotes introducing the workflow making his clients happy.

Summary (TL;DR)

This article explains how I work and the tools I use.

Specialised in pop, rock, blues, folk and singer-songwriter genres, I use my roots as a musician to understand what clients need. Started out in the analog domain, I’m fully digital now. My refined remote workflow allows me to consistently deliver.

My equipment revolves around Avid Pro Tools, Focusrite, Warwick and Fender basses.


Main Services


Check the portfolio page for a description of other services:

Foley
Soundtrack
Game audio implementation
Audio synchronisation and editing
Audio tuning and correction
Drum doubling and drum replacement

Workflow

Using an online project plan form, designed to collect the information I need, I strive to eliminate potential grey areas beforehand. I break down the project with accurate estimates and build an efficient task waterfall.

I can work from anywhere. I’m well versed in remote working. I have an established professional workflow, evolved in years of experience with clients in the UK, Europe and the US, delivering for multiple industries.

I involve the clients from the beginning by providing real-time access to my project management software. It’s a great way to ensure that I’m going to execute their vision, and deliver on time.

How I Work: Ember Rev's Trello board
Trello board for Ember Rev‘s third album.

Since my rig is fully mobile, I used to offer attended sessions, both at my studio or the clients’. With the current global pandemic situation, this has been halted.


Genres

I specialise in everything acoustic. Rock, blues, pop, funk, reggae, folk, singer-songwriter, modern classical and a few others. I also enjoy experimental, electronic material and synths-based music.


Bass

I’m currently writing an article where I dig into how I approach the production of remote bass tracks. In the meantime, you can head over to my bass tracks page to read more.

I also enjoy playing live, though that’s currently on halt.


Studio

Location

I’m currently based in Cambridge (UK).

Equipment

While I started out in the analog years, I converted to a fully-digital system long ago. I now record and produce in the box. It’s a matter of taste and choices. I think it’s convenient, I enjoy the quality and have no nostalgia for the past.

Workstation

A maxed out mid-2015 MacBook Pro i7.

I run a dual-boot system with macOS Mojave (10.14.6) and Windows 10.

Audio Interface

A Focusrite Clarett 4Pre has recently took the place of my trusted Focusrite Sapphire Pro 40.

DIs

Field Recording

Microphones

Speakers

  • Focal Alpha 80
  • Yamaha HS5

Headphones

  • Dedicated FX-Audio DAC-X6 headphone amplifier
  • Sony MDR-7506
  • Beyerdynamic 770 Pro

Acoustic Treatment

The studio is acoustically treated with panels from GIK Acoustic.

Instrumentation

  • 1991 Warwick Thumb bass
  • Fender Jazz fretless bass
  • Fender Stratocaster electric guitar
  • Cort acoustic guitar
  • Novation Launchkey controller
  • Korg Micro KEY 66 controller
  • M-Audio Keystation Mini32 controller

I also own and use an old Sony stereo cassette deck TC-WR445, for converting old tapes, sampling and effects purposes.

Software

DAW

Pro Tools (v12 2020.5) is my DAW of choice. I’m an expert user of Logic Pro X (10.5.1) too, since the eMagic years.

In the past I worked with Cubase, Propellerhead’s Reason, REAPER and Studio One.

Plug-ins

A few years ago, I’ve decided to focus on a strict set of third-party plug-ins. I went down this road to achieve a triple goal:

  1. Set myself a limit.
  2. Learn them as much as I can.
  3. Being platform-agnostic.

The idea here is that I can bring my iLok key wherever I go, and have my trusted set of software with me. My usual go-to plug-ins are:

  • Waves
  • Soundtoys
  • McDSP
  • Voxengo

Software Instruments

  • XLN Addictive Keys
  • XLN Addictive Drums
  • EastWest Hollywood Strings Gold
  • UVI Falcon 2
  • Air XPand!2

Audio Editors

  • iZotope RX 6
  • Wavelab 10 Pro
  • Zynaptiq Triumph
  • Magix SoundForge
  • Adobe Audition

Game Audio

Although I have the same versions on both macOS and Windows 10, I tend to run these on Windows only, for efficiency and speed.

  • Wwise
  • FMOD Studio
  • Unreal Engine
  • Unity Engine
  • CryEngine

Converters & Utilities

  • Zynaptiq Myriad
  • Stereo Monoizer
  • XLD
  • Handbrake
  • MetaDigger
  • ADSR Sample Manager

Backup & Audio Archival

I offer an optional audio archiving for future potential re-mixing or re-mastering. I’m constantly perfecting my already solid backup and archive strategy.

I believe audio archiving is a must-have premium feature to offer to clients. Every single project’s audio stems can be carefully filed to multiple sources, to guarantee the preservation of the material for years to come. Please note that I don’t offer full sessions archives, as that’s unrealistic.

For backup purposes I rely on a 3-2-1 technique: three copies of everything at all times, two local and one off-site. Specifically:

  • Two sets of RAID drives running daily backups on both OSes.
  • Backblaze remote cloud backup.

For redundancy and extra caution:

  • A Time Machine drive with the default hourly setup for macOS.
  • A perfect clone of my production SSD external drives on both OSes, so that I can be instantly up and running in case of malfunction.
  • A perfect clone of my entire internal drive, for both OSes.

Do You Want a Radio-Ready Production?

Take advantage of my diverse skill set and bring your sound to a professional level.


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5 replies on “How I Work”

Kicker, Simone! its very…seductive?. One question: attended sessions? In what manner? As a recordist/bassist?. Dare I imagine a remote attended session? And you can make SFX? I have something I could use some help with. And how about using a bass line or even a topline in a compostion, say, that you made for me..to play live? Good fortune for your plan?!

I’ve had attended sessions for recording (guitars, viola, vocals thus far) and mix sessions. I’ve never tried that remotely, wicked idea though!

Yep, I spent five years working as a sound designer for video games and SFX was my bread and butter 🙂 I’m intrigued by your last offer, let’s discuss that. Send an email (along with a Kanelbullar if you can!).

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