a collection of questions I get asked frequently about the studio or
is your hourly rate? I don't publish my rate because I don't
quote a project until I meet with the artist, discuss their project,
give them a chance to ask me questions, see the studio and hear some
of my work. Then, if we think the chemistry is right, I'll work on a
project basis, a song basis or hourly depending on what is the best
financially for the artist or label. These meetings are entirely free
and without obligation. I usually conduct these meeting weeknights
at 7PM and they last about an hour. We can initially discuss basics
over the phone, but eventually we'll have to meet.
do you record with? We use many different types of recording
methods depending on the type of project. We have analog multitrack
recording for that fat analog sound,
dedicated hard disc recording system (9 hours of 24 track
recording), and a DAW (computer recording) for tracking, mixing and
mastering. We can record, mix and master in either medium; analog or
digital, and do what is best for the recording.
major artists have you worked with? I have worked with several
over the years. Steve Gillette has written and recorded songs for
Johnny Cash, Crystal Gale, Cindy Mangsen (also his wife) and many
well known folk artists as well as quite a few solo records. I also
did a record with Kim Sledge of "Sister Sledge" fame with my
songwriting partner Larry Dix (who played with Sister Sledge, Rick
James and the Jacksons). I did a record with Weston for Universal/Mojo
records and probably most notable is the "Live and Acoustic" record
for Zakk Wylde on Spitfire. Zakk wanted to record live versions of new
and older material acoustically to promote a tour. The intent was to
release a record of all the performances he did at various studios
from coast to coast. When it was all said and done, the record label
and Zakk felt that all the best performances and recordings were done
at my studio, so the entire record was recorded at Westwires. There
have been more. Stop by the studio and we'll chat.
you do demos? Yes. I realize that a great demo can be a useful
tool for a songwriter, band or single recording artists. Our "demos"
are always top quality and radio ready. Many start a project as a
demo and end up doing a few more and releasing a record eventually
if they don't get any offers from a label. If you need a band or
musicians, I can arrange that and incorporate it in with the price
of the demo.
you help get artists record deals? Yes. That is the something I
do once I establish a rapport with an artist and believe they have a
marketable product. I can help get you heard, but the the rest is up
to the artist. I don't talk about entering into a development deal
with an artist unless they are very serious about their career and
can take the rejection and heat of working towards it.
do you mean by "producing"? I am not just an engineer, I produce
as well. What this means is that I will help the artist select the
best songs they have that will target
a demographic or audience. I review tempos, arrangements,
instrumentation, etc to make sure the end result is nothing short of
the best you can do. I wont change your music, but I will give you
my opinion and reasons why you may want to consider something
different. My focus is always to have the artist be presented best
possible way musically.
do you go about recording bands? It depends. I am always looking
for that special performance. The one that gives you goose bumps.
That's what people want to hear. It is not achieved easily. I like
to record bands together in one room live to get the best vibe.
That way when the magic hits, we get it on tape (figuratively, I'm
old school), and then add to it as needed. You can't make a
non-magical performance into a great performance by adding more
instruments or using more tracks.
you provide mastering? Yes, I master projects all the time,
usually more recorded at other studios than my own projects. Getting
a different perspective on a recording is a good thing. That being
said, if mastering at another facility is not in the budget, I will
master it here.
made you start a recording studio?
I had a band years ago, I spent a lot of money in studios making bad recordings.
I wanted to make better recordings for my band. This transcended into the formation
of Westwires Recording. I have gone through the
trials and tribulations of making good and bad records to now understanding
what it takes to make a great record. I have a lot of industry
peers and friends
to thank for that. Critiques of my work by fellow NARAS and SPARS
members like Eddy Kramer, Joe and Phil Nicolo and many others have
helped me hone my production craft and give me confidence to dare to be
different while maintaining sonic integrity.
"I have a small budget to record so
I probably couldn't do anything with you"
with all kinds of budgets large and small. My philosophy is always
to spend more time up front in pre-production and then
spend the studio time recording a quality demo. The most common
problem I encounter is when a band or artist has a small budget and want
to record a dozen songs. Why not record 2 or 3 well thought out
and produced songs? What will impress an A&R or fan more; 12
poorly produced tracks or 3 really well produced tracks? The bottom
line; we'll help you maximize your studio budget dollars to get
the reaction you need from fans & industry reps you want to
"we recorded our tracks at another studio... or at home...already
so you probably can't help us"
true. I mix tracks recorded at other studios all the time. In fact
in the last 3 years, this type of work has increased dramatically.
Whether recorded in a home studio, a practice room or in various
studios while on tour, we can mix your project to make the record
sound it's best. We also pre-master projects as well. If the budget
allows, we work with major mastering houses and engineers to get
your project that extra special touch. We also recognize that chemistry
is everything. No problem, bring your production team here!
What do you mean by "artist
here is where I get the most questions. As a producer, I am constantly
looking for new talent that excites me and that I want to produce
and help them be successful. I find talent everywhere. I get demos
everyday from all around the country in all genres of music. Sometimes,
I meet a band or artist when they book time in the studio to make
a demo and something sparks. This happens from time to time and
is not uncommon in the industry. I am not a manager. My specific
intention is to work with the artist/band and help develop their
vision of their music and make their talent stand out. I'll also then
try to get them a recording deal which meets their goals and objectives.
I derive no up front fee for this. My fee is recouped from a percentage
of the record deal.
makes you different from other studios? First,
you will get the creative flow and consistency that comes from
working in our fully automated and managed environment. If the studio you
are considering doesn't have automation, you'll spend more time resetting
levels and trying to get the sound back you spent hours building,
and waste precious creative time. There isn't a major studio in
the world that isn't automated. You'll get the selection of microphones and the experienced ear needed
for getting that perfect sound at the source. We have over 40 different
mics! If you don't get the right sound at the source, forget it.
You'll also get the studio locked out on multiple days without an extra
charge, and the availability of multiple instruments or equipment. So
when you are comparing what you're going to pay at a studio charging
much less or more. See how much more value you'll get here in creativity,
production control and quality and time savings. It's just a better
value. This is one of the reasons why artists from all
over come here to record. Don't
take my word for it. Ask other artists that have recorded here.
Listen to some records I've made. Make an appointment to see the
studio and hear what we're doing. Also, check out our website for
testimonials and reviews.
hope this answers some of your questions and prompts you to call
me to discuss your next recording project.