By: Tony Williamette
“What kind of music do you record?”
A question we get all the time.
When I started making records, I had to work on everything. I didn’t want to be working on everything, but I was never in a position to turn down a project. I was also hungry to learn all I could, so I just dove in.
I was a skinny emo kid from the suburbs. I had no business making hip hop records, but gradually got really good at it. I learned the language, the techniques, and came to appreciate the landscape.
My experience was very much the same for most of the genres listed below. I had no business working on it, but eventually was able to add value to artists’ songs.
I give endless gratitude to the artists that gave me the opportunity to refine my skills while working on their music. You know who you are.
In a world where specialists thrive, being a generalist can be foolish and scary. I bootstrapped through the audio world and worked this way for a long time.
Things changed when I started to get too busy and brought other engineers onto our team. These were young, talented engineers and producers that were teaching me things. They excelled at specific types of music. More importantly, they excelled at working with specific types of people. This allowed me to let go of the wheel and start throwing them projects on which they would intuitively kick ass.
Instead of being known as the “hip hop studio” or “folk studio,” I want to curate a room that is well-equipped for most any project, but has an excellent team of engineers that specialize in different things.
After all, the engineer with whom you work will have a much bigger impact on the record than our microphone collection.
Labeling music by genre can be divisive. At the very least, these are words that serve as a launching pad for discussing one’s music and agreeing on commons goals. Sometimes we give projects to an engineer based not on their experience with that type of music, but on personalities and how they will be able to connect with an artist. This tends to be more important if the goal is a long-term working relationship.
See the below chart for a good starting point. We’re all three-dimensional humans, but I thought this would a fun visualization. For full bios on our team, check out our TEAM page.
Big thanks to our marketing team – Abby Yost – for putting this together.