I built and run my own recording studio, Gem City Studios in an abandoned church in Jellico, TN. I have been recording original music for 5 years, and have been freelance mixing for 2. I recently quit my day job and having been running my studio for 8 months.
I have been writing songs, leading worship, singing/playing in bands, and recording music for 15 years. By the end of my freshman year at University of the Cumberlands I had formed my first band and written about 5 original songs with some of my best friends. We were fortunate to go on a few small tours have a weekly gig leading worship for Youth for Christ in Jellico, TN. One of the friends that I had met in Jellico gave us a financial gift and sent us to a studio record 8 songs. From the moment I walked in the door of the studio I was hooked. I have spent the years since then learning to use Pro Tools, Logic and Cubase. I have played shows and recorded with several bands since those formative years. My desire and my musical vision now is to use the skills I have learned and the resources I have to continue writing, recording, and producing music.
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3 ReviewsEndorse Matt McQueen
Matt is an incredible engineer. He can take your songs and turn them into a professional polished final product. Whether he is sourcing session musicians for your project and recording them, mixing your record, or tracking your killer rock band you can be assured that it will be a fun and professional process! I've worked with him numerous times and have never been let down.
Matt recorded and produced my band, my live acoustic ep, and a worship video for me, all with quality results.We invited Matt to get involved with us in the recording process beyond production and his suggestions added significant dimension to the tracks. I have recommended him to multiple others who have all spoken well of their experiences!
This guy is a blast to work with. Very professional but also keeps the atmosphere a relaxed and a truly enjoyable place to record. So glad I've brought along many of my friends to record music with this guy. So excited with the way the audio and the video of Lord I Need You turned out!
Interview with Matt McQueen
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Jake McPheron's EP "Shipwrecks". This was my favorite project because Jake brought me 5 skeletons of songs. Just an acoustic chord progression and a lead vocal. I brought in 3 of my favorite musicians, and was able to spend the next few weeks taking all of those songs from barebones to completion and got to make decisions with the all of the musicians along the way. The most rewarding part was sending each new version to Jake - he was ecstatic every time he heard a new song or a new idea. It was an incredibly fun and rewarding project.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: An American or folk rock EP for the older brother of Jordan Smith, the kid that won the voice.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: David Glenn Kulp. He's an amazing mixer. I have learned a ton from him.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog for tone, digital for flexibility.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will make it sound the way you want.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Recording and mixing drums.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you do this or that? Can you make me sound this way? What if we did this thing or that to my voice or my guitar. I feel like people make a lot of requests for how they want to sound. My answer is usually "certainly" I like to produce by fleshing out the artists wants and desires. Not all Of them are always good, but they are always a good place to start.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The time it takes to do it right.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is it that you want to accomplish with your song or your EP/project? What do you want to hear and want others to feel when the project is complete.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Hire the person that will understand your vision. Don't pick someone based solely on other work they've done. Hire them because they love your work as much as you do.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Sm57, MacBook Pro, any audio interface, my speakers, and a guitar. I could write songs, record them and play them back for the smoke monster!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been doing this part time for over 5 years and went full time January of 2016.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Raw. I like roomy drums and guitars that aren't over eq'd and weird sounding.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: If I could work with any band it would be the Foo Fighters, I love the ideas that everyone in that band comes up with. If I could work with any producer it would be Aaron Sprinkle. All of the bands he has recorded are favs of mine.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Get it right before you move on. My early productions were all based around wanting to move onto the next thing. I always wanted to edit my way out of mistakes made during tracking. The song will Mix itself much easier if you get it right while tracking.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: All types of rock, gospel, country and metal.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Recording and mixing drums.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am a singer and guitarist. My favorite thing to listen to in a mix is the drums, so I feel like I can hear the vocal and guitar elements that a song needs well because those are my instruments, and I feel like I hear the drums necessary because I listen for that and that instrument excites me most in a mix.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Typically I like to start with a scratch vocal and scratch acoustic guitar or electric guitar and build the song around that. Tracking Drums, Bass and layers of guitars and vocals after that initial foundation to bring the song together. I have also love tracked a band before and added overdubs later to fill the song out.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is built in an old church that was abandoned. I have a 15'x20' control room and a window that looks out into a 30'x50' live room. I have a few preamps and a modest amount of outboard compressors to track through. I mix in the box. I have many standard microphone. My studio is large enough that your band can live track.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Dave Grohl, Graham Cochrane, Dustin Burnett, Mark Tremonti, Aaron Gillespie, and Aaron Sprinkle.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I usually work on start to finish recordings with clients. My clients start a song from scratch and we record it mostly at my studio and I mix the songs I have recorded. I also work on rock production. if you have a song idea and need musicians to play the other intstruments, I can hire and work with musicians to make your song sound professional and unique.