Hi, I'm a producer, instrumentalist, songwriter, and a recording, mixing and mastering engineer. I have a unique perspective from playing bass in psych-rock bands, preparing electronic live shows, and recording r+b and hip hop in bedrooms. I produced Wiley from Atlanta's entire debut album "Blue Don't Make Me Cry" with Malik Drake.
In my personal project space I've produced albums for Jarrod Milton and Wiley from Atlanta, as well as worked on mixes involving Wara, Kenny Mason, Grip, and countless others. My work on film soundtracks has been nominated for "Best Music" at Top Indie Film Awards in Tokyo. I'm on SoundBetter to work on mixing for clients. I like to work quick, with my workflow emulating that of an analog mixing desk with a few high-quality outboard gear simulators. I can typically get a mix done within three hours. I'm extremely well versed in psychedelic rock and folk, and more recently have been working extremely heavily in hip-hop. I have a solid understanding of how to process vocal takes and I believe I can get you sounding just how you'd like. I've been mixing seriously since 2015, and I've never really stopping learning.
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Interview with Oliver Blue
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Jarrod Milton's "Girl" is the first album I ever put out. I'm super proud of it because I produced it, engineered it, and mixed it in my bedroom. It performed well and looking back on it 5 years later, the work shows. We put our hearts into it and came out with a really great project. I take that perspective and apply it with every project I work on.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on finishing an album for Wara, upcoming music for Rellajamu and Grip, and a bunch of singles for my collaborators.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: No, I'm new here.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital because I need to, but analog out of choice. Recently I have been simulating an analog workflow through UAD's plugins. I think the analog workflow is quicker and leads to less overthinking. Plus the character of analog gear always helps a mix.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll get it sounding just how you like, I don't mind any sort of feedback. It's about the art.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I like creating beautiful sounds, and I really love working on stuff that I can make feel super impactful. It's really cool seeing my work go out into the world.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I tend to work in person with my clients, but in my experience I tend to be the one asking the questions. Sometimes I'll get a "what did you do here" and I'll tell them in both technical terms and in a way thats easy to understand.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: A lot of people I've worked with interact with the music by looking at graphs and monitoring the numbers that analyzers provide. This is how i've seen people overanalyze a mix, spend way too much time on it, and end up with sub-par results. For me, it's mostly about the feel of everything, and knowing how to translate my intent to the tools I use on my mix.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Are there any mixes you really like? Do you think there are any songs that would fit in a playlist with this? How do you like your voice to sound?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Check out the work and see if it's really what you're looking for. A name or prior work might not be indicative of a single individual's skillset, however, with proper research you'll be able to find the people who can do what you need.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Fairchild 670, Juno 106, Fender Jaguar HH, Akai Force, Yamaha HS8s
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started producing music when I was 12, but didn't start taking it seriously until I was 18 (around 2015). I've been working closely with a few artists on development and songwriting. I tend to work on full albums at a time. I found my friend Jarrod Milton and we worked on two albums of his over the last few years. I produced both of them and mixed the first, "Girl." His second album, "Smile," will come out soon. After I worked on "Smile", I began working closely with Wiley from Atlanta, producing his debut album "Blue Don't Make Me Cry" with Malik Drake and Ian Pope. Throughout these processes I have been working on mixing and mastering. To answer the question perfectly clearly, I've been doing this for 11 years as a hobby, and 5 as a serious producer and engineer.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Psychedelic, clear, powerful.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Lorde and Lana Del Rey, I grew up on them and they influenced every single bit of my work. They're also some of the most talented poets and singers I've ever heard.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Delays on a vocal can add a lot of energy without cluttering up the space or making it too messy. Try a 8th or 16th note slapback delay on a vocal to the bpm of the song, mix it in so that the high end is not too apparent, and bring it low enough to where you don't really notice it. It will make the vocal seem to have a lot more rhythm without changing the presentation much.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Mostly hip-hop, with everything else being heavily hip-hop inspired pop and rock
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Vocal production and song composition.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I think my perspective on mixing brings to the table a creative sound for the artist. I'm able to dial in crazy effects and vocal production to be as subtle as needed, but I really feel like an artist with a paint brush once it comes down to vocal production.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I normally pull the stems in, gain stage everything, start EQing and making sure no frequencies are fighting, and then adjust tones and compression levels according to a reference and taste.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a home studio with an UAD Apollo interface, Yamaha HS8's and multiple headphones as reference monitors
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Mike Dean, Dave Pensado, Neal H. Pogue, Tyler the Creator, James Blake, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Bob Power, Frank Ocean, Malay, Damon Albarn, Lana Del Rey, Lorde
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I write songs with singers and rappers, I also record my production and record the artists vocals, and then mix and master the tracks. I really see the process through to the end.