Ryan Papa is a Producer / Mix + Mastering Engineer based out of The Sunshine Coast, Australia and has been involved in the music industry for over two decades.
Ryan Papa is an Australian Producer, Mixing & Mastering Engineer and owner of Complete Sound Studio. The studio is a modern, hybrid studio combining the very best in analogue and digital processing. Complete Sound Studio boasts some of the worlds most revered analogue equipment including a 16 channel Solid State Logic X-Panda, SSL Fusion, Maselec MEA-2, Manley Massive Passive & Vari-Mu and an API2500 buss compressor. High-end monitoring is provided by a pair of Focal SM9's in an acoustically treated room.
To date, Ryan has worked with musicians from around the world and caters to both labels and independent artists. Attended sessions are available and encouraged. For those not able to attend, zoom sessions can be organised.
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Interview with Ryan Papa
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Mountain Bloom's debut record - Mixed and Mastered this project. Lost Arcade - Origin - Co-Produced, Mixed & Mastered this record. Dani Grace - Lovers - Mixed/Mastered. Received one vocal track and one track of keys. Worked hard to make it sound as big as possible.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Majority of work I receive is mixing and mastering. I also work on film/tv/games as a writer and produce electronic music.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Co-scoring an independent documentary. Mixing & Mastering Lost Arcade's forthcoming record.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mixing I receive the project from clients as individual audio tracks. I then gain stage, process and automate in the box and sum 16 channels through my SSL console and outboard gear. For Mastering I send the audio through my high-end analog chain that is routed through a Dangerous Music Liaison and return in the box to finalise using digital processing.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Complete Sound Studio is a modern, hybrid facility utilising high end analog equipment from the likes of SSL, API, Neve, Manley with the very best digital providers such as Softube, UAudio and Brainworx. I use Logic and Ableton Live as DAWs and monitoring is a pair of Focal SM9s.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Too many musicians / bands to list, however in regards to Producers / Engineers, I am a big fan of the work of Tom Elmhirst, Tony Maserati, Joe Barresi, Andy Wallace and Philippe Zdar to name a few.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both - they each have their strengths. I couldn't do what I do as effectively using one exclusively.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: They will receive 100% effort.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Seeing a project through completion and exceeding clients expectations.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you make it louder? Sure.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Louder is better.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Time frame, release schedule, release type, goals, expectations and what they like/dislike about the rough version.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Communication is key in this industry. I believe the process should be collaborative, built on trust, respect for each others point of view with a focus on what is best for the outcome of the song/record. The ability to attend sessions is important.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming I have a computer, UAudio Apollo, Softube Console 1, Focal SM9s, SSL, Massive Passive
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: DJ'd for many years before collecting gear, producing and eventually mixing and mastering. I have been involved in the music industry since the early 2000's.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Collaborative. As a mixing / mastering engineer we are hired to do what's best for your song.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Anyone committed to what they are doing.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less is more.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Primarily electronic music, however, I have worked on Punk, Rock, Folk, Hip Hop, Indie, Classical etc.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Fundamental understanding of the technical aspects of processing audio and an open mind to experiment and collaborate.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Honesty, transparency, commitment, experience, taste, objectiveness.