Production and Mixing!
I got my start like so many of us did, learning to record on a laptop out of necessity! From there I interned at a studio powered by an SSL6k and racks upon racks of gear. Twelve years later, a bunch of tours, and hard drives full of records, there is one single truth about mixing I've learned: serve the song and the emotion within it. Today I'm working on a hybrid setup marrying the undeniable beauty of analog with the workflow of digital. I've had the pleasure of mixing for household names like Brett Young, burgeoning stars like Caylee Hammack, artists pursuing their first label deals, and hobbyists that just want to sound their damn best.
Let's get it!
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10 ReviewsEndorse Pat Tarpey
I am a artist manager and tour manager. I have used Pat’s service for several of my clients and every time he delivers above and beyond. His mixing skills have elevated their sound to another level. I can’t thank him enough for his delicate ear, professionalism, and over all stellar performance on every single mix! Hire him! You definitely won’t regret it!
I've worked with Pat on an array of projects and he is an absolute top-tier engineer, and overall professional. Pat is one of the easiest dudes to get along with but also takes what he does seriously. He has an ear for professional grade audio and the skills and passion to bring it to fruition. He'll listen first and only give as much feedback or perspective as you'd like. No matter the genre, I can promise you Pat won't rest until your track can stand toe-to-toe with the top artists in the game.
I've worked with Pat numerous times when I've needed music mixed for short film projects. I'm always amazed at how patient, personable, and constructive he's able to be regardless of your own prior mixing experience (which, for me, is zero). He has an intuitive ear that can hone in on exactly the sound you're looking for, and he listens to you every step of the way, always ready to make adjustments based on what you're feeling. Incredibly meticulous and knowledgeable about the craft, and a great guy to be around! Can't recommend him enough.
I first worked with Pat around 2014-2015 with my metal at the time, Exalted. Pat was very welcoming, answered a ton of questions, delved deeper into the musical creativity and ensuring the vision came to life. Recording with Pat was such a pleasure and has such a good ear. He worth it and I recommend him ALWAYS.
Pat is the definition of an engineer, point blank! This dude listens to every critique you give him and takes it to a whole another level. I have worked with him on multiple songs and every song he strives to be better. He is worth every penny and to be honest I don't think you can pay him enough. He is probably the most meticulous engineer I have ever worked with and I am grateful that our paths crossed each other. If your wondering who to use, it's a no brainer. Thank me later by DMing me @rufiohooks.
I've gotten to work with Pat for nearly a decade. He has a great ear, creative spirit and energy to make you, the artist, as comfortable as possible when executing your vision. Great conversationalist that will be able to clearly communicate with you on how to best complete your project!
Wolfman is as committed to his craft and his clients as anyone I’ve ever met. He makes the process fun and works until it’s right, every time. 10/10 would recommend.
Pat is creative and fun to work with. He aims to please and has a great ear that comes up with fresh ideas when you’ve heard yourself a thousand times over looking for that missing piece.
Patricus Wolfman is a good human being and a great engineer! He’s got killer ideas and an ear for detail. His Highly recommend!
I've worked with Pat on multiple occasions to record with my band. He was timely, professional, and most importantly.. he made us sound fantastic. Just a wonderful human being in general and very easy to get along with. Don't hesitate to hire him for your next project! He is worth every penny!
Interview with Pat Tarpey
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: We're done when you're happy and feel like the song is complete. Yes I charge for my time and I need to eat, but I got into the industry because I'm a music lover first and foremost. No hustle culture BS in my dojo, just great-sounding commercial quality mixes and ethical collaboration!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What were you feeling when you wrote this song/record? What do you want the listener to feel? Why are you doing this? What records do you like? What are your goals?
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A UAD Apollo, my summing amp, Mac with an M1, Sonarworks, Beyerdynamic DT990s.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Devin Townsend. He's a relatively obscure musician from Canada that is equally as fluent in pop as he is in death metal. He has a record for every emotion and seemingly almost every phase of life. And he's a badass producer/mixer.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mixing lots of singles and saving up for more of that delicious analog sauce.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I hate this question man hahaha. That said... for me it's analog summing and dynamics processing, digital EQ/FX. Both for saturation/distortion.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Where to even begin?? Music is as amazing to me today as it was when I was a child. I love gear, tech, and working with people who care about what they do and the legacy they will leave.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: It's dictated by the song usually. But I strive for polished, modern, and spatially driven mixes. My ultimate goal is to have the listener feel like they are physically somewhere else when they close their eyes. Whether that's in a smoky dive bar, the vocal booth, a boomy car, dreaming, or traveling the multiverse is purely up to the song.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I know this is where I'm supposed to name drop and flex... But It was something kind of unsuccessful commercially. My former band's (As Oceans) record Still Miles to Go remains the most important project I've ever worked on in terms of personal fulfillment. It came at a time of transition in life from boyhood to manhood. I wrote, tracked, produced, and mixed on it. Honorable mentions are mixing Brett Young and Caylee Hammack. Also helping a couple of artists get in talks with labels (no names allowed sadly) as a mixer was also pretty huge! There, I flexed for you haha.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's clinical. Mixing, to me, is intensely emotional and barely scientific. I solve problems, but mostly I use sonic tools to foster feelings.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Take plenty of breaks and prioritize your mental health. The rest will fall into place. Oh, and sidechain your vocal effects :]
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Compress everything, saturate it to hell, smash it with Ozone, and call it a day! Jk jk. I don't work from templates (except for routing and a few key fx) so every song is mixed from the ground up. I generally like to get the mix to a place where it's highlighting what the rough mix was, competing sonically against reference tracks, and hitting all the right vibes on my own. Then I like to use ListenTo by Audiomovers to stream with the producer/artists (along with Zoom or Discord for video chat) after everyone has listened to the hot mix on a variety of systems to make any needed revisions in real-time together. Not only does this give us some face time and make the process more personal but it prevents things from getting lost in translation via emails/texts. From there I work with my mastering engineer Joey Diehl to iron out the fine details and get things translating perfectly!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I mix in Pro Tools on a hybrid setup. I have a 3rd gen Apollo x16 feeding a Phoenix Audio Nicerizer (Class A 16 channel summing amp) and a Warm Audio VCA Bus compressor. It's efficient, easy to recall, and allows for great flexibility and tone. I have serious GAS now that I've dipped my toes into hardware though so this list will get longer soon.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Clarity, space, and emotion. While I do believe I have a "sound" or a "style" in my mixes I am ultimately just trying to be the translator between artist and listener. What I bring to a song depends on the song.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Lately, it's been a lot of different kinds of country. But I adore pop productions and have a soft spot for anything rock or metal as it's where I cut my teeth.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Serban Ghenea for the pop world, Joey Moi for rock and country, and Will Putney and Kurt Ballou for the super heavy stuff.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing! I'm not super into niching down genre-wise, but I almost exclusively work as a mixer these days.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Joey Diehl and Noah Needleman. Both amazing producers/engineers and great guys!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long does it take you to mix a song? Anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks. No song or project is the same. We're done when you're happy.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Hire someone with integrity and a good vibe. Everyone is great at presenting their best side online these days. But get on a phone/video call and figure out what they're actually like to speak to and work with.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: TL;DR: I've been playing or creating music since the 3rd grade and have lived on audio for just under a decade! In my undergraduate years I was studying psychology at Appalachian State University, but playing shows with my band every week all around the state. We got picked up by the school's label, Split Rail Records, and while tracking our EP I became obsessed with the studio. After undergrad, I interned at a studio and was touring with my old band, As Oceans. I started assisting on sessions at the studio and recording local bands at home. I took a hiatus from recording to work in the live world for a few years but I'm back in the studio a little older and wiser than before.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Creating depth of field, spatial perception, size, and transient detail in a mix.