Mix and Mastering engineer
Hi, I'm Esteban, a Colombian, Melbourne - based Producer, Mix and Mastering Engineer who specialises in R&B and Soul, Hip Hop, Pop and Reggaeton. I'm a truly passionate about music and sound creation. This passion and motivation has taken me on a journey full of experiences working with great artists, producers, brands, and other creatives
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2 ReviewsEndorse Esteban Clavijo
Esteban is my “go to“ when I need a mix engineer. He is such a talented musician an amazing colleague, he always has a great attitude towards the process, he doesn't mind to “run the extra mile” when it comes to make something sound good. I HIGHLY recommend him if you want to get a critical point of view, leading you to an excellent result on your tracks.
This guy knows how to make a track sound exactly how you want it! Amazing work and patience and a great listener.
Interview with Esteban Clavijo
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm proud of every single project I ever worked on, but I had to choose one I believe it would be Fede Marin. I was the mix engineer of his EP. He's an artist that know what he wants and it's good to communicate that. Not to mention that his music it's amazing and I liked every single step of the process. Hopefully I'll get more projects like this in my career.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working an artist from Colombia called Fede Marin as a mix engineer. I work with Oster Colombia (home appliances company) editing ads, and I'm starting a home studio where hopefully I can bring more creators to boost their projects.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I've seen a lot of the mix engineers I admire so yah, I'll probably recommend one of them.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Depends of the genre / sound I'm working or chasing. At the moment giving my situation, I'll go digital. However, If I get the chance to use analog pre amps (neve, API, Avalon, UAD) I wouldn't think it twice. For EQ, Compression and other signal processing, I'll go digital eyes closed.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll make the best version possible of your song and I'll get back at you in 2, 3 days.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I don't see any other job that gives me the same satisfaction and happiness as to make music that I love sound better. It's a dream for me.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Customer: Can you make me sound like this artist? Me: I'll make good use of this artist as a reference to bring the best out of yourself.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Sometimes I heard people saying that anything can be fix in post (the mix), and that's not true. Mix and Mastering are stages that will make your song grow and be more competitive in the market, we are here to make things even better than they already are. A bad performer, poor arrangement, and lack of creativity in pre production, will only lead to a non great mix and a poor mastering.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Which artists have influenced your music. What is your message / what do you want to say with your music.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be organised when you send your files. Label and name your tracks, make sure you're sending your files in the format that the provider it's asking you. And most important be precise when you communicate what you want. If you do this, you'll have an amazing relationship with your provider.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Computer, Interface, Guitar, Headphones and a Mic.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started to mix when I was 17 years old (I'm 26), trying to learn online while doing high school. I enroled in a music production and Contemporary Music diploma in EMMAT Berklee Global Partners (Bogotá, Colombia) and then I went to JMC Academy to course the Bachelor of Audio Engineering in Melbourne, Australia. Along uni I've had the opportunity to work with different artists as a "bedroom producer", remote mix and mastering engineer. In Australia I had the chance to assist at NewMarket Studios with Guus Hoevenaars, being part of the foley team of Backlot Studios in 3 films. And I work as an editor for TV and Radio ads ocasionally.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Clean, defined, "groovy".
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I cannot mention just one. I would love to work with Frank Ocean, Tom Misch or some artist like Alpha Mist. First because all of them are extremely talented, they make great music and it would be a pleasure to work in such a great environment. I strongly believe that the key to succeed as a mix engineer, it's to mix great songs, that's it. If you have incredible artists to work with and you do your job, your career has no other way to go than success.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If you heave two instruments that are masking each other in the mix, listen carefully and decide which one it's more important to the song. Then after processing both instruments, put an EQ on both tracks and find the area of the spectrum where they're masking each other. Once you find that Frequency, boost it on the instrument that adds more to the song and cut the same frequency on the other instrument (the one that is masking your "important" instrument). Then try some panning if you want to get more separation. But this technique will solve your masking issue and give you definition in your mix without loosing character on both instruments.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I work on R&B, Soul, Hip Hop and Reggaeton.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Although I like to use reference tracks in my mixes, I always like to add my personal touch to everything I do. When I mix I bring more power and more definition to every instrument in the mix and give my best to make all of them work together to take the song to the next level.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I recieve the mix from my client (artist or producer) and I also ask for a general reference track, if possible, I would also ask for reference tracks regarding every instrument of the song (Drums, Bass, Guitars, Vocals, etc). I drag the audio files in my template and start mixing. I usually reply within 2, 3 business days for adjustments, and then go back to the client with all the corrections they asked for. Usually the process takes around a week if my client takes too long to get back at me with their thoughts.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I currently operate from a home set up. I use a MacBook Pro 2020 (Intel Core i5) great machine, never let's me down. I mix in Pro Tools or Logic, although I use Logic often for music production. UAD Apollo x4 as my interface with some UAD Plug ins included, Native Instruments, Arturia V Collection, Waves Plug ins, Izotope, Melodyne, etc. I have a pair of KRK Rokit 5 and I use sonarworks to calibrate my headphones and speakers. In addition to this I rely in the CLA nx to check my work.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm a huge fan of the sound of Frank Ocean, his music, the arrangements, I found it quite amazing and inspiring. From the other end I feel inspired by Maria Elisa Ayerbe, Tony Maserati, Jaycen Joshua, I think they area incredible mix engineers and I try to learn as much as I can from their online material.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I usually help other artists to achieve the vision they have on their music. This could be done through music production, mix, or mastering. I'm more focused on mix at the moment.