I want to work with every kind of music, from the most complex/technical/melodic, to the most droning/atonal; from the highest quality recordings to phone voice memo recordings. I'm here to give the music you make a new depth, as if it were alive.
I've been recording, mixing, and mastering with Studio One for about 7 years now. Finding my own sound through trial and error, as well as taking college courses in audio engineering, I've got a great mix of both conventional and left-field techniques. As both a songwriter and an engineer I have found new ways to expand ideas and give an authenticity to not only my own tracks, but my friends' and clients' as well.
For most, mixing and mastering can be tedious turn-offs, but I'd say both are where I thrive. I'm itching to work on your next track/album; hit me up!!
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
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Interview with Justin Holden
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am finishing up recording an album with a dear friend of mind, prepping for mixing and mastering!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Miles DeFranco (5k)
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Not only do I enjoy the tedious parts of editing/mixing/mastering that a lot of people dislike, but I love to see a project finalized and to see I helped my client get their song where it needed to go.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The largest misconception is that engineering is a science. It is an art, like any other part of the musical process.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Communicate! Even if it is vague, it helps anyone collaborating with you get to your final goal.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I'd have a laptop, an Apollo, two C414's, and my Seagull S6.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been engineering for about 7 years now.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would describe my engineering style as experimental, only because with each mix I tackle, even though I have select techniques I generally start with, I tend to always try new ideas. I figure out quickly when a new idea doesn't work, but when it does, another door in the weird world of sonic manipulation has opened.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Listen to everything at once. Even when you are focusing on one element or instrument, listen to everything happening in the mix. You will find that less is more, and the track probably needs much less than you think it does, or less than it has already.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: The music I work on varies. Recently I've mixed live recordings of standard rock outfits, electronic dance music, noise music, folk music, pop tunes, and I am more than excited to work on every kind of music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Although I have been playing guitar for twice as long as I have been engineering, I like to think my ear for studio recordings is my strongest skill. Gauging where the mix needs to go is something I feel like I've understood since I first begun experimenting with recording and mixing. Now with my experience I believe I can truly bring your track to its fullest potential.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: When I get my hands on your track, first thing's first: it is yours. I recognize this and will do everything to enhance YOUR sound, not take away from it or implement mine. That being said, communication is important. Tell me what you want even if it is only with analogies, and I will be sure to bring the track where you want it to be.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: With audio engineering work I've found it important to leave space, in several ways. For example, unless the song calls for it most mixes should not be overstuffed with sound. Leaving room allows for the important elements to punch, shine, and catch the listener. Similarly, when I make adjustments I like to wait and hear them with a fresh ind the next day, then see what the next best move is.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio setup is limited due to space, but slowly and surely growing. From a mixing/mastering standpoint, I listen on a couple different headphones (Audio-Technica M50x's & Beyerdynamic DT 770s) and reference mixes in my car (2021 Jeep Cherokee). I have just gotten my hands on some Yamaha MSP5's that I will reference mixes & masters on too!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by artists, songwriters and engineers alike, who push themselves to create something unique. I think that this is more important than the highest fidelity recording at a high budget studio i.e, because if the track really is good then people will listen to it.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing & Mastering are what I am most looking forward to doing for clients.