I've been writing, producing and mixing music for 12 years. My songs have charted #4 on iTunes, been used in viral tik toks all over the world, and my band Those Who Dream has gained a diehard following of over 70k+ and amassed 2m+ streams on Spotify. I wanna help you create something absolutely incredible, so hit me up and let's get started!!
My name is Josh! Welcome to my studio. Ever since I could talk, my life has revolved around telling stories with songs. When I turned 8 years old my parents bought me a Simple Plan CD for my birthday, and I listened to it back to front at least 30 times that first week. I remember how it made me feel, I remember it being the first time I was emotionally connected to what I was listening to, and I chase that feeling in everything I write and record. I wanna share everything I’ve learnt on this journey with you, while also learning from you and understanding your story. Bringing me onboard your project means I will be putting 110% into making your vision come to life, whether it ’s writing a song with you, producing the song idea in your notebook, mixing the multi-tracks and bringing the song to life, mastering the final mix, or creating the whole thing with you, start to finish. Together we can create something that can inspire and change the world, and it all starts with you.
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Interview with Sunflex Sound
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When producing in any DAW, I really believe the grid is just a guideline, and when timing up live takes or building drum grooves, programming synth bass etc… you don’t have to lock every single thing exactly to the grid, it can completely kill the life of the song and it's kind of what separates “amateur” productions from radio ready songs. You can accent and add feel in a completely different way just by slightly shifting behind or in front of the grid. Of course this is a bit genre specific and you could always make one section extra loose and swingy, then lock it to the grid for the next section to add contrast between song sections, but it’s still a good thing to remember, especially with drums.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I work mostly on rock/alternative music. I can lean towards heavy rock/metal or on the other side like electronic/pop/indie.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think my strongest skill when I’m mixing and producing is drums. Whether it’s electronic programmed drums or a full live rock drum kit, i find myself learning something new and challenging myself with every project I work on, but I also have a very detailed, unique method of tracking, editing and mixing drums that I’ve been perfecting for for years. With my band I’ve been in a lot of studios and seen a lot of different drum tracking setups. I also talk to everyone I meet and learn about their specific process with drums particularly, so my drum workflow is an amalgamation of everything I’ve learnt and observed over the years. I’ve also collected and been gifted samples and stems in every genre from world class producers which I carry with me on every project.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I think over the years I’ve really honed in on my hook writing ability, and taking a song from “good” to really catchy. Not just applying to vocals but I’ve even utilised the bass as the core hook in some songs, it can be any instrument. The lead guitar could be the catchy hook, or maybe it’s the way the guitar/synth fills in the rhythmic gaps between drums that makes it feel exciting and jump out of the speakers. There are lots of technical aspects to good song writing, but I’ve only really stumbled upon them through years of experimenting. I’m also close with other amazing producers, where we share unique rare samples and production secrets from a handful of hit songs everyone’s probably heard, so I’ll always be applying this stuff to anything I work on.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Production work always starts with the “core instrument” for me - whether that’s the drum groove, a synth top line or guitar hook. I almost always build the song from intro to the end in terms of workflow, as a pose to doing the chorus or something first. Once I’ve nailed down the core element of the song I’ll build the accompanying instruments around it, usually for an intro, then move forward just layering instruments until the end of the song. I work on instrumentals with the vocal in mind, so it’s always good for me to have a song (or even half) roughly written so I can leave space or accent where needed to go with the vocals. That being said, I always record vocals last, and up until the will write all vocal parts out in midi to build the instrumental production around. Mixing work, depending on the genre, I’ll almost always start with kick drum, then go down the session mixing all drums, then bass, rhythm instruments and vocals last.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I start and finish everyday in a spare room in my house, where I have everything I need to create music at my fingertips. My studio setup consists of a Pro Tools 2021 rig run off a MacBook Pro, using Universal Audio Apollo 8 & Apollo Twin at 96khz as my A/D conversion. I have a small outboard and mic collection, but I carefully selected the gear I have to serve a specific purpose. In my sidecar rack I have my 1176, Warm Audio 1073 EQ, a dbx 160a (I swear by it for snares) and a SSL 4000 g bus clone I had made in the UK to model my favourite console compressor, all going into a bittree 96 tt Patchbay. I have access to a Neumann u87 for bigger projects, but usually use my Rode k2 tube mic for vocals, an Se2200 for live instruments and of course a Shure SM7B is always floating around; it sounds great. There’s some pencil condensers and dynamic mics too. To my right I have my bass and electric guitar, then on the left a stage piano and micro korg synth - but I 90% use soft synths.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I grew up listening to Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Green Day and Blink-182, so I’m a deeply rooted alternative rocker. These days I listen to everything - I love the sounds of artists like Youngblood, Bring Me The Horizon, 5SOS, Waterparks, Twenty One Pilots and then producers/mix engineers such as Zakk Cervini, Dan Lancaster, Ian Kirkpatrick, Adam Hawkins etc…
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I’m a mix engineer at heart - I love taking somebodies idea and turning it into the best possible version of itself. But I’ve been producing and writing all my life, and the creative freedom in that world is heavily addictive, so I’m always looking for new projects to build from scratch and produce with an artist.