Grammy winner, 25 years exp. My ear is highly tuned and my work flow is dialed in. In addition to being an engineer I am also an artist, producer & musician that can communicate and execute on the level of feeling and emotions. I work in all genres, notably Hiphop, Rap and Soul w/ platinum and critically acclaimed credits. Not the cheapest,
I go all in and do my best. I'm ONLY looking for clients that can afford to pay for the time that takes which could be 4-16 hours depending on what you have.
My industry career began over 20 years ago as a student of Legendary producer Jdilla. I was tasked to build his home studio and spent 2 years in his studio studying his process. Soon afterwards I began working under producer Denaun Porter aka of Eminem's D12 group. Denaun was a protege of Dr. Dre. Under him I recorded, mixed, mastered, played instruments and co-produced on 100's of songs by Eminem, D12, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, G Unit, Snoop, The Game, Busta Rhymes, Rakim, Method Man, Red Man, Guilty Simpson, Pharoahe Monche, Diddy, Black Rob, Ginuwine, Bilal and many indie artists.
While building my chops working under Mr. Porter I met a then- unknown Jay Electronica in 2002. We began working on his early material and crafting his sound. I worked as his primary collaborator on the seminal “Act 1: Eternal Sunshine.” My finger prints are on almost every release which ultimately culminated in a deal on Jay-Z's Roc Nation and a grammy nomination for contributions on his collab album with Jay-Z.
Since this time I have co-Executive and produced and engineered both of Erykah Badu's New Amerykah albums, and have remotely mixed and produced songs and beats by artists and producers around the world.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
3 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Mike Chav
Consistently delivers quality product, w a sense of urgency, has never been late!
My second time using Mike and he’s definitely becoming my go to guy, quick with responding and delivering quality product, would highly recommend
Mike was great he was quick with replies and quick with finishing the project also delivered a great product
Interview with Mike Chav
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: One of the projects I am most proud of is Jay Electronica's Eternal Sunshine Act1. We had been working consistently for 5 years at this point and the heavens seemed to open up for us on this one. It exploded and meant something to the fans and us. It was the culmination of years of hard work. It was made and released quickly. It showed me the the most impactful work can sometimes feel almost effortless.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I have a record label and produce with a group called Sons of Yusuf. I have a young alt rock band I am mixing/producing and I have began teaching a class on engineering in Detroit.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I am new to this platform and have not poked around enough to know who is on here.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both duh.... is it 2007 still?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is that If I will do my best and go the extra mile to make their vision come to life.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The people I have met in music have enriched my life beyond belief. I have made lifelong friends that I've created great works with, we are able to support ourselves and our families and we have travelled the world. There isnt much more one could ask for out of a "job"
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: The most obvious questions are how long will it take and how much does it cost!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That tuning, additional production and arrangements are a part of the mix.. I expect that these things be completed prior to receiving files.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Describe your vision. What do you like about your rough mix, what don't you like? Do you have references? What is your timeframe for completion?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Find someone you have chemistry with who listens and is responsive.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Adam S3a's, Mac Laptop, Kensington Track ball, UAD apollo, U47
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out helping artists and producers build and setup their studios. This angle was worked into jobs working for Jdilla, Denaun Porter, D12 and Eminem. After years with this team I went out on my own and have been freelance in New York, Dallas, LA, London and Toronto. I have been mixing for over 20 years and now i prefer to stay at home in Detroit with my family and make my own schedule.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I love creating space. I want everything to be dimensional. I want the listener to feel like they are inside of the music. Aside from that my style is totally dependent on what is appropriate for the song.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Mike Dean. I feel that my skill set closely mirrors his and that I could learn much from such a legend.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: The most important production tip I have is to focus on what you do best and try to eventually build a team with expertise in each individual area.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Hiphop, Rap, Trap, Soul. I However came up in Indie Rock and love getting projects in that genre
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is developing a unique language with each of my clients thats helps me to translate abstract ideas and emotions into something you can hear. Most of my clients have been with me for years and many I consider family.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring over 20 years of experience on thousands of songs to the table. I have trained under and worked with greats in our field but I approach every project humbly and with respect to the visions of the creators. I am simply a tool to achieve a goal.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My typical process is to listen to rough mix until the original energy of the song is stamped into my psyche. I begin by importing files, organizing and cleaning up where necessary. I approach everything as new and do not use a template. My focus begins with what is emotionally important. I build around that and take care to respect the energy of the demo and any comments or instructions the client has provided. Once my mix is dialed in I sleep on it and tweak the next day, check in the car, earbuds and headphones. Once I am satisfied I send the first draft to the client and we chisel away until the vision is satisfied. This often takes 1 revision with minor notes. Rarely does it go past 3.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I utilize a hybrid Protools HD setup which changes based on the needs of the project. Some songs are better left in the box and others will be summed to a Neve Genesys Black Console and printed back to Protools for easy recall.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am a big fan of Mike Dean and Kanye West. I have worked under some old school engineers like Elliot Scheiner and have a great appreciation for the spacious analog sounds of the 70's.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am most often brought into a project to mix and co - produce which could involve arrangements, "drops", creative effects, adding additional instrumentation and mastering.