Levi Gillis

Session Saxophonist

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3 Reviews (1 Verified)
Levi Gillis on SoundBetter

Session and Touring Saxophonist/Clarinetist/Flutist in The Dip | Equally at home laying down a ripping saxophone solo or shimmering clarinet or flute pads - and anything else we can dream up! Specialist in funk/R&B, jazz, and singer/songwriter and indie-rock.

I'm a saxophonist based in Los Angeles. I've recorded/worked with lots of artists across tons of genres - The Dip, Beat Connection, Pickwick, Wayne Horvitz and many others. I've been playing for over 20 years and have toured extensively across the US and Europe.

I specialize in tracking solo and background parts. I love to work collaboratively and can tailor what I do on each track to fit exactly what you need. I'm happy to record parts you have written or write/arrange something new. My ultimate goal is to get you the sounds that you're looking for at the highest quality. I allow for three revisions per track so we can make that happen.

My turn around time is quick (usually1-2 days) and my rates vary according each project.

I record in my home studio. I have a WA73-EQ preamp, an FMR RNC1773 compressor, a Focusrite Scarlett interface and an assortment of large and small diaphragm condenser and dynamic mics. I also have a Tascam Portastudio 424 mk III if you want some of the horns to be run through tape. I deliver multiple takes of unprocessed stems and along with a rough mix with horns.

Looking forward to making something cool!

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.

Credits

Discogs verified credits for Levi Gillis
  • Beat Connection (2)
  • The Dip (3)
  • The Dip (3)
  • The Dip (3)
  • Various
  • The Dip (3)
  • The Dip (3)

3 Reviews

Endorse Levi Gillis
  1. Review by Vincent Fevrier
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    Levi recorded the saxophone parts I needed in record time. He quickly grasped the essence of the project. Great communication as well! I highly recommend

  2. Review by Brennan Carter
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    I’ve been playing with Levi closely and regularly for over 10 years. He is a master saxophonist but more importantly an incredibly creative person, thoughtful and deep thinking, and has a unique musical voice of his own.

    Hire this man for your project! There is no one better!

  3. Review by Brennan Carter
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    I’ve been playing with Levi closely and regularly for over 10 years. He is a master saxophonist but more importantly an incredibly creative person, thoughtful and deep thinking, and has a unique musical voice of his own.

    Hire this man for your project! There is no one better!

Interview with Levi Gillis

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I'm proud of my work with in the summer of 2020 with Ben Marx aka Tov (second track on my sample recording). He trusted me with full creative control of the horn arrangements and I think together we arrived at a truly special sound.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I'm working on an EP of songs, as well as producing a couple of songs for a singer-songwriter here in LA using my Tascam 4-track.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: I've worked with my good friend and colleague Brennan Carter for over 10 years. He's an amazing trumpet player and arranger and collaborator as well!

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: I like to do both! I have fun experimenting on my Tascam Portastudio, but sometimes the streamline of digital workflow is more convenient.

  9. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  10. A: I love getting to collaborate, help other realize their vision for their music, and I love the feeling of creating something where there wasn't anything before.

  11. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  12. A: I usually ask if clients have anything they know they want to try out or hear. If you know exactly what you want, I"m happy to execute that for you. If the arrangement is more open I ask what kind of feeling you want to evoke with the song and if there are any reference tracks you have.

  13. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  14. A: I have an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BM from the University of Washington. I grew up playing school band and my interest in saxophone and music has just continued to grow. At a certain point I just realized I couldn't live without it and my touring/recording/composing career has grown from there.

  15. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  16. A: Mic placement can really make or break a recording. On each of my horns there's a sweet spot to get the right balance of brightness and warmth.

  17. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  18. A: I working on everything to singer-songwriter and indie-rock stuff to soul and R&B. I also venture into more experimental music.

  19. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  20. A: My sense of taste and intuitive sense of what is serving the song and what is not. I also have a great ear for timbre and texture - which kind of horn sounds will fit and which won't.

  21. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  22. A: I bring a holistic approach to the songs I work on, always asking the questions, what does the song need, what can the horns do to take the message of the song to the next level.

  23. Q: What's your typical work process?

  24. A: My typical work flow is to demo out an arrangement based on your track, send it over for thoughts and revisions. Then I make edits and send over the stems once we like what we have.

  25. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  26. A: Hi have a small but highly functional studio setup with Yamaha HS7 monitors, a Warm Audio preamp/eq and a couple FMR "Really Nice Compressor" (used just to smooth out the sound, not to over compress). I like to use Pro Tools for recording but I'm comfortable in Logic and Ableton as well.

  27. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  28. A: Daptone Records is hugely inspiring for their attention to detail in sound and arrangement. Nothing is excessive or out of place and their releases have so much feeling and vibe. I love Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens for their exploratory approach and willingness to take risks while not sacrificing the song.

  29. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  30. A: I usually arrange and record woodwinds for songwriters and producers and artists who are looking for tasteful and detailed additions to their tracks.

Terms Of Service

Rates and turnaround times vary based on the job, but I do my best to be as fast as possible.

GenresSounds Like
  • D'Angelo
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Art Blakey
Gear Highlights
  • WA73-EQ Preamp
  • FMR RNC1773 Compressor
  • Focusrite Scarlett interface
  • Yamaha HS7 monitors
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