Producer - Engineer, Songwriter, Musician - Denver, Colorado
Joshua Olsen is a career musician, songwriter, producer and the founder of Third & James Music. For over twenty years Joshua has worked from music cities such as Seattle and Nashville, but relocated to Denver in 2014. His work has been heard on numerous albums, the radio, as well as in television and film. Joshua has played for countless talented artists and shared the stage with some of todays biggest names.
Joshua owns and operates Third & James Music and Third & James Studios in Denver, Colorado, but is also available and frequently works from studios in Seattle and Nashville. Third & James is a boutique music production company, that includes a large semi-private recording studio and small independent record label focusing on country, americana, red dirt and rockgrass clients.
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3 ReviewsEndorse Joshua Olsen
Josh is an excellent producer. Knows exactly how to get the best from an artist. Everything he works on sounds fantastic!
Having Joshua Olsen completely turn my songs into something greater then I ever visioned will always be a highlight of my career. I owe it all to him and a day dosnt Go by I don't learn something from him. He will be the only producer for me for many more records to come! - KA
Joshua is an amazing producer who takes the time to get the best out of the artist. I would recommend him to every musician to take their music to the next level!
Interview with Joshua Olsen
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That indie artists are less desirable than signed artists. It's bullshit
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's your end goal, are looking to be famous or to make good music? They're different kinds of records.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure that the hang is right. You need someone on your team who believes in what you do, and can tell you the truth. If it's about the money, it not the right fit. It's got to be a good hang, and based on trust.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been in the music scene for 20+ years. Started as a hired gun bass player in Seattle, then started the touring game, doing sessions, and then accidentally started producing. Currently, I produce full-time and play out with a few of my clients from time to time.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Chill for a bit and have a drink.....do some tracking.....have a drink..... track.....bbq something..... track.....have a drink......track .... repeat.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I own Third & James Studios in Denver, Colorado. We have a large 3800 sqft facility with two studios and over 1800 sqft of tracking space. Our main room is 45ft by 30ft with 18 ft ceilings. The control room is outfitted with an SSL 4056 E/G with the 9000K mod and a killer rack or gear and mics. Our B room is much smaller but outfitted with a Vintage Trident 80B that sounds killer and has amazing pedigree. It's a home away from home with a great vibe. However, we work in studios all over the country if necessary.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Listening to a song that gives me goosebumps.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm legitimately proud of all my clients.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on a killer new Red Dirt artist named Kyle Allgood. Love this guy!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Joseph J Chudyk at Mockingbird in Byron, NY. The guy is a killer mix engineer and producer. We work together frequently.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both, because its not about me, it's about the song.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: We're going to "make" this record, not just record it.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "How much is this going to cost?" "I don't want this to be about the money"
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Acoustic Guitar, Mac book, La-2a, U-47, Whiskey
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Redneck Sheek. :-)
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Past Artist: Waylon Jennings, Michael Jackson
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: The best plugin is plugging in the right mic.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: We do a little bit of everything, but we specialize in Country, Americana, Red Dirt, Rockgrass etc.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Seeing the big picture and getting there.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Hook development, arrangement, musicianship, experience, tone,
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired by my artists. Each one of them brings something new to the table that teaches me more about the trade. Additionally, I'm inspired by producers who have changed the game, people who have allowed their artists to stretch the boundaries and break the rules.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I think at it's core producing records is similar to being a coach. I try and encourage my clients to find their own unique sound, and abandon the rules. I help walk them through the process of preparing their songs for production and the market. We take our time and we ask the tough questions striving to make the song the best it can be. Then we make a record. We make it, we don't just record it. We make good records, not fast records.