Houston based music producer and mixing engineer with degree in Audio-Engineering and 10+ years of experience playing/recording drums, piano, guitar, and vocals.
I'm a multi-instrumentalist and producer who is passionate about sharing experiences and emotions through music. I have written, produced, and composed on numerous successful projects: Woodlands Worship (over 1 million streams on Spotify), spookyghostboy (Over 4 million streams on Spotify), and scored a film that just won the award for people's choice on Musicbed (see website).
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Interview with Steven Andrew Shook
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The album "Live" by Woodlands Worship. I was very passionate about this record while we were making it. I wrote and performed on almost every song and co-produced / co-engineered the record with my incredibly talented friend Kyle Lee. It is a praise/worship album that doesn't sound like other praise/worship albums. It's fresh, and even gets 'out there' at times. And it was still well received by a global audience, amassing well over 1 million streams and purchases across Spotify and Apple Music!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Just finished scoring a film that won the peoples' choice award on Musicbed. Currently working on new Woodlands Worship releases, with the newest single dropping next month.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Drew Schueler
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! I've used sooo many plugins and sooo many outboard compressors/eq's and I've come to realize that they're all just tools to create something you're passionate about. There are pros and cons to both but the technology has come so far that you won't be hindered by using one or the other.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that we'll make a complete song that could fit in on editorial playlists while having some unique flare that makes it its own.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the experience of creating something new! Often times I return to a familiar instrument or genre, but I never come back with the same goal as before. Constructing a meaningful and unique song from virtually nothing is one of the most satisfying things about working in music.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Can you work with me on pricing?" .... Yes! I absolutely can. Again, it's more about passion than money, so if it's a project that I'm interested in I'll do whatever I can to make the financial side work.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: While I produce songs, I also mix them. My experience as a mixing engineer on countless records means that I have the ear to make whatever we work on sound "radio-ready". And I'm way to anal to not make it sound that way... So whatever I produce can generally be sent straight to mastering.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is the message you want to send and how do you want to send it?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Negotiate! Just because my first proposal might seem out of your range doesn't mean I don't want to work with you;) I'm always happy to explore all options and feed more off of passion than money (though money is obviously muy importante)
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Mac Pro, Focal Twin6's, UAD Apollo, Sm7, and any (preferably weighted) keyboard
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Started playing in high school, tediously learned every instrument I could get my hands on. Then went to Nashville to get a degree in Audio Engineering. Started interning for producers and studios around town until I wound up making records of my own. Worked with plenty of talented artists and played every role from drummer to lead singer to producer to mix engineer. Then moved to TX to assume an awesome role at a huge church outside of Houston. Been making inspired records with Woodlands Worship ever since.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Somewhere between Haim and Hillsong... That probably doesn't help you though, does it?
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Bon Iver. Because the man's a genius. And a madman. He's a genius madman.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: It's not about gear! Making music is all about being passionate and sharing YOUR story, YOUR gifts. A good sounding song won't go far if it doesn't hold serious emotional or spiritual value to you.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Indie Pop and Praise/Worship.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Mixing vocals.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Creativity and style! Not your run-of-the-mill pop song tone. Sure, I can make you sound like a Billboard top 20 artist--but why stop there? Let's add some sauce and make it a bit different.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Start with the idea and layer in. Create a foundation with piano or guitar then establish the feel and topline. Then round out the production with some shaping and ear candy.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My rig revolves around the Universal Audio Apollo and Antelope Isochrone clock. I depend heavily on my Focal Twin6's when I'm mixing a song and use my dream mic (the Soyuz Tube 017) for all vocals.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Bon Iver, Hillsong United, Chvrches, Gregory Alan Isakov
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Producing a song while maintaining a pro / radio-ready mix.