Rick Torres

Professional Mixing

Rick Torres on SoundBetter

I'm an experienced engineer and producer with over 20 years in New York and Los Angeles, learning from and working with some of the industry's best producers, engineers, and artists.

My mixing approach is one where the vocal is central, and I strive to create dynamic mixes with wide soundscapes that enhance the listener's journey through the song. I have a broad range of expertise and a wide range of mix tools that allow me to execute a client's creative vision. I'm not looking to churn out mixes just to get paid, so I always take time to assess the material to be mixed before we start to make sure it's ready, and am always open for my clients to discuss their project before, during, and after the mix.

I very much encourage the use of reference songs, as it can sometimes be hard to describe the sound you're envisioning. They're not required, but more often than not, they help.

A note about mastering:

I mix "top down" with 2 bus processing, so upon completion of the project you'll get a track that's at a level ready for release. That said, I can easily provide an unmastered mix file for a mastering engineer to work with if that's your preference. I can even recommend some pretty great ones!

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

Interview with Rick Torres

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

  2. A: Manuel Jimenez, he's a great mastering engineer, and one of the guys I usually refer clients to.

  3. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  4. A: Both. They each have a time, place, and sound. That said for most artists on a budget, digital provides some advantages of speed and efficiency over analog.

  5. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  6. A: Open communication, committed effort to make the best mixes I can, and honesty throughout.

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

  8. A: I work with music, duh.

  9. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  10. A: Do you master as well? The answer is that I use a top down mix process, so when I send you the mixes, they will be at a level that is release ready. That said, mastering is a very precise process that I usually recommend be outsourced to some very talented people that specialize in that part of production. I will gladly provide unmastered bounces at no charge, and I can even refer some excellent mastering engineers if you'd like!

  11. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  12. A: That mixers can fix bad tracks in the mix. The mix process is to enhance what is recorded, and it will do so with the good as much as the bad. Yes, mixers can improve on or hide sounds, certainly. But we cannot make a bad or poorly recorded sound good.

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

  14. A: - Are all your tracks the best you can make them before you send them to mix? - Are they all properly labeled? - Have you checked that all the files sync correctly, aren't clipped, and don't have large amount of processing on them already? - Do you have any draft and/or reference mixes picked out?

  15. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  16. A: Ask any questions you feel you need to ask about your project, their workflow, etc... Holding back anything because you think it makes you look dumb/inexperienced only hurts the quality of your project, and any service provider that isn't willing to spend that mental energy talking through those questions/concerns isn't gonna spend that mental energy on your project either.

  17. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  18. A: My Macbook Pro, my UA Apollo Twin, my mic, my maschine, and my headphones. That's all I need to make or mix great sounding music (assuming there's a power generator, of course...).

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

  20. A: I've been making music for a really long time, over 25 years. Started off when I was a kid in Costa Rica, as a drummer playing in rock bands. That eventually led me to a music conservatory in Virginia where I got a degree in music production and audio engineering, and fell in love with recording in production. After a few years in the DC scene I moved to New York City and started my first studio, where I worked with musicians of several different genres, including Pop, Hip Hop, Folk, and Jazz, among others. After a few years of that, I relocated to LA, and quickly became the first call engineer at one of the biggest studios in Los Angeles, working recording sessions for artists such as G-Eazy, French Montana, CD9, Gareth Emery, among many others. At the same time I began producing for independent artists at my own studio as well as writing for TV and film (over 80 placements to date). Recently i've relocated back to my native Costa Rica, where I mix and write for placement with artists across the globe.

  21. Q: How would you describe your style?

  22. A: I'd call myself a minimal creative. I'm someone who truly believes in the idea of first working in service to the song, and the artist. Thats not to say I don't have creativity or enjoy pushing the envelope, but I don't look to insert things into the mix and/or production just to fulfill my own need to feel like I added something in. Sometimes the song needs something extra and i'm there for it, but sometimes less is more, and if that means I just keep it sparse, i'm fine with that.

  23. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  24. A: Beyoncé. Beyond the obvious of her being quite possibly the most influential female artist of this generation, I almost ended up running a session for her when I worked as a house engineer for a studio in LA. Since then, I've been hoping I might get a chance to do so again!

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

  26. A: When stacking vocals, pan your recorded lead to one side, and the new track you're stacking to the opposite side. It'll help your brain match the timing of the original better, and in turn lead to stacks that won't require as much editing, if any, to sound tight.

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

  28. A: Pop, Hip Hop & R&B, but i've been privileged to work on many different styles of music.

  29. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  30. A: Vocal mixing. If there's anything my clients have repeatedly been excited about is hearing their vocals brought up to a whole other level.

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

  32. A: Years of experience, technical knowledge, musical sensibility, and most importantly, care.

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

  34. A: I always start by reviewing the tracks to make sure they're truly ready to mix, and discussing any issues I may encounter with clients before starting the mix. From there I'll set up a basic leveling pass, where I get everything sitting in a good place, then dig in and refine until I have a version or two I think the client should hear. From there I'll work through any revisions the client may have (we can even do a livestreamed revision session so we can discuss in realtime) until we're all happy with the final mix.

  35. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  36. A: My core rig is a Mac Pro based system running Logic Pro and Protools running on UA's Apollo interfaces. These days I work pretty plugin heavy (literally thousands of options from most major manufacturers) for flexibility & easy recall, but my rig is cloned to my MacBook pro for portability to work in large format studios as projects require it.

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

  38. A: Too many to name them all, but to throw out a few... Dr. Dre for his endless ability to be relevant, Adele for her incredible voice, Rick Rubin for his knack to break things down to their core essence, Derek Ali for his incredible musicality in mixing.

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

  40. A: Mixing! I primarily work with clients looking for strong emphasis on vocals, that want them to stand out without completely overwhelming the rest of the mix.

Terms Of Service

- My policy is to allow up to 5 revisions on a mix, but i'm generally flexible; I want the records to be right.
- Turn-around time on a mix is 3-4 days to provide the first draft.

Gear Highlights
  • ProTools
  • Logic Pro X
  • Melodyne Studio
  • Vocalign Ultra
  • Auto Align
  • Select UAD plugins
  • Plugin Alliance Mega Bundle
  • Slate Everything Bundle
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