dBeauty Salon

Making Good Music Sound Beautiful

About Me

Music is the thing that has always taken me places. As a child, I discovered the world through my father’s record player. Later I learned how to play the piano and eventually became a drummer. Collaborating in different projects I enjoyed working with different people and styles as I navigated the Spanish, Irish and German music scene.

My concern is always with the music itself, the different ways in which the artistic elements from which it is made up work together to move people. Success for me is the result of carefully tuning into each unique project and finding out what it needs. I don’t believe in standard solutions. I believe in the human factor, that everyone has a story to tell and I am always curious to hear them. In reality, therefore, it is about anything but me. I am here to let everything else stand out. So why write more about me. I would love to hear about you, your project and where you want to go with it. Let me show you what I can do to help you get there.

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The Studio

Philosophy

I’m a craftsman, although I use only plugins, I don’t allow these tools to define my work, or how I do it. I put all my care and dedication in it, and the result is always unique and bespoke. A plugin compressor works exactly like an analog one. And, exactly like an analog one, a lot of people don’t know how to use it. So they abuse what is known as “presets” and end up making every recording sound the same. And, well, I never use “presets”.

Before a mastering engineer I am a musician. Engineers have forgotten that, in esence, we work with music. An artform, a portrait of feelings, a will to communicate. I don’t want your recording to sound louder or more impressive, I want people to enjoy it, to feel it. It’s all about excitement. I want to give every song and every performer that extra percentage of liveliness. I always approach music from an emotional point of view and I want your music to move the listener.

 
 

Equipment

Natural light, fresh air and space underneath the floor for the low frequencies to move freely make this room absolutely delightful to work in. The little reflections found are tamed by several acoustic panels built to specification and with a colourful finish. I spend a lot of time in this room and wanted it to be a happy and inspiring place.

With the premise of keeping it simple, pragmatic and flexible, I decided to work entirely In The Box, so it’s all plugins. I use only what I’ve come to think are the best, mainly from the Dutch company FabFilter. They sound crystal clear and offer a workflow unthinkable in the analog realm. Another reason to choose to work entirely In The Box is that it allows me to make my rates more affordable and keeps my workflow quick.

I also work with hardware controllers for these plugins, which are custom made by OhMyBytes to my specifications. I am privileged to be friends with the developer and have helped create them from prototype to what you can see now in the pictures. They are assembled by hand, incredibly sturdy and fantastically reliable.

A great vintage pre-amplifier, handmade by the Scottish brand Linn nearly forty years ago, and a couple of incredibly precise custom modified Polk Audio speakers complete my very spartan setup.

Works

(in alphabetical order)

Pricing

I charge by a very simple method: £10 a minute of final master. That means that if your recording is 30 minutes long, you will pay £300. It seems more fair than a “per song” rate; it would be the same price if your one-hour long album had only two songs or thirty eight.

What you will get in any case is three different sets of mastered files: one for streaming, one for vinyl (if you intend to print one), and a DDP ready to be sent to the CD factory of your choice.

Anyway, I believe in everyone’s right to have their music sound as professional as possible and I have something that I call the “If I Love It” rate. So, if you are a struggling unsigned artist or a “bedroom producer”, contact me and tell me about your project. Because, “If I Love It”, we can surely work something out.

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