[ Contact: info[at]mckaygarner.com ]
My approach to record production lies in a balance between letting things happen naturally and weeding out the things that shouldnt have happened naturally.
I focus on the song itself first and try to make sure that frame is strong enough to support any golden instrumental or vocal moments. I have a long background in arranging, composing, sound design and engineering and play several instruments enough to know what sounds and approaches work well together in a recording. I LOVE positive vibes and try my best to walk through difficult decisions about your treasured work with care and an objective outlook so that we both come out on the other side with the best record possible.
We start with a conversation about what sounds and music inspires you and which ones dont. I may end up at your rehearsals or shows if you are performing or at your moms house if shes making that mac and cheese again ?. So good. I want to know what your lyrics are and what your vision of your songs and the record are if you have some. We start with the root of it all, the SONG. I may leave the song untouched altogether or I may ask for alternate versions of a verse or chorus. We may experiment with different instruments or different types of the same instrument. We may change the tempo or the key of the song (or not). I may experiment with mic types or positions or different rooms for instruments to get a desired sound. I objectively suggest possible approaches to achieving a desired vocal take or sound. We explore options but not aimlessly. We have fun and we work hard.
So heres the thing. Theres an old saying "It's not the gear, its the guy."
WHO mixes your song is vastly more important than where or on what equipment you mix your song. There is a level of professional work where the playing field is level with quality equipment used by all. Just imagine giving 5 guitar players a GREAT guitar. Are they all going to interpret your song the way you hear those parts played or in a way that meets or surpasses your expectations? Nope. Same goes with the mixing engineer you choose for your song. Simple as that.
The final mix of your song can absolutely define the emotional impact of your song. Today's top mixing engineers are chosen for these sonic choices, far beyond turning up or down the volume of each instrument. The ambient space that defines the environment of the performances, the intimacy of a vocal through equalization, compression, and effects, and the impact of your drums, guitars, or that gritty synth line can seriously set the mood of a song that can stick with listeners as long as they live! Just think of the sound of some of the songs with which you grew up or drove home listening to the day you got your driver's license!
I have mixed songs for artists on major labels with large budgets and independent artists working three jobs simply to afford to release their masterpiece. My work can be heard on radio, television, and in feature films. I have mixed songs on records for Michael Bubl, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Styles of Beyond (SOB), J Dilla, Sara Melson, Corts Alexander, a. village and countless others in most any style of music. Mixes are done on a Pro Tools HD system with outstanding outboard processing in a treated room with great monitoring and full recall.
Clients can deliver their files on a hard drive, DVD's, or via the web (FTP). I accept .wav or .aif files, Pro Tools or Ableton Live sessions. If you work in another software or your recordings are on tape, we can work that out easily as well. Just contact me for specifics. After I receive your recorded files, I ask for notes about what specific things you may want in a mix (example: Do you want a dry, in your face sound? You say you want an 1/8th note delay on verse vocal? You like drum sounds kinda like Artist X? Et Cetera). I then execute a mix as I hear it and you take a listen. Reference mixes are reviewed in person or via the web, any revisions are made until the artist and/or producer are happy, and the song's public life begins! Click the "contact" link for info and to discuss rates for your next song or album mixing project.
As an ASCAP affiliated composer and songwriter, I have written music for myself as a solo artist, several singer-songwriters, bands, as well as numerous television shows, sports teams, commercials, and web sites. I have also collaborated with many, many other songwriters on projects varying in style from rock to jazz to pop to r&b to electronic music. I have written, arranged, performed, or programmed complete string sections, horn sections, orchestral arrangements, synth arrangements, guitar tracks, drum and percussion arrangements, lead vocal melodies, and harmonies. I have a vast array of material represented by 5 different publishing companies. Music I have written or co-written can be heard on radio as well as several popular television shows such as Americas Next Top Model, Knight Rider, Night Visions, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, 3rd Watch, Greys Anatomy and many others on NBC, MTV, The CW, Bravo and others.
I LOVE writing music and collaborating with others on new material. Click the Listen link for some samples of music I have written or co-written.
Mckay uses Pro Tools HD (v 8), Ableton Live, and other fine music apps with Aurora Lynx converters into a 112 input DDA-DMR12 console
Monitoring is provided by Truth Audio TA-1P monitors with a subwoofer, Radio Shack powered computer monitors, KRK studio monitors, and Audio Technica headphones
Microphones by Pearlman, Red (by Blue), Shure, Cascade, Beyerdynamic, Studio Projects (modded T3), and more
Effects provided via plug in by MANY companies as well as outboard by Fractal Audio and others
Instruments include acoustic and electronic drums by RMV, Alternate mode, and Alesis as well as MANY guitars, amps, and keyboards including 2 acoustic pianos
Tanning provided by a 47" LCD monitor :-)
I am McKay Garner. Here is a simple, obligatory horn toot rundown of my music career.
I was born in Georgia and grew up in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been making music pretty much all my life and have lived in Los Angeles for the last 13 years composing, playing shows, recording, mixing, and producing music from all over.
I attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a major in music and played drums in studios, clubs and arenas all over the US. I have played guitar, bass, drums, and various keyboards on countless records. Artists whose records I have worked on as an engineer and/or producer include The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Styles of Beyond, Michael Bubl, Flogging Molly, Valencia, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, J Dilla, Corts Alexander, Sara Melson, and countless others. As a composer or engineer, my music has been featured on radio worldwide, on television shows such as Americas Next Top Model, the new KnightRider, Stylista, Greys Anatomy, and many others as well as in feature films such as Transformers.
I have a publishing licensing company called After20After that places artists music and recording in tv shows, films, video games and more.
I have a band called The Mighty New Matic that is currently recording a record and performing live all over.Thats the quick tour! Thanks for visiting my life!