I specialize in mixing records. A great mix of a song can take it from the feeling you get when you walk through a nice room to the feeling you get when the elements and lighting in that room make you feel like you want to live there. Who mixes your song can be as important as who you choose to sing, play guitar, or play keyboard on it! I strive to highlight exciting emotional moments in a song using the latest tools and proven classics to create a memorable experience. In our conversations about your music, I learn what your vision of the song is and together we craft the perfect “lighting” for your music.
Production and Sound Design
I have produced many kinds of records from song-driven pop and rock records to very experimental electronic records, from soul to folk and areas in between. I have spent my life studying the things that work in simple or complex, layered arrangements. My love for an eclectic span of musical styles cannot be overstated! I have decades of experience with hardware and software synthesis and sound design tools along with years of audio engineering and musical training. Perhaps these tools and my perspective on audio and music can help your vision become a tangible reality?
Exciting news! I was recently elected as the producer representative for the Grammys (NARAS) Board of Governors and as co-chair of the Producers and Engineers Wing Committee in San Francisco. I hope to do great things for recording and music education and for raising the voice of indie artists in all genres! Onward!
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, film, games, commercials, and movie trailers. I spent years signed to a record label as a singer/songwriter and understand the many different structures of a song and the craft of lyric writing. I have also composed countless instrumental pieces in varying styles from quirky television themes, to orchestral string and horn arrangements, pop, hip hop, and rock tracks, field recording sound collages, and many styles of electronic music and beyond.
- 01.http://www.the-matic.com/mckaygarner/mckaymix/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Damn.mp3DamnS.O.B. Featuring Michael Buble3:26s7audio/mpeg80
- 02.http://www.mckaygarner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/03-Bird-Strings.mp3Bird StringsSeth Lael4:18s37audio/mpeg80
- 03.http://www.the-matic.com/mckaygarner/mckaymix/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/jellyfish.mp3Jellyfish featuring Julia Reeserdoppio5:00s1audio/mpeg80
- 04.http://www.the-matic.com/mckaygarner/mckaymix/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lazyguys.mp3Lazy GuysDEOTP801:54s26audio/mpeg
- 05.http://www.the-matic.com/mckaygarner/mckaymix/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/takethat.mp3Take ThatS.O.B.800:47s36audio/mpeg
- 06.http://www.the-matic.com/mckaygarner/mckaymix/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Envelopes-by-McKay-Garner.mp3EnvelopesMcKay Garner804:08s13audio/mpeg
- 07.http://www.the-matic.com/mckaygarner/mckaymix/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/pilotbird.mp3PilotbirdCortes Alexander802:41s32audio/mpeg
- 08.http://www.the-matic.com/mckaygarner/mckaymix/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/hard.mp3HardS.O.B. and J Dilla801:08s19audio/mpeg
- 09.http://www.mckaygarner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/10-On-the-Road-It-Aint-Easy.mp3On the Road (It Ain't Easy)Seth Lael3:32s38audio/mpeg80
- 11.http://www.the-matic.com/mckaygarner/mckaymix/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/everyotherthought.mp3Every Other ThoughtCortes Alexander3:05s6audio/mpeg80
- 12.http://www.mckaygarner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/06-07-AFib-1-and-2.mp3AFib 1 and 2Seth Lael6:24s39audio/mpeg80
Since studying music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and playing in countless bands as a drummer, guitarist, vocalist, or keyboardist, most of my life has been lived as a working musician. I have spent the last twenty years as a producer, audio engineer, and composer. During fifteen of those years I owned and operated a commercial/project recording studio in Los Angeles. My wife and I have now lived in beautiful San Francisco for the last several years.
I have been fortunate to have worked as an engineer or mixing engineer on records for up-and-coming as well as familiar, Grammy-winning artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, J Dilla, Michael Buble, Mike Shinoda/Linkin Park, Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), Zakir Hussain, Flogging Molly, Styles of Beyond, and others. I had the honor of working on records with renowned engineers and producers such as Ariel Rechtshaid, Dana Nielsen, Ryan Hewitt, and many others. I have composed music for television shows such as America’s Next Top Model, Grey’s Anatomy, Dawson’s Creek, Burn Notice, and more. My work on video games and films include Total Recall, Transformers (the movie), and Sony Playstation to name a few. The debut album from my collaborative duo, doppio, was featured in 3 categories for the 2011 Grammy Awards including Best Electronic Dance Album, Best Engineering Non-classical, and Best Electronic Dance Single. I am a consultant for Dolby Laboratories on their Expert Listening Team where I help develop new audio technologies.
Musically, I strive to be a bridge between experimental and traditional music approaches with an ear to new technologies and musical techniques. I build my own electronic instruments and controllers and am always looking for new ways to explore music and sound. I have a deep love for audio and sound design with a solid understanding of varying forms of hardware and software synthesis and signal processing.
I am an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area music community participating in several mentoring and networking groups including the NARAS P&E Wing (Grammys), BARMMAP, Balanced Breakfast, the Ableton User’s Group, SF-EMM, and others. I do my best to try to help spread the love for the craft of audio through interviews, blogs, articles, and workshops. I love meeting new people so send me a note below!
A special thank you to the amazing Studio Trilogy in San Francisco for permission to use some of the studio photos at the top of this page. Visit Studio Trilogy at http://studiotrilogy.com
Mixing and Sound Design Tips