In our Studio Spotlights series, we shine the spotlight on professionals who are using Bounce Boss in their workflow. They share how they got into music, their career path, setup, skills and the projects they have been working on. They also share production tips and advice for customers.
In this Studio Spotlight, we meet Richie Beretta:
"So I’m pretty much self-taught though later on in my career I was lucky enough to find a mentor, and that’s very valuable to have. I never had an assistance gig or an internship and I was never a second in the studio. When I was a kid, music was taught to me pretty much immediately, and when you learn an instrument you want to record yourself. In my house, my father had a spare room where he had all the studio gear set up from when he was in a band from the ’70s. I would break in the room and get in trouble and my Dad realized that if he didn’t teach me how to use the stuff the right way I would probably break it. So he taught me how to work a tape machine, cut, overdub, splice tape, mix on a board, and print that mix on a final master tape. I thought that gave me a great foundation to go and learn the stuff on my own. The way I got better at it was by pretty much taking any job that I could, never saying no. I would always record my own band, along with other local bands, and when I finally thought I was good enough to work on bigger projects I realized that because I was never an assistant and because I never became an intern I lacked the network that you gain from being in a studio environment. I thought to myself, well I have to come up with a way to jump in and I thought the best way to do that was through the audience. The way I would do that was by remixing songs that were already out and leveraging the popularity of the song. Luckily that worked, it got the attention of some pretty big artists like Major Laser and Beyonce, got to do remixes for them. Then after that much more mix and production work came in and that's how I got here."
“OK, I don’t wanna get into the discussion of analog versus digital, but I will say analog is very very important to me. I think the argument between what is better or should one replace the other is stupid. It’s 2019 and as a future generation of mixers, we need to innovate with what we have and what already exists, right? I think analog is very important in today's music making process, especially for me as a mixer because a lot of the producers I work with make their stuff on a laptop, or if they’re a band they’re triggering samples and using amp modeling. There is an absence of analog in the record making process these days. So, I think it’s valuable for me as a mixer to reintroduce this music back in to the analog domain where it can interact with a piece of music that can amplify the emotional and rhythmic response of the music I don’t think that can be replicated as well in the box as it can out of the box, which is why is it important for me to stay somewhat analog. However, when you work in the box it's quick, it's accurate, it's no recall, you work on multiple projects at once, and that's also valuable. So when I made the choice to do a half and half hybrid type of thing I needed to make sure that I kept all the benefits of just being 100% in the box so I can stay competitive with in-the-box mixers; mainly speed is a big deal. So what I did was I set up my rig so that I have all of my mix buses are analog, all my parallel mix-busses are analog. I have to make sure that I’m going to use these things in every session, so my hardware inserts are just vocals, bass and drums, everything else is going to be done in the box, what that does is it gives me the speed of working in the box while enjoying all the emotional and compelling value I get when I work and I throw something through a piece of gear. Recalls really fast, I figured out a way to do it I can recall session in like 5 minutes and that's all through simple calibration."
"I like to think people like to work with me because I really give a s*** about music. What that means is, I’m very much aware of how a record affects me and I think that it's important that the audience gets to experience that as well because it's special it's what makes the song last for a long time and everything else to me is secondary all the tricks I can do with gear or with the computer and Pro Tools that’s secondary. What matters to me is how I'm feeling and how the song is changing me emotionally and every choice I make is dictated by how I’m affected by the record, and that’s the only thing that matters to me."
"I think my favorite feature of Bounce Boss is just the simple fact that I can take a link, send it to a client and they can upload stems directly to me. I don't have to worry about expiring links, I don’t have to worry about the file transfer website sending the alert into my spam folder... What this does is it puts my client in charge of their own files and this is really important when there's a lot of different producers working on the same record. I may get a kick drum from someone over here, I may get a vocal from someone over there, and they send me a link and I have to go through my email and figure out who’s sending me what, and its very easy to lose track that way and I can't lose track because I have to be professional. So what this does is it now makes it the clients responsibility to collect the files and dump them in all one spot and if they don't want to do that they could just simply send a link out to each producer and say send your files to this bank and everybody is happy it's amazing.
The other thing that I think it's really special about Bounce Boss is it finally allows me to build a better relationship with my clients quicker. Especially new clients that I haven’t worked with an built a rapport with yet. I don't do the limitations on communication when it comes to revisions. I don’t have that talk I think it’s a bummer, I don’t wanna give rules to my clients because it's a drag you know so I never say 'hey, don't contact me after 3 a.m’, or you know ‘I’m having dinner my girlfriend don't call me’ you know or if you're a band only one person can send me notes, that’s a drag. You don’t want to bum out the client. Bounce Boss gives me a way to allow the band or the client, or the A&R or their parents or whoever is involved a way to give a revision note. They know I see it, I don't have to transcribe anything onto a notepad file with the time code, it's all there, it’s all time-stamped and it’s all organized, and that saves me time and it saves me a conversation that I don’t want to have, that I never ever wanted to have with my client. In fact, when I first found out about Bounce Boss the first thing I thought was why the f*** didn’t I think of this?"
"I think the most powerful thing that you could do for your songs is come up with a workflow that strategically leads you to a better final product. What I mean by that is… Personally, for me, I like to work backward so I'll write the tune in it’s most basic form, maybe it’s a chord progression and some drums. If I’m working with a top-liner then they'll give me a melody and maybe some lyrics and then I'll stop and listen before I let all that creativity loose, and I think to myself how is this song supposed to sound like when it’s done? How is it supposed to behave, what's the audience supposed to feel and what that does it forces me to only include things that will support my original vision for the song and it makes me leave out everything that's unnecessary. these days when I get to mix, the track counts are in the 100’s and 200’s and even though all the sounds in the session are beautiful and well-thought-out and play great, I only need 50% of the stuff that’s in that session for the song to do what it’s supposed to do. So if you come up with a workflow that sort of forces you to have a much more potent and pure product you won’t have to worry about taking the time to search for unnecessary sounds and you’ll have a better song faster."
"I can’t speak enough about the value of communication. Anyone who is looking to hire a mixer or someone to help them get their songs across the finish line should really understand that there is a great value in a dialogue between the person you hire and yourself. These days a lot of engineers are so far removed from the artist because of all the people in between relaying messages, it’s easy for everyone to lose sight of what that song is really supposed to accomplish. We need to be on the same team, we’re all working to make a great song and have it last for a really really long time because that’s important. The way you do this is by communicating. The best projects are when I learn from my client and when my client learns from me. It's one thing to be creatively aligned but its much more powerful when your intentions are aligned and you get that through communication."