My name is David Jones, and I am the founder and producer at 'Mix Asylum', a home studio based in Tamworth, Staffordshire in the UK. I am 24 years old, and have recently attained a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in Music Technology and Production degree at the University of Derby. Please read on for some information on my production background, and how I hope this can serve your needs as a client.
I've always been interested in music from a very early age, listening to a variety of material (rock, pop, classical etc). After studying a couple of computer courses after school at 16, I decided to study a production course as purely an informative process of how tracks/albums are created. I knew a course involving music would be much more interesting to me than computers! At this point though, I had no ambitions to make a career as a producer. I studied for the BTEC National Diploma in Music Technology at South Staffordshire College from 2008-2010.
As the course progressed, my simple interest turned into thoughts of "I enjoy learning about/recording people" and I definitely started having feelings of a type of "sound" I liked hearing on recordings. The more experience I obtained, the more these feelings grew and I soon knew that I wanted to start a career in production. I learnt many subjects over the two years including:
Signal Path considerations
How to manage a production successfully
Music Business Management
I worked very hard at this course, achieving Distinction across the entire 18 subject areas, and also received an award for "Student of The Year" (which my tutors had put me on the shortlist without my knowledge!).
Towards the final few months of the college course, I began to harbour feelings of starting my own post-production business, but I didn't feel I had quite the in-depth knowledge in order to make it a success at this point. I decided attaining a University degree would help fill this gap in knowledge.
The degree I settled on was a three year BSc (Hons) in Music Technology and Production at Derby University from 2010-2013.
Much more in depth knowledge was obtained on my degree, but perhaps more importantly, there was an overriding emphasis on group work and participation, bringing my confidence levels up, so that I could work with others in a group (and also have a say on how the production should progress).
Some subjects gave me a greater understanding of areas on my college course (such as Acoustics and Business Management), but new areas were:
Multichannel Sound and Auditory Perception - Creating a surround mix with a 24 channel output surround system and understanding and creating a Binaural sound scape (in ear microphones which accurately reproduce what the listener is hearing).
Music Production Portfolio - Creating 6 recordings over a one year period, with strict stipulations that each recording must be in a different genre. I had to organise my own schedule on this project, as well as the session musicians for the individual tracks. This meant recording on weekends in my own time.
Video/Audio Production - Obtaining an in-depth knowledge of filming equipment during a semester and using this knowledge to create a short film in a group setting. The soundtrack was created by myself with no other influences, using my skills to inject the meaning of the film.
Studio Post-Production – A particular interesting unit for myself, part of this unit involved critically listening to two recordings and reviewing both mixes in a critical way (for example what sounded good/bad, sonic qualities, improvements that could be made etc). The second part of the unit involved creating a 5.1 surround mix of a track called “Dont Look Any Further” by Dennis Edwards. This was done using the original STEM files, in a group environment. There were aspects I may have done differently if mixing by myself, but overall the mix gave an added sense of ambience to the original stereo mix.
A unit known as Professional Practice in the second year of my studies involved studying a work placement, where I was given tasks to complete by the studio owner and had to document these in detail in a diary for assessment purposes. This placement gave me a taste of how working in the production industry would be like, fuelling my desire for my own business. I was awarded an A- for completing the placement and for the detail applied in my diary.
A particularly important unit, Entertainment Industry: Professional Practice required me to reach out to new contacts in order to interview them about the area I wished to progress to after University. As I'm interested in production/mixing, I decided to interview four well known producers about their careers.
I finished my University degree in May 2013, and I have now been awarded a 2:1 degree classification for my work over the three years.
I now feel ready to start working in the industry in my home studio known as Mix Asylum. Due to my mild Cerebral Palsy which affects my mobility, I know that working at a commercial studio would be difficult for me, so I feel that a home studio is currently the best option for my career.
The main advantage of working in a home studio is that I can offer a tailored service to clients and work on a mix until it is ready to be returned. There is obviously no pressure of time/rental constraints working from home and I think this would ultimately reflect in a finished mix.
Mix Asylum has a range of technology at its disposal to make your mix stand out from the rest, including technology from Universal Audio, IK Multimedia, Slate Digital etc.
Please take a look at my Soundcloud account, showing you just some of the recent mixes I have made over a range of genres. I actively welcome any genre to mix, as this ultimately challenges and improves my skills.
Thank you very much for your time, I look forward to working with you soon.
David Jones, BSc (Hons) Music Technology & Production