Music Production

Music Production
Expert music creation across a variety of genres.

My first passion was music composition. My second, born out of necessity for the first, was music production.

Music production has a variety of meanings across genres and industries, but at its most basic it's the process of creating & recording music. It can involve composition, sequencing, recording live elements, and editing, but also project management, talent coordination, and more.

Likewise, the role of a producer varies by project and genre. Broadly speaking, producers in electronic music, hip-hop/rap or R&B are often the people that make the "beats," the underlying track the artist performs over (or the product itself, in the case of some EDM producers.) On the other hand, producers in rock, pop, folk, etc. generally coordinate the efforts of the artist, musicians, studio engineers, and perhaps the label. But those are really simplified descriptions of varied distinctions, and it's not unusual to see the lines blurred depending on the artist, the producer(s), the label(s), and the relationships between them.

The reality often lies between the lines, especially when dealing with indie projects and artists. Fortunately, when you bring me aboard to help produce your project, you're bringing aboard two decades of experience ranging from shoestring indie environments to world-class studios, from EDM to rock to acappella to jazz, and with a lifetime's knowledge of helping steer projects to completion and getting the most out of the people involved.

My Production Bio

As I mentioned on my home page, I'd love to be your secret weapon.

I got my start recording my own projects in 1997 using Cool Edit Pro (which later became Adobe Audition) to painstakingly record track-by-track. My love affair with professional recording started in 1999 after recording my groove-rock band in a studio in Northeast Ohio and falling in love with their racks of beautiful and musical equipment combined with their shiny new Pro Tools setup.

Later, I began estalishing my presence in the Dallas, TX-area hip-hop scene under my stage name Luquado, collaborating with my longtime hip-hop/R&B producing partner Latti on tracks featuring Paul Wall, Lil' Flip, Mr. Pookie & Mr. Lucci, Bizzy Bone (of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony), and more (through collaboration with Prynce P of Pohectic Life Records.) I also self-released a successful trance/dance album, 2004's At Odds At Times, which won several community awards for production, vocals, and lyrics, and received club and radio play throughout the US and Canada.

Shortly after arriving in NYC, I turned my attention to acappella, producing the self-recorded debut release for my group the New York Holiday Singers, Sing We Joyous in 2009, which was a modest success and was featured in NYC radio markets. Later, after the group evolved into a jazz/funk/soul acappella quintet, I produced and performed on the new group's debut studio album, 2014's Shine, proudly peaking at the #1 spot on Amazon's Vocalists & Broadway charts and #5 on iTunes's Christmas charts after being featured on a CBS Sunday Morning piece about me & the company. The album's been favorably compared to The New York Voices and The Manhattan Transfer, and continues strong sales & streaming activity each holiday season.

2017 saw the release of the first of my new non-acappella works in years, the prog-folk-rock concept project Conspiracy Of Violet and its debut album Await Not The Tide, recorded here in my Astoria, NY project studio. The lyric video for “Faethm,” the lead single off of Await Not The Tide, racked up over 23,000 views on Facebook after its 2016 release, and the full album was released in January 2017 to ongoing success.

So, my experience is deep within specific styles, and wide across a variety of genres, in particular:

  • Rock & pop
  • Electronic, particularly dance, EDM, and related
  • “Fusion” genres: orchestral electronic, soul rock, etc.
  • Hip-hop, R&B and urban, including funk & soul
  • Modern acappella, especially jazz-influenced
Work Samples

It's difficult for me to pick favorites out of twenty years' worth of work I'm proud of, but here's just a very small selection of recent clips with notes. If you have a specific idea not really covered here, you should get in touch with me to see how we can work together!

Amateur Dicks

Red Plaid Productions' Amateur Dicks tracks the investigative caseload of four broke, unmotivated, and baked roommates that were a little too inspired by a Magnum P.I. marathon. The ultra-low-budget series follows the exploits of these pseudo-sleuths as they try to solve cases they stumble upon. I've handled underscoring for two episodes, and full sound mixing and foley/FX for one.

Mission: Improbably Odd Lady From Amateur Dicks: The Web Series Genres: Homage, small orchestra, 70s, world rock

The mission: action underscoring for when the Dicks lay out their plan to infiltrate their neighbor's apartment in Amateur Dicks: The Web Series - Case File #1: The Cable Conundrum, featuring small television orchestra-inspired instrumentation, bongos, and electic guitar playing a variation on the main series theme.

Deduction, My Dear Dicks From Amateur Dicks: The Web Series Genres: Ambient, electronic, small orchestra, glitch, suspense, dissonant

My prompt for this bit of underscore in Amateur Dicks: The Web Series - Case File #1: The Cable Conundrum was to combine the ambient/electronic vibe played during deductions in the BBC's Sherlock series premiere episode “A Study in Pink” with some of the small-TV orchestra vibe established for Amateur Dicks, keeping tension up during the deduction.

Stakeout, Out & About From Amateur Dicks: The Web Series Genres: Jazz, "small" big band, 70s, spy, noir

In Amateur Dicks: The Web Series - Case File #2: The Devil Wears a Double D, the Dicks head out to follow a suspect after being hired by dame, a femme-fatale named Evelyn that suspects her fiancé of cheating on her. The whole episode is noir-inspired, prompting a cool-jazz-vibe small big band fronted by trumpet, vibraphone, and strings, with variation on the series theme.

Conspiracy of Violet

In January of 2017, I released the debut album by Conspiracy of Violet, a loose music collective I formed in 2016. The concept album, Await Not The Tide, spans several rock & folk-inspired genres, and features vocalists Doug Cordes, Elizabeth Schmitz, Bill Heigen, Jen Arvay Kefalas, and Jed Aicher, singing several overarching stories woven through the lyrics in English as well as a synthetic language I created.

Selected clips from the album follow. To check out the whole project, find it on iTunes | Spotify | Amazon MP3 | Google Play

“Antescript / Two Oceans” features ambient electric guitar, lengthy pads, and piano to reset the mood following the album's high-energy pop/rock opener on this second track.

3. Tethys enü Theléna From Await Not The Tide Genres: Ambient, melodic, electronic, trip-hop inspired, fantasy

Feat. Jen Arvay Kefalas singing in a synthetic language, “Tethys enü Theléna” is an ambient, trip-hop inspired song of a sister's lament.

4. Faethm From Await Not The Tide Genres: Folk/rock, prog, world, pop/rock

Doug Cordes's vocals set the stage for one of the album's major storylines in “Faethm,” joined by dramatic acoustic instrumentation including brush/bamboo rod drums, pipe organ, and Celtic lap harp.

13. Whispered Tethys From Await Not The Tide Genres: Ballad, orchestral, piano-singer

Elizabeth Schmitz's poignant vocals alongside the solo piano later soar into the orchestral fanfare in the athletic vocal lines of “Whispered Tethys,” the thematic closer of the album.

New York Holiday Singers

The New York Holiday Singers are NYC's premiere contemporary holiday acappella ensemble, having been featured on The Rachael Ray Show, WXQR's The Arts File, WFUV's Cityscape, Fox, CBS Sunday Morning, and many more. Our debut studio album, Shine, was released in 2014, featuring our fresh new treatments of holiday classics as well as all-new original songs. I arrange the group's music, rehearse the ensemble, and produced the album with engineers at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, NY (as well as singing bass).

Gonna Be A Night From Shine Genres: Acappella, funk/soul, holiday

One of several original songs I wrote for the Singers, “Gonna Be A Night” is a throwback funk/soul song that opens the album, featuring a catchy hook and homage to Tower of Power in the bridge.

Let It Snow From Shine Genres: Acappella, world, Latin, bossa nova, holiday

One of the New York Holiday Singers' biggest crowd pleasers, this bossa-nova-inspired version of “Let It Snow” gets toes tapping.

Get In Touch

Let's work together. Drop me a note with the contact form below and we can set up a consultation to see how I can help you with your music project.

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