If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s the evolution of technology. This is no exception for the modern studio.
We recently caught up with Alex Solano of Alex Pro Mix to have him share about his progression as a producer and to talk about Dolby Atmos mixing.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Alex Solano and I help artists, producers, and engineers deliver commercial-sounding mixes. As a pro mixer and educator, I empower individuals with the tools and techniques they need to make their music sound amazing.
When I was 12-years-old, my older brother brought home an electric guitar. This changed my life. I played in bands, learned music technology, and started performing live by the time I was 16.
Through my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity of a lifetime, to study with Bruce Swedien, the engineer responsible for Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Bruce shared his experience in working with Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Santana, and other music legends. Through Bruce I learned the most important role of a mixer is to develop your sonic signature.The most important role of a mixer is to develop your sonic signature. Click To Tweet
As a pro mixer, I’ve had the opportunity to work with artists, producers, and engineers from around the globe. My goal is to ensure they are satisfied with their mixes every single time.
2. What are the advantages of getting your music mixed in Dolby Atmos?
Dolby Atmos is the next leap forward in the evolution of recorded music. With Atmos, you can create an immersive listening experience for your fans. This puts the listener inside the music.
As a mixer, I can execute creative ideas of how the music can be experienced by placing instruments around the listener.
Publishing your music in Dolby Atmos allows you to future-proof your catalog while creating a new immersive experience for your fans.Publishing your music in Dolby Atmos allows you to future-proof your catalog while creating a new immersive experience for your fans. Click To Tweet
When I first learned of streaming services supporting Dolby Atmos Music, I immediately started learning about the technology. At the time, online resources were limited. There was no easy guide to follow to upgrade my studio to an Atmos setup.
This led me to reach back to my industry contacts from Avid and Dolby. Months later, the Dolby team in San Francisco signed off on my studio and I was ready to start producing Dolby Atmos masters for artists and labels.
When mixing in Dolby Atmos, there is an increased amount of clarity and accuracy in the position of instruments around the listening environment. This technology works on any musical genre, from pop to country, Indian to African music. The results sound amazing and can be experienced on headphones, home cinema surround systems, and smart speakers.
3. You’ve taught music recording in India and South America. What was that experience like?
Early in my professional career, I worked for Avid (makers of Pro Tools) where I taught Pro Tools at trade shows and music schools. It was 2007 and YouTube had just come onto the scene.
At the time, software companies would send me free plug-ins (audio effects) to use in my presentations. But when I searched on YouTube for “how-to” videos, there were none. This led me to create my YouTube channel and publish “how-to” videos on mixing and mastering.
Years later, I was contacted by the director of Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (SAM) in Chennai, India to teach music technology. So, on Thanksgiving eve of 2017, my family dropped me off at LAX international airport for a 20-hour flight to India. The experience was impactful.
I stayed for two weeks at the music academy teaching music recording and mixing. The school housed talented musicians whom I’ve worked with since.
A few years later, this experience led me to work with Bridge Music India (a conglomerate with already established artists to create music that leaves a legacy true to India’s creative inheritance). With this momentum, I’ve become one of the key international mixers in Indian Music.
4. What is something you wish people would ask you about your work but don’t?
When I first started learning music technology, there were limited resources available. This was in 1994, before people were connected via the internet. All I had was a keyboard sequencer, an electric guitar, and a multi-track tape recorder. I had to figure it out on my own. Now young people have access to “too much info,” which becomes confusing to their focus on their discipline.
As a 14-year-old kid with a passion for music, those limitations forced me to problem solve and led me to new creative ideas. I’ll never take that for granted.
I’m fortunate to be at a place in my professional career where I have the best studio I have ever owned, but it didn’t start that way. Beyond the skill and competency as a mixer, it’s the power of my journey that has led me here.
This is what I want to impart to the next generation. To understand that success is not a pursuit of ambition, but discovering whom they are meant to be.Success is not a pursuit of ambition, but discovering who you are meant to be. Click To Tweet
5. What did you get from our interview with James Schramko you think other artists or producers should know?
The biggest takeaway from listening to the interview with James Schramko is to build a team.
Up to this point, I’ve learned to produce and publish video courses, engage on my social media channels, and grow and nurture my subscribers, all while providing pro mixes to artists and labels. With Dolby Atmos, I have an opportunity to work with record labels in remastering catalog work and new music in Spatial Audio.
The next step in my evolution is to begin outsourcing the video editing and graphic design tasks to other creatives in line with my brand vision.
Additionally, as my kids approach their teens, I’m incorporating them into building my business. It’s imperative for me that my wife and kids have ownership of my business, how I’m building it, and the company culture that interfaces with my clients.
6. What do you think of what we’re up to at Music Entrepreneur HQ? Are there any topics you think we should cover or resources we should create?
First off, I’m a big fan of the podcast. I tune in regularly to keep up-to-date with industry news and to hear how other entrepreneurs have made a living in the music industry.
Coming from a tech background, I would like to hear stories from music producers and engineers on the nuts and bolts of working with artists and labels. Not just from a technical opinion, but a business-minded outlook. I don’t see enough music producers who talk about how they manage a team and what enabled them to launch their careers.
Thanks goes to Alex for being willing to share his journey with us!
Be sure to follow him on Instagram and thank him for his contribution.
Do you have any questions for Alex about Dolby Amos mixing?
Share below in the comments!