Save Time With VocALign Pro - Grammy-Winning Jason Goldstein
Grammy-winning mix engineer, Jason Goldstein, who has worked with Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, R Kelly, Jay Z, David Bowie and many more, began his music biz career as a teen, running errands at LA’s famed Ocean Way Studios. Yet, in 20 years, he’s become one of the most in-demand hit makers in the contemporary R&B/hip-hop scene.
When did you get started in music production and how did it lead you to working with such a long list of greats?
I moved out to Los Angeles in late 80’s right after high school and was fortunate enough to land a job at Ocean Way Studios. While there, I worked with and learned from some truly legendary engineers and producers. Real innovators, like George Massenburg, Rick Rubin, Glyn Johns, Arif Mardin, Phil Ramone, Allen Sides, Jack Joseph Puig…just to name a few. Every day was like a master class in recording and mixing. My big break came after moving back to NY when I started working with The Trackmasters. At the time, they were probably the biggest production team in the game. On a daily basis I was recording and mixing the who’s who of urban music. Some days we would have two or three studios going at the same time so it was a crazy and exciting time.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far?
As I mentioned earlier, The Trackmasters were responsible for giving me my big break as well as introducing me to artists, producers, and record executives who continue to be clients today. A lot of credit has to go to Richard Nichols as well (RIP) Richard was the creative force behind The Roots for every album they made and I was lucky enough to work with him on the last five. Richard was always pushing the envelope…conceptually, sonically, you name it! Every album was an adventure and Rich brought me along for the ride. He was also a good friend and mentor.
How did it feel, winning a Grammy for your mixing work on Beyonce’s B'Day?
Winning that Grammy was obviously a highlight of my career. You put in countless hours cleaning up studios, running errands, assistant engineering and honing your craft, so it definitely feels good when you get a little recognition for it.
"Winning that Grammy was obviously a highlight of my career. You put in countless hours cleaning up studios, running errands, assistant engineering and honing your craft, so it definitely feels good when you get a little recognition for it."
What are your memories of working with David Bowie?
I assisted Mark Plati on the overdub and mixing stages of Bowie’s 50th Birthday concert recorded live at Madison Square Garden. That was an incredibly complex project. We had 2 Sony 3348’s, a timecode DAT, Mark’s Logic rig and 2 Tascam D88’s that all needed to be locked together and synced with the video from the show. Dave was there every day and I remember him being very genuine and down to earth with a great sense of humour. We were under an extremely tight deadline and working pretty much around the clock but you never felt any pressure from Dave. We not only lost a great artist but a really great human being when he passed. I consider myself very lucky to have met him.
Tell us a bit about your current projects
This year I mixed 25 songs for the soundtrack and score of the major motion picture “Popstar: Neverstop, Neverstopping" - written, starring, and directed by Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schafer (The Lonely Island) and produced by Judd Apatow. I also mixed the upcoming album for LA-based band Ozomatli. It’s mostly sung in Spanish, but was co-produced by Sly and Robbie, so obviously has a really heavy reggae sound to it. A very cool album that allowed me to step outside the box and stretch my legs so to speak.
"The fact that you can do everything in your bedroom now, doesn’t mean that you should. It’s great that we have all these tools at our disposal but it isolates us to a degree. Up and coming engineers don’t get to learn directly from those that came before us.”
What are the main challenges facing audio professionals and the music industry today?
The fact that you can do everything in your bedroom now, doesn’t mean that you should. It’s great that we have all these tools at our disposal but it isolates us to a degree. Up and coming engineers don’t get to learn directly from those that came before us. There is only so much you can learn from a Youtube video. That being said, it’s enabled me to work on projects from all over the world. That would have never been possible before.
What do you find most useful about VocALign and Revoice Pro?
I’ve been using VocALign Pro since it came out. It has literally saved my ass on a ton of projects. Seriously, countless hours of sitting in a chair, aligning vocals by hand were rendered unnecessary by using VocALign, and the results were better. I’m new to using Revoice Pro 3 but am really looking forward to digging in to its pitch correcting capabilities; hopefully making it a one-stop-shop for getting vocals into shape.
" I’m new to using Revoice Pro 3 but am really looking forward to digging in to its pitch correcting capabilities; hopefully making it a one-stop-shop for getting vocals into shape.”
After working with various well-known artists over the years, what’s the most valuable piece of advice you would pass on to those starting out?
As I alluded to earlier, stay humble and LEARN SOMETHING FROM EVERYONE that you work with. Even if it’s how not to do something. Also, theory is nice, but there is no substitute for getting in there and doing the work yourself.
Find out more about Jason over on his website here.
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