Any artist that has worked in the recording studio with DMV producer/engineer Devin Spear at Blue Room Productions can certainly attest to his work ethic, creativity, and going above and beyond client’s expectations. Devin has years of experience as a session guitarist, and has shifted his focus to music production. He is quickly becoming a prominent producer in the DMV area and has studied multiple instruments and genres, giving him a highly innovative and crossover approach to production. He prides himself on the unparalleled quality and commitment to his custom instrumentals, and is always more than willing to collaborate with clients in any and every way possible.
How long have you been doing this and how did you start in the business?
Not very long, around 3 years. I was a session guitar player for several years, met a lot of people around the local studios and that’s how I got my interest in production. I learned a lot by doing tons of session work and working with different artists.
Who are your major influences?
As for producers, I really like Greg Kurstin, Pharrell Williams, John Hopkins, and Paul Epworth. I really enjoy their sound design, arrangements, to include the artists they have worked with. Daft Punk and Radiohead are very high on my list as far as the electronic arena goes. They’re pretty dope.
Which artists have you worked with in the DMV area?
I’ve worked with Carolyn Malachi, Footwerk, Sydni Alexander, Seva, Sam Trocki, Kenney Wesley, and Derek Atwater (Agent Method) who are mostly located around the DMV area…just to name a few. I’ve recently started working with Tyler Currin from the alternative rock band Veda St out of North Carolina. We spent 10 hours this past Saturday composing, tracking, and recording with one of his new songs for his next album.
What equipment do you like to use?
My go to gear is Logic Pro X, Native Instruments Maschine, Moog Taurus, Prophet 12, and Lipinski Monitors. My philosophy on gear is to try to keep things minimal. I don’t add sounds just for the sake of it. I try to serve the song and the artist. But I have been known to do some extreme sound tweaking and experimentation. Especially with this little vintage cassette tape recorder that I came across. I could do some cool things with this (laughs)! Come pay our hourly rate for this vintage piece of gear (LOL)!
What is your process for a recording artist?
It all depends…everyone works differently. Some people are hands on, some are hands off, but at the end of the day, I try to make sure their vision of the product is served as best as I can, if they have a clear vision. Helping an artist define their vision is part of the process sometimes.
Tell us about your upcoming Electronic Music Production Flash course with Sydni Alexander?
Just a fun educational shindig we are doing with writing, melody making, arranging, and basically building a song from scratch to show the entire spectrum of the production process for electronic music. From a songwriting standpoint, it can apply to any artist. A big part of what I do is custom music production. An artist can come in the studio with nothing but some lyrics on a piece of paper and I help build a song around it. Sydni and I will show our students who sign up how this process actually works and make a new song. They will have a chance to be part of the magic!
What is the difference between a producer and engineer?
It’s a very gray line, there are many different types of engineers such as a tracking engineer, mixing engineer, mastering engineers that can be 3 separate disciplines actually. A producer would fall under a tracking engineer title and mixing engineer in some forms. That’s how I personally do it. Some producers don’t do any work on the board. There are some guys that just chill on the couch and tell the engineer what sounds to create, EQ, or shape. There are also different types of producers too. For me, I’m more hands-on instead of a speculative producer.
How do you bring out the potential in an artist you are working with?
I try to create a relaxed and chill environment where they feel comfortable to express their ideas. I also try to evaluate what their strengths and abilities are and attempt to showcase them.
What advice do you have upcoming musicians who are also aspiring producers?
You know, the same thing everyone says, be excited, don’t give up, don’t compare yourself with others but still compare yourself to others (wink wink happy face). Oh, and most importantly, listening to music is just as important to making music.
Why should people record with you at Blue Room?
Because of our lighting…..100 percent! It’s so disarming! LOL!!!!!!
Devin Spear is a composer, producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumental musician based in Northern VA. He has produced and/or written for Neon Hitch, Sydni Alexander, Agent Method, Rixton, Sam Trocki, and many others in the music industry. Devin makes an extra effort with his clients to deliver the highest quality and understanding for each of their visions and is very eclectic in his taste for arrangement and composition. He also enjoys teaching music production workshops and one-on-one production lessons at the Herndon studio.
*Join Devin and Sydni at Blue Room’s Electronic Music Production Flash Course on December 3rd, 2016 in Herndon. Click this link to learn more http://blueroommusicstudio.com/private-music-production-and-recording-workshops/#