An Interview with Casey Austin Allen
Stories Through Sound is a blog featuring interviews by industry professionals across the audio and post production fields. This week, we're interviewing Casey Austin Allen.
What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
My parents bought me a drum set for Christmas when I was 11. I never asked for one or anything, but apparently I did pretty accurate impressions of famous singers and actors when I was young, and my parents thought music would be a good fit for me. I immediately fell in love, and I’ve never looked back since then, or even considered another career. I just feel at home with music.
How do you feel being a musician has effected your production style?
It can be both a blessing and a curse, haha. When I’m writing something instrumental, especially in the percussive department, I tend to really think like a real drummer. Sometimes, that can be exactly what the song needs, and it’s nice to naturally have that mindset. But with the producer hat on, there’s just so many sonic options out there, and I have to remind myself that it’s okay to think outside of the box and arrange something that wouldn’t make sense to most drummers - especially in the pop world. I'm having so much fun using foley and electronic elements in my productions.
How did winning a Shorty Award and being a part of Periscope impact your career?
I feel like winning that award and garnering attention from some big names really just helped me feel like people started taking what I do seriously. Like I wasn’t just a kid with a pipe dream anymore, but I was actually starting to make my dreams happen and had something to show for it.
What is your current favorite piece of audio equipment you own?
There’s no way I could choose just one piece haha, but I’ll try to narrow down by category.
Software - I recently switched from Logic to StudioOne, and I’m LOVING all the editing tools and the integration of melodyne/vocalign/etc. My workflow is so much faster with it. I’m also a big proponent of Slate and FabFilter plugins 🙌
Drums - I’m a Soultone artist, and I’m loving my new batch of cymbals that just came in. My Roland SPD-SX is always a beast, too.
Guitars - My Taylor acoustics and my Jazzmaster
Mics/pres - I recently bought the Slate ML-1 mic and I’m in love. I run that through my UA Apollo interface and it’s gorgeous.
I also use a lot of VSTs - ANA 2 and some of the Spitfire libraries are some of my go-tos at the moment!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start getting paid to create or produce library tracks, or tracks for other companies?
More than anything - learn how to train your ear across multiple genres, stay up to date with sonic trends across multiple genres, and learn how to use your equipment efficiently because it’s crucial to give quick turnaround times without sacrificing creativity or artistic integrity.
Is there anything you’ve learned throughout your career that you wish you would have learned sooner?
I wish I would’ve stopped following bogus “rules” and focused more on trusting my ear to create what I actually hear in my head. Example - it took way too long to realize that you don’t have to cut perfectly at 100hz just because it isn’t a bass or kick. Let things breathe where they wanna breathe!
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