BEHIND THE BEATS
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Fernando Castillo and I’m a Producer and Recording Engineer from the Pacific West Coast.
Q: What are you working on right now? Tell us about your latest project.
A: Working on my official website where I sell beats and blog about music production, audio engineering and entertainment.
Q: What where you working on right before this?
A: Mixing an album for a major rock band in Mexico City.
Q: Tell us about your credentials.
A: Formally trained Producer & Engineer with 20 years of experience in the studio. Los Angeles Recording School Alumni. Attended Law School at the Autonomous University of Baja California. Two times World Touring Musician. Food Entrepreneur.
Q: Please tell us about about a project that you are very passionate about.
A: I am very proud of the outcome of my first instrumental album, it took me places that I never imagined and met a lot of amazing people because of it. I’m also very passionate about my ex-band’s discography which consists of three extended plays filled with ambient-electronica tunes. This early works shaped my sound.
Q: What’s the thing you love the most about your job?
A: I can do this all day and it never feels like work. Being in the studio is all I think about.
Q: What music genres do you specialize in?
A: I mainly produce post-trap, trap-soul and r&b instrumentals. As a mix engineer I specialize in all hip hop genres. I also have a strong rock/reggae background and spend a lot of time in the studio recording bands.
Q: Who would you like to work with?
A: There’s so many great artists but I would have to say Drake, Eminem, Bryson Tiller, August Alsina, The Weekend, Muse, Foo Fighters, etc.
Q: Please tell us about your studio setup
A: For cooking up beats I usually start in my basement studio using Logic Pro, Fender Rhodes Piano, Moog Synthesizers, Nord Keyboards and Virtual Instruments. The second session always takes place in a professional recording facility. This is when I record real instruments and collaborate with other people. For mixing purposes I have permanent access to SSL Duality Console with state of the art monitoring systems and a wide selection of outboard gear.
Q: Describe your process.
A: I usually bring up Logic and start working on melodies from scratch. I personally don’t use samples. After I have a decent four bar melody playing in loop I like to add some basic drums, just a simple kick, snare and hi hats to get a feel of the track.
After this I usually add the 808 or synth bass with a basic progression. Once this is done I like to add a synth pad or an element that creates tension and create additional loops that complement the main melody. At this point I start thinking about arrangement and putting the pieces together in an order that makes sense.
Once I have an arrangement that I like I usually go back to work on drum variations and fills. When I’m done with drums I like to do a rough mix just to get a more clear idea if any sounds are clashing. And after this I like to bring in other humans to collaborate. When the collaboration stage is done I proceed to edit and mix the instrumental so it’s ready to showcase.
Q: What do you expect to accomplish next?
A: Produce a billboard hit, get certified multi-platinum, go after a Grammy award and claim a place in music history. But the thing that I look forward to the most is getting to work with world-class artists. Music itself is way more exciting than money and fame.