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Life & Work with Czar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Czar. 

Hi Czar, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started producing for independent artists in Memphis during high school, The owner of the studio I was working out of got hired by Disney, and convinced me to start engineering since I couldn’t find another studio in Memphis with the same rate and quality I was receiving from him. I produced and engineered for a few years before deciding to move up to Nashville. After moving to Nashville, I attended the Art Institute of Tennessee Nashville, and dropped producing and focused on engineering. After graduating with honors, I continued to freelance as an engineer while starting a YouTube channel for studio gear reviews and tutorials. In 2019 me and another engineer, Truth from Capital Minds Entertainment, took over Father of Cutz studios where I mainly work out of today. In 2020 I launched my podcast “Faders Up Podcast”, and 2021 I became the chair of AES Nashville chapter. Since the pandemic I’ve been trying to get back into producing, but I still mainly focus on recording, mixing, mastering, and podcast editing.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Definitely has not been smooth. It’s always hard to get people to respect your time and pay you for your services starting out, especially in pro audio where anyone can take a mic and a laptop and call themself an engineer these days. A recent struggle was dealing with the decline in studio work due to the pandemic. I’ve heard of some studios work increasing during covid but that certainly wasn’t the case for us. But we got together and put some rules in place, no more large crowds in the studio, wipe everything down after the session, stuff like that. But thing are starting to pick back. up.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
As an audio engineer, I handle everything from recording to mixing and mastering. I don’t master anything I mix though; I have a mastering engineer in Dallas, D. Lyles, that masters my mixes. Some engineers just record, mix, or master, but I can do all three. Since starting a podcast I’ve started providing podcast editing as a service as well. Outside of engineering, I’m known for my YouTube channel and podcast. Since becoming a content creator I review a lot of studio gear, plugins, etc, and do tutorial videos.

I think what sets me apart is my gear collection. When you’ve been doing this for over 20 years and you start buying gear after a while, you have racks full of it.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
Something I learned due to covid is that it’s easier to edit podcasts recorded virtually than in person. Due to Covid, we started doing our podcast virtually, which means everyone’s audio is recorded in their own space. This means if someone coughs, clears their throat, etc, I can edit it out of their track. if we are in person, I can edit it out that person’s track, but the everyone else’s mic will pick it up. 

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