Daniel Holsinger is a Clearwater, Florida-based recording, mixing and mastering engineer. For the past ten years, he's been carving out a place in the recording industry working with a number of labels like Universal Music Group and Island Def Jam and a wide array of artists including John Legend, Fabolous, Editors, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Chick Corea.
Working from the aptly named Daniel Holsinger Studios. Daniel has built a powerful rig that allows him to work fluidly, no matter what kind of project is on the docket. His set-up includes two Avid S1 control surfaces, a Universal Audio Apollo x6 interface, Yamaha NS-10M monitors, ProAc SM100 monitors and much more.
To learn a little bit more about Daniel and his studio, we sat down for a Studio Spotlight interview. Read on to find out what gear is most integral to how Daniel works in the studio, what inspires him and one of his favorite records of all time.
I am entirely in-the-box, and I love it! My workflow is similar to Michael Brauer's. Once I discovered the power of his multibus approach and the way he sculpts vocals, I never turned back. The other plus is that I can close out a project and have it come back up the same way. No wasted time with recalls. What a fantastic time we live in.
What's an essential piece of gear to your process and why?
My ProAc SM100 speakers (purchased from Vintage King). I love the fidelity they give me. The top end is superb, and there is enough extension that I don't feel like I am losing what's going on in the bass frequencies. Without excellent monitoring, I wouldn't be able to provide my clients with a quality mix. I have my eye set on some ATC SCM25A, SCM45A or SCM50A soon. That midrange is fire!!!
What's your go-to microphone for tracking?
I love a vintage Neumann U67. They will work on anything from vocals, overheads, rooms, horns, snare or guitar. They have such a unique quality that makes any instrument shine. I have even seen them used on a bass drum. They just give great sound!
My passion for the industry and inquisitive nature keeps me busy evaluating new products and techniques. I love to learn, and it's really a bonus when I find new ways to improve depth and dimension. Lately, exploring delays like the UAD Korg SDD-3000 and EP-34 is consuming my thoughts. I have also fallen back in love with the Waves SuperTap. What a classic! You can have so much fun compounding FX chains too. You know the old delay, then reverb, then flanger, then more reverb. Buttery goodness comes to mind.
Aside from music, a regular walk in the morning and evening has rejuvenated me recently. I also started meditation which also gives my brain some much-needed downtime.
What motivates you?
I would say that 99% of musicians/engineers and producers will say their love of music, which is the case for me too. It also helps that music doesn't feel like work. I am totally blessed to be able to do this. Additionally, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist by nature, so I have very high expectations for myself, which cascades into my mixes. When I get compliments for exceeding the clients' expectations, it makes it all worthwhile.
What's an album that really changed the way you look at music and why?
Rage Against the Machine's self-titled album really sparked a fire in me. Not only me... It awoke a generation! Years later it got to number one in the UK as a defiant statement to the pop scene. I realized that it was strong emotions that really connected us to the music. These factors became my guiding beacon when mixing a record. I am always trying to make the artists' song connect emotionally with the listener. "Emotion always wins" has been my mantra for quite some time now.
What's something you would like to accomplish in your audio career?
A Grammy would be nice, but if that doesn't happen, I'll be happy with a long career making great music with great people. I'm also fascinated with movie soundtracks and would love to do some film work in the future. Dynamics are fun!