Jazzy Eyewear

Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?

My name is Fabian Giannattasio a.k.a. Jazzy Eyewear. I am a music producer, professional songwriter, and composer. I run a record label called So Sound Recordings and its sub-labels Uma & Umalu Recordings. I've been a working musician for 28 years.

What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?

I grew up in Argentina, where I studied music since I was 11. My main instrument is the guitar, but I also play bass, keyboards, drums, percussion, and I am trained in music theory, harmony, as well as classical & jazz. I studied at a well known music conservatory in Buenos Aires while also practicing various musical genres including Rock, Blues, and Jazz. I have had extensive vocal training for several years. It is not a bad idea to know about the music business. A good book for that is "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" by Donald S. Passman.

What hardware are you using?

Avalon VT-737SP: My main piece in the studio. Everything I record live goes through there. World class pre-amp & compressor.

Neumann TLM-103: Amazing mic for around $1000. It won't break your budget but will always get you pro recordings.

Other Mics: Shure SM57, SM58, Shure SM7B, Sennheiser MD421 II, Audio Technica ATM25, AKG C1000S, etc.

Roland JUNO-60: My favorite synth to add real analog sounds that will cut through in the mix, while adding depth and realness.

Roland JX-3P, Korg Poly-800 II, Fender Rhodes Mark I 1975, Yamaha DX-7.

Fender Telecaster 1972: An outstanding electric guitar tone, classic and with lots of character.

Stompbox pedals: Boss CS2 (love to use the boss pedals from the 80s, when they were manufactured in Japan), Vox V847a Wah Pedal, Morley Pro Phaser PFA.

[Music Man](<a href=)">Music Man Stingray Bass

iMac Intel Core i5: The mothership, never crashes, go Mac!

MacBook Pro: My portable office that comes with me wherever I go. It works as flawlessly as when I bought it 6 years ago.

M-Audio Fast Track Pro Audio Interface

Gibson J-150 Acoustic Guitar: Simply amazing!

Spanish Guitars Jose Romero & Conde Hermanos: Real flamenco guitars that I bought in Madrid, Spain around 1995 for about $3000 apiece.

Mutronics Mutator: If you want a simple and static bass line to turn into a space odyssey, then run it through a Mutator. Used extensively by Daft Punk and the likes.

Tambourines & Shakers: Simple but effective.

Pearl Drums with Zildjian Cymbals.

Gallien-Krueger Backline 112 Bass Amp

Vox Pathfinder V9158 Guitar Amp

Several sets of speakers, including Yamaha NS10, Mackie HR824, Events, Electro-Voice, etc.

Pioneer DJM-600, Pioneer CDJs 900s, 800s, 700s, Technics SL-1200M3D

5,000+ Record Collection

What software are you using?

Logic Pro 9: Amazing program with a huge array of soft synths and top quality effects.

Ableton Live: Great to set at the right bpm ANY source of samples, great effects.

Sylenth 1: My favorite soft synth.

NI Guitar Rig.

Waves plugins: Just amazing.

SoundToys: Love the EchoBoy for creative and unusual echoes & delays.

Antares Vocal Processing


Tube-Tech CL 1B

Sugar Bytes Effectrix: Great for morphing and glitching.

What would be your dream setup?

Would love to own an SSL Mixer, UREI 1176, LA-2A, LA-3A, Neumann U47, Neumann U87, Vintage Neve, Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, Lexicon Reverbs, Avalon AD2044, etc.

Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?

Every session and every song is like a baby, it is custom made and it has a special meaning in its own way. Usually I start building the drums, looking for a solid foundation and for the right sounds, I expend a lot of time and energy at this initial point, after that I try to lay down the foundation for the structure and chord progressions. I then add synths, bass, special FX, drops, maybe a bridge, drum fills, etc. In the process I try to add real instruments, like live drums, guitars and some analog synths.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

I just keep my ears open for everything that grabs my attention, when I go out, walking around, driving, promos sent to me, as well as my own artists who send me new music on a daily basis. I usually check out different websites, but most of the time I buy from iTunes, because it is practical and easy to keep my library in order.

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

Logic 9's Flex Audio quantization ;)

What's brewing in your studio?

As I mentioned before, adding live instruments is a huge plus on any production. It will show that you are crafting your production, composing, arranging original instrumentations and live performances. I will share with you this production I'm finishing where I recorded my Juno 60, Fender Telecaster, as well as live cello & violin which I recorded today (not included yet on the mix I'm sending). The production fuses hip hop, rock, pop & urban flavors, while the strings add a beautiful rich tone, really enhancing the production by giving it a majestic touch and a great sense of depth.

[Fabian also sent TMM a bonus video of the cello player (112MB).]

Any production tips & tricks you'd like to share?

Tip #1: You don't need to be a drummer to add some real drums to your production. Record one thing at a time and record only what you need, maybe just a hi hat or ride groove, or maybe just a drum fill and a snare roll. This really adds another dimension and makes your drum programming come alive! In Logic 9, use the Flex function to quantize your performance and modify the Q-Strength to add a little bit of swing.

Tip #2: Look at your master output. Most inexperienced producers overlook this. You want your master recording to have a nice headroom so then you can later perform dedicated mastering. So while you work on your production keep adjusting all the levels so it doesn't clip in red at your stereo output. After your final bounce, if possible, try to send your music to a dedicated mastering facility. Mastering is an art form in itself and that's one of the main reasons why a lot of underground music sounds so mediocre. Most producers do not have a clear understanding of how this critical process works.

Tip #3: Educate yourself. One of the greatest advantages of the internet is that we can find tutorials for everything. Learn how other top producers and engineers work and use their equipment. Some cool tips I learned online include: how to create buses on your mixes, using compressors, equalizing different instruments, programming soft synths, etc. There are tutorials for almost everything you may want to learn and master.

Where can we find you on the web?

Jazzy Eyewear / Facebook /