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Hidden Gems: Meet Will Santos of GoldMindStudios

Today we’d like to introduce you to Will Santos.

Hi Will, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I started off as an artist back when I was in 7th grade with a friend of mine who was my neighbor and lived a couple of houses down from mine, after working on a lot of music together, he quickly began to cover other aspects like producing the songs we were doing, even started taking singing classes to do our hooks. That’s when I wanted to contribute more and asked him what I could do in order to bring value to our music, he then quickly said to look into mixing since that was something he only did out of necessity but had no idea as to what he was doing. I then quickly got to work and started researching mixing engineers and what the job required the ins and outs, took my father’s cd collections and read the linear notes and looked up all the people labeled as the mix engineers, etc… fast forward some years and I continued to make music throughout high school but by my senior year, I realized my focus and true passion was shifting toward the making of a song, the tracking sessions, the process of mixing, etc… I knew a big decision had to be made soon as to what I was going to dedicate my 100% to and the more I thought about it, the more I naturally felt that I wanted to be a mix engineer. I enjoyed being on the other side of the glass even more than actually making the music and I was driven to really go for a career in the field knowing it’s an extremely difficult thing to do.

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?
Anything but smooth, lol. In all honesty, it has been one of the craziest rollercoasters. It’s a lot of time, consistency, sacrifice and years and years of putting in insane amount of work in without seeing anything or very, very little return. It can be insanely discouraging and that’s why many give up and never get to see the light because it’s a profession that requires every single ounce of effort, drive, consistency and work ethic. There’s tons of people that want to do the very same thing and if you are nowhere near as dedicated with a lack in self-motivated and work ethic… this career path will let you know and spit you back out.

I’m currently 29 and been doing involved in music since 13, I quit my two jobs by 25 and been doing this as a career for almost five years now, even then it took 12 years to be able to do that, most people wouldn’t want to wait that long to see the fruit from the seeds you planted over 10+ years ago. Always reminds me of the saying “obsessed enough to keep going, crazy enough not to quit” So I tell the younger generation of engineers, put the time in, cut off all distractions and stay faithful to your goals and you will bare the fruits of your hard work and dedication.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
GoldMindStudios is a recording studio facility in the heart of Pasadena (Old Town) to be exact. We specialize in the urban field like hip hop, r&b, pop, reggeaton but we have worked on many other genres as we are open to expanding horizons. Here at GoldMindStudios, our clients are priority number one and their comfort, I believe since I come from also being an artists we strive and put a lot of detail in the overall vibe of the place since we always seek to bring out the best performance out of an artists and we strongly believe environment plays a big part on that. Here at our recording facility, we are running what’s known as a hybrid setup, when recording our artists are recording with top of the line microphones/analog equipment from mic preamps, eq’s. compressors, and take the approach of recording everything through analog circuitry and end up mixing/mastering songs inside our digital audio work station also known as working “In The Box” We are proud to have clients who feel like family and continue to build a small community of dedicated and passionate artists who find success and embark on journeys together so someone’s WIN can sometimes take a village but it makes those events so much more special. Some of my best friends are people in this field and share some of the best moments of my life and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. So if you’re a dedicated artist with music you want to share with the world, stop by the studio some time for a tour.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I’m a strong believer in mentors. I personally never had one per say since the era I came up in was shifting from the original way of climbing the ladder in this business but that’s what makes me want to share my knowledge with the youth. There is no better teacher than experience so when having the opportunity to learn from someone who is currently doing what you wish to be doing in your future, I say you take that chance 100% and be resilient. As far as networking (It’s a little tricky now post Covid) but I believe the best way to network is out there and in person… for example I use to attend a lot of shows in/near my city to network with a lot of artists knowing that just maybe we would hit it off and eventually end up working together and if not they are at least aware of who I am and what I do, in case that day ever came I would be ready. Overall just be approachable and let everything else happen organically.

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