An Interview with Hector Rodriguez – Engineer at NatCave Studio

Hey guys – Jessica here! As promised, I’m going to be rolling out some great information for you about the studio and the people behind it.

Starting this week with an engineer spotlight!!

A good relationship with your engineer is incredibly important to the outcome of your music. You wouldn’t just go to anyone to cut your hair, or let just any person take care of your kids – you should think of your music that way too – engineers are no different. That’s why we don’t hire just any engineers.

Our engineers are incredibly attuned to the needs of the artists that seek them out. Call it intuition, call it a second sight – whatever you want to call it, they pay attention to what your vision is and they support you in creating it. We also know how important it is to choose the one that fits you, that understands you, that feels what you are creating. Get to know all of them over the next few months.

Our first engineer spotlight is on Hector Rodriguez, who is not new to the music industry.

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Hector has been in the music scene for the last 7 years. Hector graduated in 2014 from Talle de arto Sonoro in Caracas, with an Associate’s degree in audio engineering, and then moved to NY. After moving to the US, Hector graduated summa cum laude (3.9 GPA guys! That’s some serious hard work!) from Mercy College with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Industry and Technology.

Hector has been working as an audio engineer with NatCave since May of 2019 and has built a pretty solid client base since starting here. He agreed to let me interview him so you all can get to know him a little better, too.

Jessica: Tell us a little bit about you, your background, and how you got started as an audio engineer?

Hector: I have an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in audio engineering and music industry, respectively. I started working initially in radio and live sound for bands. I still continue to do live sound on occasions.

Jessica: How would you describe your job?

Hector: It’s a great job that I love. It can be very challenging at times, but also very rewarding. I really enjoy working with artists and helping them achieve their vision for their song or project.

Jessica: What’s the most challenging thing about what you do?

Hector: Being able to do a full mix in a limited time.

Jessica: What’s the most rewarding?

Hector: Getting the track just right and have the artist love it and walk away with a big smile.

Jessica: What’s a common misconception about what you do?

Hector: That engineering is an easy process that can be done in just a couple of minutes.

Jessica: Can you describe the most exciting project you have ever completed?

Hector: I can’t say just one in particular. Recently I’ve been working with an artist that is about to launch an EP so I’m really excited to hear how it all turns out.

Jessica: Who is your ideal client?

Hector: Someone who comes prepared and understands the process of recording a song/album.

Jessica: What kind of projects are your favorite?

Hector: I love every project I work on. Especially the long ones like albums or EP’s.

Jessica: What would you say is your greatest skill?

Hector: Having an ear for what the song needs and being creative to try new things.

Jessica: What qualities should any good audio/sound engineer have?

Hector: Creativity, good people skills, knowledgeable, good hearing.

Jessica: If a potential client contacts the studio and wants to book with you – what’s your normal schedule like? When can people book with you?

Hector: Mostly weekends. I have occasional availability during the week but it varies.

Jessica: Thank you Hector for taking the time to participate in this interview with me, your time is valuable. I know our readers will appreciate getting to know a little bit more about you. We are happy you’re a part of NatCave.

I can tell you this much you guys – when you book with Hector, you won’t be disappointed.

Since he is mostly only available on the weekends and weekends are our most popular times, it is very difficult to get in with him last minute. If I could offer you one piece of advice to get some studio time with him, it would be to book in advance. If you want to book a session with him, I encourage you to visit our website and request a session today!

Thanks all for now! Look for interviews with Sean and Nat, the other 2 engineers at NatCave – coming soon!!

Staying Safe in the Studio

We want you to know that we are taking COVID seriously. While we are still uncertain about how this will affect us (and you) in the future, we do know that we feel confident that opening up is the right thing to do.

What we’re doing to keep you safe…

Things are running a little differently around here, but not much. 

First and foremost, we are asking you to follow the same guidelines the CDC is before entering into public spaces. We ask that you do not book a session if you have recently recovered from COVID (within the last 14 days), or if someone you have been around has been diagnosed within the last 14 days. We also ask that you do not book a session with us if you are feeling ill, have a fever, or think you may have a fever. We thank you for following these requests. 

You know we are a small studio. For some of you, that’s exactly why you choose us. Choosing a small studio means you get directed one on one attention and the ability to have your engineer and all of the staff remember you and your projects. This also means that since we are in a smaller space social distancing can be a challenge.

With that in mind, we are limiting the number of people in the studio during each session to four people total. 

That means that after the engineer, and you, no more than 2 friends can join you. Any other guests are welcome to hang out outside the studio – we are just limiting the number of people we allow inside the studio. We will update this policy as soon as we feel it is safe to do so.

We are not currently requiring you to wear masks, but please feel free to do so. We leave it to the discretion of the engineers as to whether or not they will wear a mask. 

We are working diligently to completely sanitize the studio. Each engineer is responsible for completely sanitizing all of the equipment, and all surfaces, including the booth (including the mic, popper stopper, and headphones). We are reserving one hour in between each session to make sure we do a thorough job. This also means that we are booking less sessions – be sure to book yours in advance to make sure we can accommodate you. 

You will see cans of lysol, alcohol based sanitizer and cleaning products, and soap – everywhere. Please use them. Please wash your hands when you arrive and when you leave. It keeps us all safe, and helps us stay open and able to serve you – our artists. 

We’ve missed you guys while we’ve been forced to shut down, but we are SO ready to work with you on all the projects you’ve had plenty of time to dream up.