Audeze chats with producer, musician and engineer bonboi

December 14, 2022

Audeze chats with producer, musician and engineer bonboi

Over the last 10 years bonboi has worked as an award winning music producer, songwriter and mixing engineer on a variety of genres from pop and hip hop all the way to indie rock. He has always been obsessed with tweaking songs and their sounds until they felt right to the artist and himself - "getting to that point is so addicting and satisfying. I am so grateful I get to do this every day."

 bonboi in the studio with his Audeze LCD-MX4 headphones

"Working on them is really intuitive and easy to get used to."  - bonboi
Here's our talk with bonboi:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?

I feel like I am only as good as the last thing I’ve worked on. That really keeps me on my toes and makes me wanna push myself every day to give my absolute best. So I am usually most proud of the last thing I’ve worked on.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

I produce, write and mix music. I always try to complement the skill set of the artists/writers/producers I am collaborating with, which means that I have to wear many different hats and what I do exactly changes from day to day and from session to session.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

I grew up listening to blues, rock and metal music and playing in bands myself. I always loved the simplicity and impact of great rock songs. Nowadays I mainly work on pop and urban music but am still heavily influenced by the energy those records have.

Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I remember vividly listening to “American Idiot” by Green Day when I was a young kid on my Discman for the first time. I simply could not believe how good it sounded. That was when I got interested in not just the artist performing the song but also the people engineering, producing, writing and mixing the record.

Later on when I was playing in bands I was lucky enough to meet some incredible producers and engineers. Some of them were gracious enough to mentor me and helped me out immensely along the way. There are many skills and tricks I use daily which I learned from them.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

Getting stuck in the creative process happens to me quite often. I start a song, beat, production or mix and at some point in the process things just won’t fall into place. I used to force and push myself to get things done, which usually didn’t work out. I just got frustrated. It was when I started to walk away from things and come back to it maybe a couple of days later, that getting out of these “writer/beat block” situations got much more efficient and easy. I learned to trust the creative process and let things come to me instead of chasing too much.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

I just started implementing more and more analog synths into my workflow. One of my favorites is the Juno 60. It just always sound great. No matter what you do with it.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

Just go for it and figure things out as you go. The easiest way of getting better at something is simply doing it as much as you can and the rest will fall into place.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

I‘ve always checked mixes on various headphones to make sure they translated well. When I started getting interested in being able to do full mixes on the go a friend showed me his MX4‘s and I was completely blown away by the detail and clarity - I didn‘t think this was possible. Finally mixing on the go becomes a real option and works.

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work?

I have been mostly producing and mixing on the road with my MX4’s for months now. It has been a great experience. Working on them is really intuitive and easy to get used to. When I sent the first mixes I did on the MX4’s out to be mastered I called up the mastering engineer, with whom I’ve been working for many years now, and he wasn’t able to hear that I wasn’t mixing on my usual speaker setup in my studio. That’s pretty crazy and a game changer for me. I am now able to mix anywhere I want to - I love it.

Can you tell us what you've been working on with them recently?

I have been doing writing sessions, production work and mixing on many projects which won’t see the light of day for a while but there’s a song called “fuck love” by Nemo and Anthony De La Torre that I co-produced and mixed exclusively on the MX4’s and Reveal.

bonboi's Audeze LCD-MX4 headphones in his studio