In the studio with Ron Gitter
Jaz from the RepostExchange Team

Introducing: Ron Gitter, a key member of the RepostExchange community who's known for mixing blues, rock, and jazz into some great music. He made waves when his song 'The Long Road Back To You,' with Ruth Reid, hit number one on our Best of the Rest chart. For fans of Steely Dan, you'll enjoy Ron's homage to the classic American rock sound. We'll talk about his journey, his top tips, and how he nails that live sound every time. Read on for more!

How long have you been producing music and how did you learn? 

Although I have been writing and producing for many, many years, I only went public with my music several years ago. I took a 20-year break from writing in the early 90s and pursued a career as an attorney. By accident, I stumbled upon GarageBand on my iPad on a flight to California in 2013 and that jump-started my writing and producing again. I have been actively writing and producing my own work since that time. Although I have worked with different teachers over the years, I am basically self-taught.

What DAW(s) do you use and why?

Although I considered Pro Tools, I decided on Logic Pro and I’m glad I did. Logic is a great workstation for songwriters. It allows for composing as you’re playing, particularly with features such as capture recording. 

What are your favourite pieces of gear and why?

I have a very simple songwriter set-up. I use a Mac Studio, with a NI S61 keyboard. My interface is an Audient iD44. I have Adam Audio Nearfield 5-inch monitors and a studio dog with a great set of ears(!)

What are your favourite software plugins and why?

Logic has great stock plugins, but I use a number of NI plug-ins (e.g. Studio Drummer), iZotope mastering software, Steven Slate, Baby Audio, Waves and Pettinhouse. The usual suspects 😊. 

I recently added Synthology American Concert D grand piano software which is amazing. My goal is to sound like a band playing live and the named software helps achieve that goal.

How would you summarise your approach/workflow when creating a track?

Each track has a different motivation. Sometimes the track inspires the lyric and sometimes the lyric writes the track. I often start with a bass figure and go from there.

What resources do you use to improve your craft?

YouTube is an amazing resource. There are also great tutorials on Groove3 and TrueFire. In most cases, if I have a question that needs a specific answer, someone has posted a video about it. 

What is the last YouTube tutorial you watched that you would recommend to other Re-Ex members?

Here are great Logic workflow tips from Seids: 

For keyboard players who also play guitar, here is a video with 50 guitar licks in different styles from Justin Sandercoe:

What knowledge or advice do you wish you'd learned earlier?

I don’t have to do it all. If there is a better player for a part, use that player. Don’t rush to complete a track. I know that not everyone has the luxury of time when completing a tune, but fortunately, I do. 

What challenges related to making music do you face and how do you overcome them?

There are a lot of boxes to check when you are putting your music out there. Marketing is a hassle and not enjoyable. Breaking into sync (which is my primary interest) is extremely difficult. I’ve incorporated a few sync techniques into my writing, but my tracks are not what the music supervisors are looking for. I'm still working on it!

Can you share any killer tips or techniques?

There is a huge divide between finishing the source material for a track and the mix. Don’t rush the mix and don’t release it until you know it’s right. Unless you are a full-time skilled producer, try to find someone to work with whose judgment you trust. I’ve been fortunate to work and consult with the same producer/engineer for over 30 years. One more thing, I use a $10 pair of Sony earbuds once I think I’m done with the mix and if it doesn’t sound right on those earbuds, then I know I’m not done.

Do you try and get feedback or suggestions to improve your music? If so, how?

I enjoy the feedback from SoundCloud folks. This year I may release a few tracks on the other platforms, but that requires a significant marketing commitment that I am resisting for a number of reasons. 

Which track are you most proud of and why?

I’d have to say there are two tracks I feel really good about. 'The Long Road Back to You' came together over a period of about a year. I am very pleased with the choices I made and the performances I was able to obtain.

'Steal Away' is my favorite instrumental. I’m a big Steely Dan fan and I think I captured some of that energy there, particularly with the programming for the drums and horns.

Has RepostExchange affected the way you make music? If so, how?

RepostExchange is a great way to get feedback and meet other writers and producers. Overall, Re-Ex is a very effective platform.

Desert Island Gear

Top L-R: Logic Pro, NI S61 keyboard.

Bottom L-R: Fender Stratocaster, Audient evo 4 interface, Sony MDR-7506 headphones.

Connect with Ron Gitter on RepostExchange and SoundCloud.

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This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.