Asheville, NC - Mixing & Mastering Studio

In a makeshift studio in the back of my home...

Willow Lake is a bedroom studio in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. My name is James Moats and I offer mixing, mastering, and small project recording solutions. I specialize in mixing home, live, and studio recordings and am confident that I can help get more out of your dry, flat recordings.

Wow, I really like the mix you came up with! It's very smooth, and everything comes through nicely, with good tones. The vocals really shine and are very nice, very pro sounding. The EQ is really good. You did a great job of cleaning it up, of cutting out the low-mid muddiness, and the overall sound is even and balanced.

Individual song mixing

I work on an easy flat rate for mixing. I provide track editing where possible. For example: Removing a drum fill that didn't work out or repeating a guitar lick later in the song. I also have the ability and technology to retune problem vocal performances, though if the situation presents itself, I always prefer a light, natural tune, rather than a noticeable "autotuned" effect.

Mixing rate: $80 per song

Album mastering

The biggest benefit of mastering will be found when bringing a collection of songs together as one. I work on an easy flat rate for mastering, so whether you have an EP or a full length album, the cost will be easy to calculate.

Mastering rate: $10 per song

Recording & production

This not my primary focus at the moment, but I do have the equipment and skills to record and/or produce your project. Contact me with some details and I will issue a quote based on what I think will be needed to complete the project.

Recording rate: $20 per hour

When estimating the necessary time to get your project recorded, be sure to allow an hour or more for setup and tweaking. Not taking the time to get the right mics placed properly for each instrument in the room is the biggest mistake you can make.

Willow Lake is a bedroom studio in a residential neighborhood. I am not currently offering in-house recording. My recording setup is fairly mobile, so I will gladly come to the location of your choice and will help to get the best possible sound from the available space and equipment.

The Process

Send me a link from Dropbox or something similar to download the source tracks in high quality WAV or AIFF files. I will send an invoice in advance for 50% of the quoted rate before we get started. When finished, I will send you an MP3 file of the mixed song or mastered tracks along with an invoice for the remaining 50%.

I will include two revisions for no additional charge to make sure you are happy with the final product. Additional charges will be necessary if you require three or more revisions. When payment has been received and you are happy with the mix, I will provide download links to high quality WAV or AIFF files of your tracks. Online payments are made via PayPal to james[at]willowlakestudio[dot]com.


Discounts may be available for repeat customers or when combining multiple services (recording, mixing, and mastering). The larger the overall project, like recording or mixing a whole album or mastering your entire discography, the more I can discount the hourly/project rates. My rates are already very, very low and often times after a mixing session I come out making less than minimum wage to get the best sound for you, so please be respectful of that.

Thanks again for helping us find our sound. We will look forward to working with you on some future recordings. Hopefully you can steer us in the right direction with capturing better, more workable tracks.
Listen to Samples

The samples below showcase my abilities in dealing with challenging situations. Obviously, a song with serious quality or performance issues at the source will never be ready for radio play, but that doesn't mean there isn't a great amount of improvement that you can get from it.

Small project studio

Guitar, bass, and hand percussion were recorded in studio. Midi drums were performed on an electronic drum set. Organ and clavinets were performed on a midi keyboard. Cellos were mouse-drawn midi tracks backing the distorted guitars. There were 27 tracks in this session.

Shed drums rescue

I recorded this cheap drum set with four mics in a long, narrow storage shed with oak plank floors and walls, open rafters, and a corrugated tin roof. The "Before" recording is very thin and dry, where the "After" sees them brought to life with individual drum shaping, compression, and a little magic.

Small project studio 2

Drums were recorded in the storage shed featured in the rescue sample above. Bass, guitar, vocals, and hand percussion were recorded in studio. Archtop hollowbody jazz guitar recorded acoustically. Guitar and vocals doubled for a dreamy chorus effect. There were 15 tracks in this session.

Mix rescue

This track is Dragon in the Dark by Awake in the Dream from Asheville, NC. (

This was a live recording with only a couple of overdubs for vocals and the guitar solo. A lot of time was spent fattening up the drums, leveling everything out, tightening up the performance, and polishing.


If you have questions about pricing, be sure to review the Services & Pricing tables above. Please include as much information as possible about your project and I will get back with you shortly.

If you are submitting a request for service, please include a download link to your source files in the message (a ZIP file is preferable, rather than individual files). If you don't have online file hosting, I suggest signing up for a free Dropbox account.