Oliver Pinelli: “You have to give it your all”

October 8, 2020 | Producers & Artists

Oliver Pinelli is a music producer, mix engineer, author, coach and tutor. In his 30 years of professional experience, he has worked with artists such as Unheilig, Enrique Iglesias, Yvonne Catterfeld, Wolfsheim, Null Positiv and Helene Fischer. Today, he enjoys passing on his insights from three decades of creating, messing things up, letting go and experiencing to young artists – not only in regards to their music but also holistically.

In the 90s, all signs pointed towards success for the young music producer Oliver Pinelli. Besides working on the soundtrack for Tom Tykwer’s movie “Run Lola Run” in London, his own musical creations were attracting attention. Due to Prodigy’s Firestarter, “Big Beat” was making waves on the charts and in the music scene and Oliver’s project “OP Phoenix” catered perfectly to the genre. The record label EPIC (Sony) took a shine to him and offered a recording contract. As Oliver now says about this supposedly promising time: “I was young, conceited, had no experience and was just dumb. My project was a clone and there was almost nothing unique about it. When I realized that I could never fully commit to this music, I let it all go down the drains.”

Insights and successes

One tough lesson that he learned during that turbulent phase was: “When you think you are a high-flyer, the landing happens swiftly and unbraked.” But Oliver also learned something fundamental: His preference was to produce for other artists. “This way, I don’t have to focus on a certain music genre. That’s something I haven’t really want since then. I think there is either good or bad music – it never depends on the music genre,” says Oliver.

He was lucky to be able to work with great mentors like the German music producer Andreas Herbig and the singer-songwriter “Der Graf” (of the band Unheilig) who taught him a lot – both professionally and personally. Oliver hopes that after 25 years of learning, he finally knows his trade. His successes and the awards he has won (Echo nominations and diamond/platinum awards) clearly confirm that Oliver truly knows what he is doing. His philosophy is grounded on being one’s best and most severe critic: “You have to give it your all and you need to know when your work is done. You are never done learning and you can’t put a whole universe into a song. If it’s not good, get rid of it and start fresh.”

The “smarties” at work

Oliver Pinelli, the music producer, shows in the following video tutorial how he uses the intelligent plug-ins by sonible (or “smarties” as he calls them) as refinement and adjustment tools in music production. “Clarity is the keyword with smart:EQ 2 and smart:comp. Even when the recommended outcome isn’t the finished result – how could that be possible? – you’ll immediately know where you need to take action within the sound. Then it’s very easy to change the parameters in order to achieve what you want. Time not only plays a significant role on the financial level but is also very crucial when it comes to staying in your creative flow. If you are wasting too much time with details, the day is over before you know it and the mix sucks,” advises Oliver.