Tyler Fortier

Tyler moved to Eugene, Oregon from Camas, Washington in 2003 to attend the audio engineering program at Lane Community College and have been immersed in the local music scene ever since. After graduating from the University of Oregon in 2010 with a degree in Sociology, he recorded and toured as a full ­time musician for two and a half years. Between 2010 and 2012 he released four albums and in 2011, he was named Eugene, Oregon’s Next Big Thing. By 2012, Tyler started to focus his energy elsewhere and began his own production company, 4­-tier Productions.
He has been fortunate since then to work with many great northwest songwriters, guiding musical projects to their fullest potential. In June 2014, he returned to writing and performing with the release of my eighth full-length album, Black & White Heart. Whittled down from over thirty recordings, the ten tracks on Black & White Heart are described by William Kennedy of Eugene Magazine as “acoustic-based, intelligent, accessible without being watered-down…” and “…expertly crafted collection of pop/Americana music: tastefully twangy, constantly melodic, and full of cinematic American imagery -rain, wheels, roads, rivers, home, and waiting for love.” 4-tier Productions began in 2012 out of the exertion to sustain the nomadic lifestyle of a traveling performer/songwriter.
Based out of Eugene, Oregon, Tyler works primarily with songwriters in the NW to shape songs, guide projects to their fullest potential, and achieve quality recordings. Along with these music production services, he also provides mixing, tracking, and consultation to his clients. 4-tier Productions LOVES working with local engineers and recording studios! He has worked out of several studios in Eugene, Oregon as well as Portland, Oregon. If budget allows for it, he will always try to team up with the fantastic local talent and studio owners we have here in the northwest. 4-tier Productions is NOT a recording studio but he does have the resources to record great sounding audio and have indeed made a lot of superb sounding records right out of his little, but cozy recording space. One of his secrets is to surround himself with talented, positive, and hard-working individuals.
He has a great crew he loves to work with for projects whether it be drums, bass, pedal steel, horns, or strings. If you’re a songwriter with only an acoustic guitar but want to revel in that full band sound, then we’ve got you covered. If you have a band already, then that’s cool too. He has here to help you realize your sound and provide you with the resources you need. He often tells people, imagine you’re a painter working on a 12 ft x 12 ft canvas and you only have the ability to stand 6 inches away at any given time while you are working. This is what it kind of feels like when you are recording songs that are so close and personal to you.
As a producer, he is able to stand much farther back, look through a much more objective scope, and have the ability to see the project as a whole. Producer, Phil Elk (Fleet Foxes, Built to Spill, The Shins, Band of Horses) describes his role as producer as, “the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record, like a director would a movie.” Each producer has their own strengths and style of how they work and interact with artists, but whether they are as hands on as writing parts and restructuring songs, or as passive as merely overseeing the recording process, the main objective is always to bring out the best in the musicians, as well as the songs. The first and possibly most important thing he tries to achieve is discerning and then dissecting the emotional connection between the song and its’ writer. From there, his role as producer is to help reflect, enhance, and translate those important emotive qualities to the listener. Without connecting to an audience, a song will fall flat. Emotive impact is crucial in gaining a wider audience and the more you or your producer understands the strengths and weaknesses of a particular song, the more you can best compose what becomes, hopefully, the most supreme and highest form a song can live in. An example he has been using recently with clients is, “Let’s say, I decide to bring a violinist in on a project to perform on the chorus and/or the bridge of a song. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I am aiming to highlight the violin performance, but perhaps to augment a pivotal point in the dramatic structure or the emotional intensity of a certain phrasing or word.” Tyler likes to think of songs as having a life of their own and each one has their own individual needs and wants. There are many different shapes a song can take from the initial steps in writing, to performing live, to collaborating with others, and then recording. People often confuse the fact that these are all very different types of creative outlets and while they are all closely connected, they need to be treated with different care and individual priorities. The primary objective is to help guide every song to its’ best potential and every project (whether it be an EP or full-length) to its’ most cohesive form. In some instances his work involves (but is not limited to): restructuring the format of a song, taking away, adding, or changing select words, adjusting the rhythm or tempo, choosing and writing arrangements, and designating which songs work best for the project as a whole.

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