Jim Pfeifer is a solo composer/artist creating a variety of instrumental music for use in film/TV and advertising, combining elements of acoustic, indie, surf, retro, Americana, and orchestral arrangements. Jim is 2nd place winner of the 2013 International Songwriting Competition and member of a popular Beach Boys tribute act in the Phoenix area.

Latest News

My song "Give Me Park Avenue" has recently been placed in the TV show Real Housewives of New York City.

Bio

Jim started on guitar at the age of 12, studying with a Jazz guitarist during his high school years in Tucson, Arizona while playing in school Jazz Band and various classic rock bands. Early on he had a fascination with creating chord-melody arrangements of his favorite songs, which is where he learned harmony and arranging techniques.

During college he majored in Electrical Engineering but continued his studies with courses music theory, Jazz improvisation, and electronic music. He also gigged regularly playing in various bands performing in a variety of styles Tejano, Dixeland, Bigband Jazz, Top40, and Fusion. He began working at a local recording studio, helping songwriters arrange and record demos of their songs. He was inspired to start his own home studio during the 80s after working with so many other musicians who were taking advantage of the newly-available decent-quality gear coming to market for home studios.

After college lived in LA for several years where he worked as an engineer by day, and continued playing music on the side. He did several demo projects with New Age artist Michael Hoppe, as well as several children's music projects. In 1994 he moved to Phoenix to raise his family and continued to play with several bands in the Phoenix area.

He also started focusing on writing his own original material and doing session work on the side. Some of the session work included projects with Tommy DeVitto, one of the founding members of The Four Seasons (of Franki Valli fame). Jim started his own music blog in 2013 about composing and recording for home studios, called crazycomposer.com

He continues to write and record his own music in addition to actively gigging in the Phoenix area.

Jim is a 2nd place winner in the 2013 International Songwriting Competition for his song "The Invasion of Mayberry"

Jim's music has been placed in TV shows on A&E, TLC Network, E! Channel in addition to corporate websites and podcasts.

Connect:
  • Member Since: 2013
  • Last Login: 9/28/2022

Playlists

This Artist has 9 Playlists

Comments

Author
John Walradt
18 hours ago to Jim Pfeifer

Jim, the album you're putting together is outstanding. Once you release it, I'll be sure to include it in my news. I don't have a great deal of visitors but those I know really should take a listen to what you've been doing. John

5 Replies
 
Jim Pfeifer
18 hours ago

Thanks so much John, I really appreciate the feedback! I've been putting a lot of work into this album, trying to give each track all the attention to detail to make them as good as I can. For this one I'd spent a lot of time trying various things that didn't work (even bought a banjo), and editing out parts that I'd spent hours on earlier, in order to make it flow better, etc. Its very encouraging to get some positive feedback on this stuff. As you know, sometimes you slave away on your tracks and feel as if nobody is listening. Thanks so much!

John Walradt
18 hours ago

You're much welcome, Jim. It is a delightful listen and I could really hear each instrument very well. I know what you mean with trying to perfect it. I think I remixed, refined, and uploaded "Raindrop Soul" about four times before it seemed just about right. I just remixed "Equal!" and upon listening, I like Jenny's powerful vocals but I'm getting a bit of a screech in the higher notes so I think I may have to go back in and do some slight cutting with the equalizer...it could be the frequencies that aren't heard that could even be causing it. But the good thing is that I've got those tracks where I'm the pickiest one over them. I'm going back and fixing several others, too.

Jim Pfeifer
3 hours ago

Yes, we're often the most picky people over our own tracks. I've been involved with an online group of composers where we submit tracks to a team of professional composers and get them reviewed by those guys. Just when I thought I knew what to listen for, and get picky about, those guys are teaching me new things to check for in my tracks that I'd not been aware of before. A lot of it comes down to selectively cutting various frequencies in some tracks to leave room for other tracks that take up the same areas of the audio spectrum, along with careful panning of tracks to separate them in the stereo field. If you ever want a summary of what I've learned, I'd be happy to give you a brain dump, if that would be helpful for things you're working on .

John Walradt
2 hours ago

If you have a brain dump ready, I'd like to read it! I practice panning, cutting, limiting, limiting. I have found a lot of online articles and tips, but some are written much better than others. I think the values to compress and where to cut are the trickiest. I have some urls I can send, and just listened to a frequency test last night. Interesting stuff as I tend to have the geeky mind. I'm taking a guess you may be familiar with things as writing markup, code, operating systems, and building computers? That made the entire thing of mixing/mastering an interesting thing to try.

Jim Pfeifer
1 hour ago

I don't have anything written up specifically that I can share. Its mostly a collection of things that I've learned from taking Bobby Owsinky's Mixing Tips course, mixing tips from an Orchestral Composing course, and mixing tips from Sync Academy ... that all say the same kinds of things. Its also not a one-size-fits all approach that can apply to all music, but a way to approach your tracks to get them working well together. It would probably work better via screenshare. The problem areas for my tracks (due to the instrumentation) are always the drums, upright bass, acoustic guitars, and electric guitars. I have to find the nasty frequencies in each of these and tame them, use saturation (really helps acoustic instruments especially), and compression as needed.



Author
John Walradt
4 weeks ago to Jim Pfeifer

This is really turning out to be a great series you're working on. "Signs Along the Lonesome Highway" is a particularly good piece. I like long stretches of open road as well. I think I've traveled nearly all of them in the Mojave, Colorado, and Great Basin deserts of California and Nevada. Favorites are CA 62 (Twentynine Palms Hwy...also my inspiration for "Far From Home"), CA 78 to Blythe, Amboy Road, Kelbaker Road, Morning Star Mine Road (I took my little pickup at 80 mph over the waves in the road with no one around for miles), US 95, and some roads in the middle of Nevada. All of them were peaceful.

2 Replies
 
Jim Pfeifer
4 weeks ago

Thanks so much John! I've lived in the Southwest for most of my life. I've spent a lot of time driving on roads with wide vistas where you see long lonely stretches of road, mountains in the distance, miles of open terrain with only a few small abandoned buildings on them. This kind of thing has always felt spiritual to me. I've often thought about musicians and songwriters that grew up in this kind of landscape and thought that it shaped their writing style also. Its amazing to think of all the great songwriters that came from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansans, ... (Roy Orbison, Jimmy Webb, Leon Russel, ... Pat Metheny ...) I can recall when I lived in New Mexico, driving home from college on a dark road where I didn't see another car for 200 miles. I even turned off my headlights and drove by moonlight on that road one time. Thanks for your kind words on this self-imposed album project I'm working on. I decided to go all in and try to write an entire album of music that I really enjoy. Its been really fun, and a lot of work. Hopefully I'll have some luck in finding a library to take my tracks, that's going to be my next task after I complete the album.

John Walradt
4 weeks ago

I think my favorite Jimmy Webb composition is "Wichita Lineman." A few others who lived in the desert or visited them frequently were Frank Zappa, Harold Budd, and Dewey Bunnell ("A Horse With No Name"). Jeana Potthoff put two albums on Amazon, Spotify, etc. I don't know how it's working out but she went through the ropes. Her albums are just beautiful. I have a new song up, "Raindrop Soul." Oh, and if you feel nostalgia for the old days when we drove the desert highways, go into the old cafes for burgers and fries; a favorite song is one of Bob Bentley's new ones from last spring, "Back to a Younger Me," which is a wonderfully great song.



Author
John Walradt
over 30 days ago to Jim Pfeifer

Jim, "Tripping in Zambia" is a wonderful piece, full of variations and definitely the psychedelic sound. It's also the best tune the Ventures never recorded!
John

1 Replies
 
Jim Pfeifer
over 30 days ago

Thanks so much John!! I really appreciate the comments



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