Full production, mixing, mastering and session recording (drums, guitar, bass, keys, vocals). Song and album production - anything from simple singer/songwriter vocal/guitar arrangements up to full-band arrangements. Songwriting collaboration, track editing, music consultation services too. Over 30 years of recording, performing and engineering!

I am an independent producer, mix engineer and session musician offering remote services to take your music project to the next level. Top-flight mixing, world-class sounds, great performances. Everything from demos to fully produced album projects. My goal is to deliver high quality tracks that will be competitive with commercial releases in the same genre or style - in essence, a fully finished product. I'm not happy with the result until you are! I can work with many budget levels, please inquire for pricing on your particular needs.

Services include:
-Mixing, mastering, editing, comping, vocal tuning, drum alignment/replacement
-Real acoustic drums performed specifically for your song or project (electronic sounds and samples available as well)
-Guitar, bass, keys and vocals performed and recorded to support song arrangements
-Songwriting collaboration, music beds for top-line writers
-Licensing assistance
-Recording and music gear consulting

Send me a note through the contact button above.

My credits include

AllMusic verified credits for Skyward Down:

  • Skyward Down

Gear highlights

  • Tama Starclassic Performer drums with Zildjian cymbals
  • Mesa Boogie and Fractal Audio amplifiers
  • Pro Tools
  • Logic
  • Sonar
  • Gibson
  • Fender
  • PRS
  • Carvin guitars

Genres I specialize in

Terms of Service

Contact me to work out actual pricing - rates are dependent on type and scope of the project.

Reviews of JD Stefan

  • Default-avatar21 days agoby Verified Review

    JD is an extremely talented musician an mixing engineer. He managed to get my song, sounding exactly how I imagined it in my head and also made a perfect sounding mix to boot. I would highly recommend him. :)

  • Default-avatar6 months agoby Verified Review

    Very good to work. listens to what i want on my songs'

  • Default-avatar8 months agoby Verified Review

    JD was awesome to work with! Great studio, quick process, and the editing went smoothly. Everything was delivered promptly. We will definitely use him again.

  • Default-avatar8 months agoby Verified Review

    JD took a scratch guitar track and vocal line and turned it into an A+ rock track. He nailed the isntrumentation and built out to the song to perfection. Would definitely recommend him to anyone.

  • Default-avatarover 1 year agoby Verified Review

    JD worked and added suggestions to my song. Thought he brought out the kind of song I wanted. Easy to work with. Got what I wanted.

  • Default-avatarover 1 year agoby Verified Review

    Thought JD worked well on my project. Knew what was needed in my music, even though i worked my own arrangement. Made my music sound better and made my song better. No fuss no muss.
    I needed someone to understand what i wanted and he delivered.
    Great experience.

  • Default-avatarabout 2 years agoby Verified Review

    This guy is serious. Trust him.

  • Default-avatarover 1 year agoby

    I dropbox trax to JD: acoustic guitar, vox and bass. He takes those trax and adds drums, keys, guitars and sometimes backing vox. I end up sounding like Tom Petty, The Eagles, or Steely Dan. Think I'm overstating? Listen to anything at soundcloud.com/spike-connor
    Thats me on vox and bass, everything else is JD, including production, mixing.

Endorse JD Stefan


Interview with JD Stefan

Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I have many favorites but I remain very proud of the work I did with the band Skyward Down. We wrote the album "The Absence Of" in about 3 months and never did any sort of copy/paste - we treated the DAW the way you would an analog tape machine, everything was performed until we got the best take and performance. I am really happy with the sonics of the album and I performed all the music components (guitars, drums, bass, keys, etc.). I also produced and engineered the entire album.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Often people tend to think the computer does everything and in my case that couldn't be less true. I perform every part I add to a production using an actual instrument (with keys sometimes they are virtual instruments but performed live on a keyboard). Drums are not programmed unless the song calls for it or if the client requests. It seems though that some assume that everything just gets programmed into the computer and that's not an accurate perception.
Analog or digital and why?
I've worked in both. I prefer digital for the workflow and because I can work very quickly and efficiently. At this point I think you can use analog gear to capture audio but record and mix digitally and get the best of both worlds. I'm also a fan of summing tracks back out through an analog board to increase the spatial component and to add warmth to some mixes.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I won't let you leave something in a track that bothers you or makes you cringe when you hand your CD to someone for the first time. If something bothers you, let's address it. I'll give you a great-sounding, commercially competitive finished product (if that's your goal, of course).
What do you like most about your job?
I get to work on music all day! I love the diversity, it may be playing some country guitar on a song in the morning and heavy metal drums in the afternoon followed by a songwriting session at night. Wherever I am in the process whether it be mixing, tracking, performing or what-not, I savor every moment. I love being in "the zone" where a whole day can go by without my noticing.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
"Can you fix this or that?" -Yes, but you'll be much happier if you simply do it again and record a better performance. I don't like it as much when a big part of the job is editing tracks to make things sound good. Practice hard and record a good performance - that beats editing any day. "What do I need to do to make a successful album?" -Great songs, perseverance and the dedication to deliver great performances on the recording. Plan ahead and double or triple your time estimates. If you think it'll take 2 months it'll take 6. Know when to stop tweaking and let go.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
-What is your goal for this recording? -How much time have you allowed for the project? -How well do you have your songs rehearsed? -Are you flexible to suggestions that could improve song arrangements? -Are you serious about your music and willing to work hard for it?
How would you describe your style?
I think that when it comes to performance I always have a little bit of an edge to things somewhere whether in the guitar, drums, mix or whatever. I'm a fan of creating parts that fit the song but I do like to drop in little bits that make the song fun to play as well. When it comes to mixing I strive for balance and interest. Style can be important there of course but in the case of mixing my style is to deliver something that satisfies the client and myself.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
There are many but I think collaborating with Steven Wilson would be an incredible experience. I feel a kindred spirit there, I admire the work he's done and his artistry.
Can you share one music production tip?
Have a vision. Listen to what the song tells you and what the artist wants to achieve and it'll help guide your path to a great result.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on many styles but tend to focus the bulk of my work primarily on rock, americana, alternative, indie, singer/songwriter and country tracks.
What's your strongest skill?
Understanding the client's vision for their project and delivering on it. I'll do pretty much whatever is needed for the song to make the artist happy.
What do you bring to a song?
I've become adept at understanding a client's vision or the vision of the writer/artist and am able to translate what they hear in their head to something tangible that they can play back on any audio device. My stylistic versatility contributes the right amount of performance to a track - knowing when not to play is just as important as the notes that are played. I work in context - the song is everything and should guide the process.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I run a DAW-based studio using Pro Tools, SONAR and Logic. RME interfaces, Allen and Heath console (primarily for routing drum microphones). 3 sets of studio monitors and a treated room allow me to create mixes and final tracks that will translate to the outside world.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Those who do it for the passion and love of music are always inspiring to me. I've had the opportunity to work with legendary engineer Al Schmitt and it's amazing to see how passionate and excited he remains in spite of his long career in the music industry. I love the art of creating not only a great song but also the process of crafting the sounds and sonic canvas to convey the song in its best form.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Many of my production clients are singer/songwriters looking for full-band arrangements of their songs. I add everything from drums, bass, guitar, keys and extra vocals to bring the song to its full potential and reach their vision.