Mixing engineer based out of historic Muscle Shoals,AL. I've mixed for artists such as Backstreet Boys, Brett Eldredge, Percy Sledge, Sleeping At Last and Penny & Sparrow.
Like many people, I wanted to be a touring musician when I grew up.
But after touring the country with my band in a Ford Expedition whose battery died every time we stopped the car, I decided that life was not for me. So I studied commercial music in college and landed an internship with Grammy winning songwriter Gary Baker. After graduating, I was lucky and got to stay on as his staff engineer and recorded all of his projects. I realized that in addition to recording, I really wanted to get into the mixing side of making records because I felt like I could work on my own time and by myself, instead of in a room with a bunch of people (I’m an introvert). The next several years were spent learning how to mix at a professional level. It took a while, but I eventually started mixing all of Gary’s productions and then started picking up clients of my own. Fast forward a few years and now I am mixing records all over the world for producers who have become good friends.
I have worked with all kinds of artists, from all kinds of genres and backgrounds. Whether it is recorded in a big studio or a bedroom, the goal is still the same- to bring out the artist's vision for the song and to get the most potential out of the production.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Chris Bethea
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Recording and Mixing for the Backstreet Boys on a greatest hits acoustic band record. "I Want It That Way (Reimagined)" is out. Absolutely loved working on so many iconic songs with a real band feel. We tracked it in Muscle Shoals,AL
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Working on a new Penny & Sparrow record that will be killer.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Don't care honestly. Whatever gets the individual person the best result.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I don't stop until you are happy. It's important to me to get your art right.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Every day/week is different song, record, genre etc. It's never stale. Always something different.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do I master my mixes as well? I can. I do. However, I trust the process the most. I prefer to pass it off for some fresh objectivity that can take us that final 5% of the way. I have a handful of mastering engineers that I love and happily recommend.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your vision for each project/song/record?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Start the conversation. Make sure it's a good fit. You work hard to write, arrange, produce and record your songs. Make sure the mixing and the mastering are a good fit.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1) Neumann KH 310 speakers 2) Acustica Erin EQ 3) Kush Novatron 4) DMG Limitless 5) Valhalla Verb
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been mixing professionally for about 10 years now. I interned with Grammy winning songwriter, Gary Baker, at a new studio he had just built. I just tried to make myself useful as I learned how to make records.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Snow Patrol. I've been a fan for years. Love their stuff!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less can be more. Loading up with layer after layer because you struggle to make a decision can produce an undesired outcome.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, Rock, Americana, Country
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Patience. I don't get rattled easily. If a mix doesn't come quickly I don't panic. I keep exploring until it lands somewhere good.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring many years of experience. I've mixed all kinds of songs from all kinds of artists all over the world. I don't just load the song up with plugin presets. Every record, every song is a blank canvas. I try to do what is best for the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: The client sends me the files to the song and includes a rough mix. I take those files and mix them until i'm happy with it. I then send it out for the artist/client feedback and we finalize it from there.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My mix room is centered around a Slate Raven. I use Neumann KH 310s along with Yamaha NS-10s. My DA is a Dangerous Music Convert 2, which feeds into my Dangerous monitor controller. I use an Apple iMac Pro loaded to the max.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I've always loved Bob Clearmountain's mixes.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.