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.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
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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.