Engineer and production since 2003. I run a home studio for tracking and mixing. High quality gear for rock, pop, punk, metal, and hardcore. I play session guitar and bass. I will do session harmonies as well. Let me help you capture your music, make your mixes pop, and help you on your sonic journey!
I primarily will work on rock music. I was trained in analog recording in the 90's and opened my first studio in 2003. In the 2000's I did hip hop, emo, punk, pop punk, hardcore, metal, gospel, and R&B work. I've got extensive experience in commercials, voice overs, and audio work for TV. Some of my mixes have been featured on WB television shows and TNA wrestling promotions.
I approach music like it was classically done- great tracking of great performances. When mixing I try to capture the life and energy of the track. My mixes are usually analog or tube distorted - I tend to emulate working on a Neve or API console (I was trained on a 3505 and I just love that classic sound). I love to color my mixes and production.
I would love to help you on your sonic journey and record/mix your tracks.
Lynx Aurora converters
8 Channels 1073 Vintech preamps
Line 6 Pod
Vox AC 30 Alnico Blue
3 custom 1996-1998 Fender Strats with lace sensors
1 G&L 1992 Bass P&J pick ups, modded electronics
1 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul
1 Limited Edition Taylor 2003 Rosewood 414 (with 800 series woods).
1 DW Design Series Kit
1 Alesis Crimson II electronic kit
Great mics (Neumann, Sennheiser, Shure, AKG, Ribbons, Rode)
Tons of Waves and Soundtoys 5 plugins: Neve, SSL, API, Abbey Road, L1 Limiters, CLA bundle. Scheps 73, Melodyne.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Chris Stein
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I recorded a band called Vesper years ago. They were drums, 2 cellos, 1 les paul, and a vocalist. Killer classic rock sound. We spent months in the studio getting everything perfect. It was one of the most fun projects to work on because we had a vision right from the start and commitment from everyone to get the best we could out of the project. I did most of the engineering on the record- I recorded all of the instruments and back up vocals, along with some lead vocals (they lived far away and it didn't make sense to do the lead vocals here). At the time my set up was not strong enough to mix the songs because we had over 160 stems per song!!! I didn't do the mix and I always regret that. It is still one of my favorite records.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm writing a new album for myself. After engineering so long I lost a lot of my own creativity- I spent it all making others sound great. Now I've stepped back and hired a different person to engineer so that I can just be a performer again- it is so cool! I know so much more about the recording process that I am really able to communicate what I want out of a producer as an artist that I just didn't know before. It is a lot of fun. I'm also traveling to cool studios across the USA to do the record and it is so much fun to play in these great studios. I don't want to do any engineering on it and just perform. That is the best part of hiring a professional to record you- they focus on engineering and you focus on being creative, expressive, and emotional.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! I love analog- I have tons of analog gear, but digital is great too! The recall and precision of editing is nothing like when you had to use razors to cut tape. Mixing is more fun and interesting now with the combination of analog and digital.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to do my very best to make your songs sound the best they can. I also promise that I will be open, honest, and fair with my pricing. I never take jobs that I do not think I can handle.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love hearing all these great songs by talented artists that I would never have the chance to hear otherwise. I love building something that comes out great in the end!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That anybody can do it. Almost anyone can put a mic on an instrument and turn a pre-amp knob so it doesn't clip. That's not producing or engineering. Getting cool sounds and creating a vibe for a record takes experience, patience, time, and vision.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How many stems? Do you need editing/tuning? What vibe do you want? Do you have mixes of songs that you like?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Reach out and say hello. I'd love to hear your music and see if I would be a good fit for you. If not, I'd help you find the right person for the job. I know my weaknesses and my strengths and I won't take a job I do not believe I can deliver on.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1073 pre/eq, Distressor EL8-X,a Neumann Mic, a killer converter, and a good song. I could cut just about anything with that.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing bass when I was 8 years old and thought it was boring so I picked up guitar (funny because I love bass so much more now). I then played guitar in bands and eventually started singing back up vocals. Somehow I became the lead singer on a few projects. At 14 I interned at Roxy Studios and learned to record. I picked up a 4-track and cut local bands with that before moving to ADAT and finally pro tools. I'm 37 now so I've been at this a while.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Get Up Kids meets New Found Glory.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Jimmy Eat World- I love their writing, its catchy, they are great musicians, and I would love to mix harmonies they have!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be afraid to try something new! Little experiments can make songs shine!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Punk, Pop-punk, Emo, and rock. I've done hip-hop, R&B, and gospel in the past, but my main love is punk/emo/hardcore.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think that this industry is a people first industry. Many guys I've worked with in the past as a musician were set in their ways or only did things one way. This is a service. Your gear and experience help you get a good outcome, but focusing on the client's desires, needs, and goals is where it really shines. That is my goal and hopefully my strongest skill.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Energy, excitement, and some punk punch!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to get a handle on the project before I do anything. I want to understand the client's needs before we begin work. Then I make sure people are well rehearsed and we get great sounds when tracking. Mixing develops along the way when I work start to finish. For mixing clients I want to know what you need your mix to sound like, how many stems, how much editing and how much tuning needs to be done. Then I spend one session doing tuning edits and sound replacing/sampling and the second session mixing. I send songs to clients for feedback and do revisions.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have Yamaha monitors, a Raven Console, 10 channels of 1073 preamps by Vintech, 6 API 512c preamps, 2 BT50 EQs, a 1176 Blue Face, 2 EL8-X Distressors, 2 switchcraft patchbays, and a ton of instruments and mics (Fenders, Gibsons, G&L, Neumann, Shure, AKG, Peluso... and more).
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I grew up in the NY hardcore scene and that grew into an emo/punk/pop-punk background that I have. I loved bands like The Promise Ring, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Get Up Kids, and Jimmy Eat World. Many of my clients sound like these bands or more pop-punk such as New Found Glory. I love high energy rock, but also love intimate music as well.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Tracking drums, guitars, and vocals for punk/rock bands. Mixing songs.