Underground Studio 43: Great Rates, Killer Sound! 16 Channel 192khz Pro Tools based project studio. Top of the line preamps, eqs, compression, instruments, and converters. Let's get creative!
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.
I would love to help you on your sonic journey and record/mix your tracks.
10 Vintech preamps
4 DBX 560
2 API 527
Marshall, Bedrock, Fender, and Vox Amps
3 Fender Strats, G&L Bass, Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul, Gibson SG, Ltd Ed Taylor Acoustic guitar, DW Design Series Kit
Mics: Neumann, Peluso, Warm Audio, Sennheiser, Shure, AKG, Ribbons, Rode
Tons of Waves and Soundtoys plugins: Neve, SSL, API, Abbey Road, L1 Limiters, CLA bundle. Scheps 73, Melodyne, full Toontrack suite. Native Instruments Ultimate!
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Chris Stein
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.
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: 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'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: What do you bring to a song?
A: Energy, excitement, and some punk punch!
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 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: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be afraid to try something new! Little experiments can make songs shine!
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: How would you describe your style?
A: Get Up Kids meets New Found Glory.
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: 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 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: 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'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 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 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: 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 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: 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.