My work speaks for its self. I have years of experience recording, mixing and mastering. Started producing bands more recently and it has been going very well. My strength is my mixing abilities. I’m really good at taking something good and making it better!
Adam Stilson (Car Seat Headrest, Pixel Grip, Ritual Howls, HIDE, Stef Chura, Pink Frost, Airiel)
Electronic music Programmer, Producer and film scores. Indie rock recording and production. Fixer of broke mixes, jack of all trades, Know best for my mixes and full productions. Not held to one genre. Willing to work with recording budgets.
Decade Music Studios is my studio, my mix studio is in a different location and I am willing to travel.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Adam Stilson
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Pixel Grip! I love these people and they make extremely good music. I produced, recorded, mixed and mastered there upcoming full length. Also Car Seat Headrest album Twin Fantasy that I co produced and mixed was a really great project! I love Will! so talented.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A cool project in the vain of M83. Thats all I can say. I'm also film scoring and making short clips for commercials and You Tube channels.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Brian Deck, Sanford Parker, John McEntire. Not sure they are on here I'd have to dig around and get back to you. Chicago has a bunch of great engineers. And some decent studios too!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! but no tape. If you want tape I can do it! But it's not cost effective. However recording at Electrical Audio is fun and if you want that experience I'm down! Also I have a few tape machines in my studio.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To make the best single or album we can!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: It never gets old and I'm never bored. I love what I do with all my heart.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do I have in house instruments. Usually asking about drums. Yes I have loads of instruments and really great sounding kits. Also availability and rates and the usual.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I'm out of reach to low budget projects. I get this often that people think they can't afford me. Just send me your budget and if it's a great project I'll work with you or work on some kinda percentage deal. IDK what ever makes great records I'm there.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Do you have demos? Can you send them to me? Whats your budget? Is it label funded or out of pocket? Do you like coffee?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Have your demos ready. It's extremely important to record your songs first wether alone or at a demo studio. Then we can get together and listen to them and make a plan to fully realize them into a production that will become your album. Also know your budget. High or low if you are a talented musician that writes songs I like I want to work with you! So don't hesitate to share your budget and see what I can do for you.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: ProAcs with amp and controller. U47 with great river pre and my 60's LA3A. A logical choice would be a set of distresses. But come on if I was stuck on an island and just happen to have a mobile studio setup I'd want a good mic and good set of monitors and a whole mess of USB sticks to tape to birds legs to get the tracks to the main land. In my studio my top five pieces are. MCI JH428B console from 1978 AMS 1580's 60's LA3A Zener Limiter RMS audio RMS47 a groovier sounding mic than most vintage mics.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started when I was 15, Built a project studio up and moved it around and rented some buildings to have studios in until I was 24 then I moved to Chicago and went down the event and EDM club production route. Once I realized it was dragging me down and I was only truly happy making records I got back into it and opened Decade Music Studios in 2013.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Dense, I like things to sound 70's and 80's combined with a modern twist.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Wild beast but they broke up. I'd make a good record with Preoccupations. I like artist that push the creative sound scape and write catchy tunes.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't compress guitars or synths. I'm sure theres more creative tips out there but this one is important to me. Leave things alone that already compress themselves.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: All types but I bet if you listened to all of it even though its a lot of different genres there's a common ground. Dark, Emotional, Dense, Atmospheric, these may be a few things that bring the bands I work with together. Not to mention talent and strong song writing abilities.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I've been told again and again I'm a jack of all trades. I'm really good at mixing and creating tones and sound scapes. When tracking a project I tend to go with a natural or live sound so some would say I'm good at that others would say why aren't you tracking with compression and doing things to make this sound modern. because thats not my style. I like some rawness to a live band. Electronic music I handle differently but also like raw sounds. I could go on about this for days.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My esthetic is warm with flourishes and little nuances and details most people over look. I like to create tones and atmospheres that make a production stand out and more identifiable.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Every project is different. It all depends on the initial conversation as to how I start or how involved I get in the production.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's to elaborate to describe here. The studio is a commercial design built in 1984. Has a very Bill Putnam feel. I use high end monitoring equipment in both my tracking studio and mix room. Both studios have Bryston 4b's, ProAc studio 100's, NS10's, auratone's sitting on sound anchors stands, Monitor management Cranesong Avocet. The tracking room has a set Urie 813C and a MCI JH428B mixing console with Burl Mothership converters. Lots and Lots of outboard gear and mics.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Jorge Elbrecht, Nigel Godrich, Chris Coady
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Although i'm extremely capable of realizing the whole picture of a production I am often asked to mix records after they have been taken as far as the artist or producer can.