**Grammy Award Winning Engineer** & *OFFICIALLY CREDITED ON 32 TOTAL GRAMMY NOMINATIONS* I’ve worked alongside: Kanye West, Yo-Yo Ma, PJ Morton, Jamila Woods, Kirk Franklin, Kurt Elling, Adam Levine, Cowboy Troy, Tom Higgenson (Plain White Tees), Donald Lawrence, Lupe Fiasco, Hezekiah Walker, Rihanna, Anthony Hamilton, Mavis Staples, etc.
I will deliver world-class treatments for your most precious work!
RECORDING / MIXING / MASTERING ENGINEER
+ Dolby Atmos!!
“Studio James” is known for his diversity, having the distinction of successfully working in practically every genre of music over his 15+ year career. This has included credits on Grammy nominated Hip Hop / R&B / Gospel / Jazz, while also having worked with world renowned classical musicians, rockstars, popstars (and even a Billboard-charting Country artist).
After working out of countless big studios as a freelancer, since 2016, James has owned his Chicago-based studio, branded Coda Room Audio. In 2019, James received Arts Council England’s formal endorsement for a UK Tier 1 “Exceptional Talent” visa, paving the way for a whole new adventure (and expansion) across the pond. While still retaining a presence in the Chicago/USA scene, James now also resides in London.
I generally mix and master remotely, but am available to travel as well.
Whatever YOU need!--let's chat!
PS: A lot of people like to claim that they're Grammy-winning or Grammy-nominated...but, unfortunately, many of these people are not. Check for yourself, and don't take their word for it. Simply goto grammy.com and search their name. If it doesn't show up there, it did not happen.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
438 Reviews - 100 Repeat ClientsEndorse James Auwarter
As short as I can say. For this song, I was afraid that the mastering would not be done well like for no other so far. I didn't have space to write why, but James surprised me. He has his secrets that are unclear to me, so let it be; all the best, James, you are the man. Dean Dvornik
Excellent job. Very professional and patient. Sounds great.
James did such a great job mastering my song! Communicating with him was very easy and I hope to work again with him in the future! I would definitely book James if you want your song to be mastered.
Pro quality. Love it!
James is fantastic 10/10 recommend. He made my song loud and full without losing any character...if anything it brought out more! Professional / easy to work with / great communication
Second Project with James and I have to say he is such a pleasure to work with. Really keeps the process quick and simple while always making sure to deliver a high quality product.
Great communication and turn around, even with 1 revision. I’m happy with the results. Will be using James’ services again in the future
Great communication and brought me a great quality master!
Attentive, easy to work with, knows his craft.
James is back at it again with another killer master! We’ve been working together for a while and i don’t ever see myself slowing down on projects with him.
James has done an absolute fantastic job. His technical skills are amazing and he has the ability to understand artists from a creative perspective. He was capable to turn my song to different artistic level. Prompt and easy communication. Professionalism's represented through his humble attitude too. Thank you!
It was an absolute privilege working with James. if there was any doubt, he delivers exceptional quality: providing brilliance, depth and clarity to the track. But most importantly, He's easy to work with, and great with communication
Great working with James again - He has a really brilliant way of understanding the music and the sometimes cranky artist! His skills and mastering were top class again. Thanks mister.
Excellent work from James. He responds promptly to every request, working quickly while still delivering high-quality results.
He's good at finding things that are never easy, and his sound proves it.
He does it perfectly. It's one of the people who isn't easy to find here.
Great sense of communication and he got want I wanted in one feedback.
No need to think twice about it ！
James was an absolute pleasure to work with! He was very clear to answer all my questions and also offered some great advice on what I could do on my end to make his work shine even better! The final mastered track I got back is absolutely brilliant and sounds exactly as I'd hope!
Professional, Timely, and great at communicating. Will definitely be back.
We keep coming back. James is incredible to work with — easy communication, top skills, great sounding mixes & masters, and always a joy to work with.
I’m very impressed with what James was able to do with my song. He was pleasant to work with and was able to give me the clarity and tone that I was searching for. The thing that really impressed me was his ability to pull more details out of my original mix than I had expected. Very cool.
Interview with James Auwarter
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Most commonly I'm asked regarding ADM / MFiT : - "Are you an Apple Digital Masters / Mastered for iTunes certified engineer?" - “Will this master also be acceptable and sound good on the other streaming platforms beyond just Apple?” Answers : - Yes, I am a certified Apple Digital Masters / Mastered for iTunes engineer. - Yes, of course my masters are 100% fine for Spotify/Tidal/Apple/YouTube etc all platforms, but specifically with Apple, it means that if you choose to let your distributor know when you upload, they will include a badge stating that it is a certified master (meaning a certified mastering engineer who's been approved by them did the master). Additionally, beyond the full quality 24 bit .wav, the .m4a reference file that I send is the exact format, codec, and settings that Apple will encode themselves, so it's a way of knowing EXACTLY what it'll sound like on that platform. (The other streaming platforms do not have similar programs, however there are no drastic differences in specs from one platform to the other, but all platforms do look for different LUFS volume standards, unfortunately). Long story short...it's nothing to be concerned about-- But if you have more questions on it, I'm happy to answer :)
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The experience that comes with being credited on 32 Grammy nominations. Knowing when to add a bit of extra flavor and when to be much more subtle.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Check their track-record, and also pay attention to how quickly they respond to your messages.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A different genre, with a different client, everyday.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I personally think that with GOOD (and well-upkept) analog gear, I can often achieve the desired sound quicker. However, to then document the gear settings and to then inevitably have to recall the gear settings for mix tweaks at a later time, the overall process is actually slower than staying in the box (digital). Also, analog gear in general is much more susceptible to unexpectedly causing issues. I love analog gear. I’ll record through every bit of analog gear that’s at my disposal at the time, absolutely, but for me it just does not make sense to mix that way any more. Sonically, when a mix is done by a pro, the end listener will never know (or care) whether it was done analog or digital. It’s just a preference, not “right” or “wrong’ – but analog mixing is not part of my workflow anymore.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: In about 20 years: amateur, university, intern, assistant, staff engineer, freelance engineer, studio owner.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I sometimes run in to clients who confuse the difference between the mixing and mastering process. So, mastering is the last phase of the process, done with the 1 stereo bounce from the mixing phase...whereas mixing is the process of blending every single individual element (by volume adjustments, panning, eq, compression, reverb, effects, etc) into 1 stereo file.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is YOUR goal? How can I help your music reach its full potential?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will deliver world-class treatments for your most precious work!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The blending of the tech with the creative. I get to play my part in the creative process by utilizing the tech tools in both traditional and non-traditional ways.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Hmmm. If just 5, I guess I'd have to go with a good laptop, my beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones, Pro Tools, Melodyne, FabFilter bundle. I could still get some serious mixing and mastering done with this stripped down setup :)
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: The Japanese House has such amazing production, and authentic emotion in her songwriting.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: 99% of the time, DO NOT PUT A LIMITER ON THE STEREO BUS WHILE MIXING! That is part of the mastering process. Mix while you’re in the mixing phase, and master while you’re in the mastering phase. Just cause it’s louder at the moment, does not mean it actually sounds better. Hear me now, believe me eventually.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: EVERY genre.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Bringing an artist's vision to life, on time, and within budget.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Nigel Godrich has always been my favorite producer/engineer. Musicians/bands/artists are too numerous to name!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing and mastering is what keeps me most busy at the moment, but I do recording and producing quite often as well.