With 20+ years of audio recording, mixing, & mastering experience in addition to 9+ years of high-end audio equipment design at a major audio manufacturer, I know what it takes to create high-quality audio content. Whether it's mixing, mastering, restoration, editing, comping, or any other audio need, I can help make your project sound awesome!
I began my career doing home recordings on a Tascam multitrack recorder in my bedroom (I miss those days!). I then attended the University of Michigan where I received undergraduate degrees in Sound Engineering and Electrical Engineering as well as a master's in Electrical Engineering. During this time I also worked at Rustbelt Studios in Royal Oak, MI under Al Sutton (Kid Rock, Greta Van Fleet, Sponge). I now live in Chicago, IL where I do sound work with a variety of artists along with audio equipment design work for a major audio manufacturer.
My credits include recording, mixing, mastering, composition and production work with Starkid Productions which resulted in four albums in the top 10 on the Billboard Cast Albums chart and one album in the top ten on the Billboard Comedy Albums charts. I have also done work with artists such as Jim and The Povolos, Raised On Zenith, and many more.
I am interested in helping both new and established artists get the sounds they want without breaking the bank. I can work with you to help get your project to a professional level at an affordable price while still having a ton of fun in the process!
I offer all audio services such as mixing, mastering, restoration, editing, and comping. I also provide session work as a drummer, guitarist, and bassist.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Mark Swiderski
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Typically I do mixing and mastering work though I also have a lot of experience with vocal tuning/comping, audio restoration, editing, guitar performance, and drum performance.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I love Radiohead, Cocteau Twins, Dirty Projectors, Wilco, Big Thief, The Velvet Teen...the list just goes on and on!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use Studio One 3 as my main DAW. I have a Presonus StudioLive 24 for recording as well as a Roland VS-100 for listening and mobile recording. I use a Maschine MKIII and an M-Audio Keystation 88 for MIDI control. I have a wide variety of Waves and iZotope plug-ins for audio processing. I use Shure SRH1440s and KRK Rokit 5 speakers for listening. I have a huge collection of Shure and AKG microphones. I also have several Fender and Martin guitars, Fender and Vox amps, and Gretsch drums with Zildjian and Paiste cymbals.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Typically I first make sure I have a complete understanding of what my client wants. There's no point in starting if you and the client aren't in sync with what's needed! I like to stay organized so I then begin by creating a clean and organized session that helps keep the process moving at an efficient pace. Once I get to a point that I'm satisfied with the sound or performance, I share it with the client to get their feedback. I really want the client to get exactly what they want so I will work with them until they are 100% satisfied.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am very critical and detail oriented so I make sure that no error or blemish goes unnoticed.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill would be critical listening. I can pinpoint audio issues and make smart adjustments quickly and efficiently.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I typically work on pop/rock and musical theater but I am open to many different genres!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't fool yourself; you know when something isn't right! Don't make excuses and just fix it.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Radiohead because they are always so progressive and forward-looking. I'd love to see their process.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is clean, high quality audio that still has life and character.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing music and recording in elementary school with a Tascam 4-track recorder and my guitar. When I attended college at the University of Michigan, I received undergraduate degrees in Sound Engineering and Electrical Engineering as well as a master's in Electrical engineering. During this time I also worked at Rustbelt Studios in Royal Oak, MI under Al Sutton (Kid Rock, Greta Van Fleet, Sponge). I now live in Chicago, IL where I do sound work with a variety of artists along with audio equipment design work for a major audio manufacturer. Overall, I've been in the business for 20+ years.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop with Studio One 3 and Maschine 2 (does that count as one piece of gear?!?), Shure KSM9 microphone, Maschine MKIII, Shure SRH840 headphones, and my Martin acoustic guitar.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be open to collaboration and communication. I want to work together to get you what you want!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your end goal? What exactly are you trying to achieve with this project? Who will be listening to this and on what platforms?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception is probably that I'm tied to a certain specialty (mixing, mastering, etc.). I have a wide array of experience in recording, theory, composition, performance, engineering, etc. and can help with all of those aspects on every project!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the creative aspect; creating something completely new that didn't exist before.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that you will get what you want and that I won't leave you unhappy.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I know it sounds like the easy way out but both! There are advantages and disadvantages to both so I don't know why people insist on forcing people into one of these two camps. Analog gear provides a certain character to the audio that can't be replicated but there's no doubt that digital systems provide huge advantages when it comes to editing, reproducibility, speed, and creativity. The best artists and engineers know how to utilize the best of both worlds.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am working on a new solo project, getting back to writing and creating my own music which I haven't done in a while!
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am especially proud of the Firebringer Original Cast Recording I did for Starkid Productions. I was the mixing engineer, mastering engineer, composer, and producer for this album. I also did sound design and helped run live sound for the live show during it's run. In addition, Starkid Productions is run by some of my closest friends and favorite people so it was just an all around good time that resulted in recordings that we are all very proud of!