Chris Knudson

Songwriter/Producer

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3 Reviews
Chris Knudson on SoundBetter

Chris works primarily in Pro Tools or Logic Pro, and can help you take your music to the next level. He is particularly adept at story and lyric construction, topline and traditional song-craft.

Since the 90s, Chris has produced and released records primarily under the Kanude and Val Holler monikers. His music has been featured in HBO's "True Blood", ​as part of the original programming for the inaugural New York Fringe Festival in 1998, and early on as the co-composer of Robert Rodriguez'​ feature film debut "El Mariachi."​

From 1993 to 1995 in New York City, Chris was a contributing songwriter/founder and performer with post-new wave band Mind Over Matter and later he has fronted his own Val Holler and Kanude recording and live projects while based in California, Berlin (Germany), Texas, Oregon and Virginia.

His latest project is LightBody Sound, a conscious synth pop duo/band with his wife Elizabeth (aka The Song Healer) as well as producing for other artists and continuing to build the Lightstone Records imprint. In his spare time, he chips away at his severe handicap on the golf course and helps his wife raise their two school-age children.

Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.

3 Reviews

Endorse Chris Knudson
  1. Review by GABE NOEL
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    check_circleVerified (Client)

    CHRIS WAS A PLEASURE TO CO-CREATE WITH! DEF WAS FUN FOR MY FIRST TIME ON SOUNDBETTER :)

  2. Review by John D. Norten
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    It was great doing Mixing and Mastering again for Chris. His projects and songs always have a really cool vibe and he's very easy and timely to work with. I look forward to more!

  3. Review by John D. Norten
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    Chris K was great to work with. I mixed 3 songs for his LightBody Sound project. Files were clear and labeled, songs were fun and substantive, modern with an 80's vibe, and communication was clear. Looking forward to more!

Interview with Chris Knudson

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I'm probably the most "proud" of my experience while still in college in the early 1990s composing score for Robert Rodriguez' breakout film El Mariachi. It got me a real start (and royalties) as a professional musician.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I just finished some original songs with input and recommendations from Ryan Tedder via his monthly.com class. I look forward to having the chance to work with him in person!

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: I've had great results with one of my goto mix engineers John D. Norten (Black-Eyed Peas) in North Hollywood.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Both. It doesn't really matter. I was tracking basics and especially drums on 2-inch tape then bringing them into Pro Tools for a while, but I have found you can create tape saturation and color now very well in the digital domain. That being said, creating track limitations like using a 4- or 8-track tape recorder is a great way to focus one's intentions and creativity.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: We are musical alchemists and will turn your leaden ideas into gold.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: In the words of my 15th great-uncle WIlliam Shakespeare: "If music be the food of love, play on!"

  13. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  14. A: I make music with myself and other people. How hard can it be?

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. A: What's your routine? What's your musical experience and proficiency? What motivates you spiritually?

  17. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  18. A: Get in touch and let's talk about YOU!

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: Well, some necessary items of course would be a solar panel array for electricity, a desalination machine and a boat! The other three would be an acoustic guitar, and a Zoom-style multi-track recorder with a microphone. Oh, and if there's no natural spring pools, can I also have a hot tub?

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. A: Around September 1988, I answered an ad in the classifieds of the Village Voice weekly while living in NYC at age 19 and started my first songwriting collaboration. I've been in the trenches ever since!

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: Eclectic troubadour with heavy new-age influences.

  25. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  26. A: Joni Mitchell. Pink Floyd. Queen. Steely Dan. If I could transport myself to the 1970s, when artistic experimentation and analog innovation was at its commercial peak in some ways, that would be the bees knees.

  27. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  28. A: Cut narrow. Boost wide.

  29. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  30. A: Anything for acoustic rock to electronic pop.

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: Deep listening

  33. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  34. A: 30 years of indie band and solo recording experience. Good listening and many stories to be told from my story closet if necessary. Big Lebowski references and quotes are a major plus. Speaking of which, do you think that you could give me my $20,000 in cash? My concern is, and I've gotta check it with my accountant, that this might bump me up into a higher tax...

  35. Q: What's your typical work process?

  36. A: 1) Do a sound meditation with crystal bowls. Center and quiet ourselves. Create intentional space. 2) Get to know each other for at least 45-minutes in conversation (walking in nature if in person) 3) Make notes of client interests, topics for lyrics, musical ideas. 4) Get to work!

  37. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  38. A: Maxed out Mac mini (2018, i7 64GB RAM) erunnig Pro Tools 2020 or Logic Pro X mainly with whatever interface I need for project (currently Soundcraft UI24r, but can also be UA Apollo), Adam T5V and T10S monitors, SM7B, TCM103, acoustic and electric guitars, Nord Electro, DDrum 6-piece Hybrid kit (w/ Roland TM-6 Pro trigger brain), Fender P-Bass and Fender Rumble 500 bass amp.

  39. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  40. A: Quincy Jones, Conny Plank, Rick Rubin, Jack Antonoff, Greg Kurstin, Pharrell Williams, Larry Crane

  41. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  42. A: Cowriting from am acoustic key/guitar start or creating track and going from there. Zoom remote sessions are fine as well.

Terms Of Service

Will offer a few revisions and turnaround times can be a day or two depending on the service and needs. The main goal is getting the project as best as it can be, clean sessions and mix-ready!

Gear Highlights
  • We are not gear heads. We have a few decent mics
  • guitars and keys
  • and can rent or borrow a U47 or Pultec as necessary.
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