I'm as passionate as you are about making your music sound the best it can be.
I'm a mixing and mastering engineer located outside of Chicago. I started recording roughly 15 years ago, beginning with documenting my own writing as a multi-instrumentalist and eventually progressed to recording and producing regional artists.
In 2019, I partnered with acclaimed acoustician, Jeff Hedback, to design a new mixing/mastering suite. The combination of Jeff's clever design and the installation of Dutch and Dutch's advanced speaker technology resulted in a room that translates accurately and is a daily pleasure to work in.
Fast forward to today, and I have accumulated over 170+ gleaming testimonials from artists around the world, as well as achieving and maintaining a ’Top Rated Seller’ accolade on platforms similar to SoundBetter.
Providing great work is a given, but I believe creating a great experience from the start through the end of the project is what makes the difference. Rather than exist as just a username on a website, I’m often working with artists via video chat whether it’s a vibe check halfway through a mix, or to get sign-off on that last mix note. I find this approach profoundly more collaborative and efficient! One of the most rewarding aspects of this work is connecting with artists and sharing in their excitement when hearing their song come to life, so - let’s do this!
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
2 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Nick Stetina
Again more fantastic work. Crispy mixes and vocals all day.
Nick has been fantastic to work with. Very collaborative, a great ear and someone who just knows good music. Highly recommend his services to anyone in need of a top notch engineer. He is hungry for quality and doesn’t settle for sub par.
Interview with Nick Stetina
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Aside from the quest to make the best sounding recording possible, one of the things that excites me most about recording is connecting with people who share the same overwhelming passion for music as I do. More often than not, friendships develop through working together. Music is an intimate art. It's my goal to make sure you're not only satisfied with the final product, but the process as well.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: In mixing, I can only mix what is provided, and by that I mean one of the most important steps towards making your record sound radio-ready has already happened, and that's in the production phase. Before a single mic is on a stand, is your guitar set-up? Drums tuned, and appropriate cymbals selected? You get the idea. Mixing can often elevate a production a few letter grades from where it started, but in order to get an A+ we need a recording that was done with care.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you like most about your rough mix? What do you dislike and hope to see improve? What songs/artists/productions are a comparable sound to what you envision your mix to sound like?
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been running a studio and mixing/mastering for artists since 2006. Since then I've mixed thousands of songs for artists around the world.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: A little over everything comes through the doors, but I often work on rock, pop and their related sub-genres!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First, I'd love to hear what you're working on! Feel free to send me a message with a rough mix to start the conversation. This will give me a good idea of where you're coming from. From there, it's important to identify the full scope of your project needs in order for me to create an accurate quote for you. Considerations include song length, track count, editing needs such as vocal tuning, performance editing drums, etc. Once you're ready to move forward, I'll let you know what my estimated delivery time is for your mix. On some projects, I like to do a vibe check using Google Meet to chat and an app called ListenTo that allows you to hear the output of my session directly. I find not only is it a good opportunity to meet, and help put a face to the name, but gives us an opportunity to make any broad-stroke adjustments on the spot before sending the first, formal mix over. After that session, I would print and deliver a master so you can listen across the following few days on different playback systems and with fresh ears in the morning. If you had any further notes, 2 rounds of revisions are included with every gig. We would just schedule a time to meet up via video chat again. That's about it!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: In 2019 I partnered with Jeff Hedback of HD Acoustics (Ozzy Osbourne, Christina Aguilera, Aaron Dessner) to design the mixing and mastering suite I now work in. Between Jeff's clever design elements and the installation of Dutch and Dutch's advanced speaker technology resulted in a room that translates accurately and is a daily pleasure to work in. It truly feels like a superpower to hear what other's rooms are not telling them. With regards to equipment, I run a largely analog set-up for mastering with a hyrbid set up for mixing. Notable features listed below: - Dutch and Dutch 8Cs monitors - Grace M905 Monitor Controller - Cranesong HEDD 192 Quantum conversion - Lynx Hilo conversion - Manley Massive Passive Passive Mastering EQ - Gyraf Audio G23-S EQ - Roger Foote P4S ME Compressor - Buzz Audio SOC-M Compressor - Dangerous Bax EQ - GOLY Parametric EQ - Overstayer M-A-S
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Serban Ghenea's mixing track record speaks for itself! There are few pop artists he hasn't worked with. Such a great vocal sound. On the other end of the spectrum, Kurt Ballou puts out consistently great work. Love the sound of his room at GodCity and how it has become a signature sound in his mixes itself. Eric Valentine, Casey Bates, Brian McTernan - the list goes on. I can find something to admire about what most engineers in the industry do.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: A well written and arranged song with proficient musicians will blossom effortlessly in the studio. It's easy to get caught up with what kind of mics or outboard gear a studio has, but don't lose sight on the fundamentals; 'that' is what makes it!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most commonly I am receiving sessions from an artist that they have recorded themselves, or in a studio, to mix and/or master for commercial release.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My mantra with each project is, "If I could only provide this mix as a sample of my work, would I be proud to share it?" This philosophy forces me to always strive for more, and ensure I'm only providing the artist with my best.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As a music lover and someone with an analytical mind, I've been ingesting what I feel like makes great songs and mixes all of my life. I take that foundation with me into every mixing session I do, and with that, I have a standard and goal that I target every time.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I love mixes that are punchy, have a healthy but tight low-end, and have a modern, radio ready polish, without sounding harsh, or too "hyper real".