I'm an engineer, mixer, and multi-instrumentalist with an ear for bringing the best out of every song, sound, and person I get to work with!
After years of playing and recording music in various spaces throughout the country, I settled down and created a brick and mortar studio in Bethlehem, PA's Southside Arts District. I treat my work like community service and keep my rates very artist friendly to help my local music community thrive.
At my studio, Shards, you'll find a very relaxed, creative vibe and lots of instruments, amps, and effects to help realize your art to its fullest. At Shards, I've done everything from remote drumming, to tracking and mixing a full length start to finish, to packing up my gear and recording a band on the roof of a 5 story art loft! Whether you're in the studio tracking or having me mix for you remotely, you'll feel the care I take with your art.
Check out my credits at discogs below!
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
- Brenda Kahn
- Efren Ramirez
- We're From Antarctica
- Spirit Of...
- John Kimock
- The Henry Clay People
- Fog Cult
- Small Mess
- A Pilgrim Of Eternity
- Poor Luther's Bones
- New York Times
- Tape Swap Radio
- Millenium Films
- Limited Appeal Records
- Fleeting Youth Records
- Square of Opposition Records
- Ropeadope Records
- Black Farm Records
- maplewood records
- Lehigh Valley Girls Rock
- Martin Guitar Museum Sessions
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Interview with Matt Molchany
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I do a lot of tracking and mixing at my studio as well as playing additional instruments and helping clients see a clear path to their music coming to fruition.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I had the chance to listen to a client's before and after mixes from Rob Schnapf and was struck by how thick, yet clear everything sounded. Kurt Ballou of Converge and God City studios is doing some of the best heavy mixing as well. Production wise, I walk the line of hands off like Steve Albini and 5th Beatle like George Martin. I'll never turn down the chance to be a temporary member of the band / artist during the recording process.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio Shards is a roughly 1000 sq. ft. building with vaulted ceilings, skewed walls, and a mix of exposed hollywood concrete block and absorption/diffusion, as well as art and oddities. It's often said to be an inspiring space to work in, and can be as lively or dead as you need it to be. I meticulously auditioned and picked the mic preamps, analog outboard, guitar / bass amps / fx pedals, and microphones--I don't hold onto gear that isn't inspiring!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For tracking a band, it varies greatly. But for mixing, I generally bring up tracks / stems and get a rough mix so I can get a feel for the song's intent. I'll then shift focus to the drums, bass, and lyrics / vocals and get the energy matched for each section of the song, making adjustments as needed to eq and compression along the way as I bring in the other instruments, often times reamping thru some of my great analog outboard gear. After achieving a nice balance, I start to automate vocals to create an arc to the song, and repeat with other instruments as necessary to create a living, breathing, impactful story.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As far as mixing / producing a song, I work to bring the soul of the song and the vision of the artist front and center. With session drumming / multi-instrumental work, I try to immerse myself in the feeling of the song and play something creative and appropriate. One client described it best: "You added drums that I didn't know the song needed, but that are totally key now".
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'd say my strongest skill is people skills. It doesn't matter how good an ear you have if you don't know how to listen. In actively listening to people you can discover where the music is really coming from which helps us work as a team.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I've covered a lot of ground from pure electro-pop to folk to thrash, but I'd say the majority of what I work on falls somewhere in the heavier side indie rock world. As far as session drumming, I've played everything from world, to folk, to metal and back!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Keep it simple--a well timed and executed idea beats out a constant string of direction changes every time.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would absolutely love to work with Björk in any capacity. No other artist except for maybe David Bowie can string together such a densely varied body of work and influence into cohesive art like her, and I'd love to see where her drive to experiment would take us!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Organic, honest, and generally trope-free.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been playing drums since I was 3 so at this time, 35 years playing drums and 25 years engineering!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I'd take my 8 track cassette recorder+headphones, my Fender Jazzmaster, a shure 57, and a fender twin (and some solar panels).
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure your personalities and sensibilities are a close match and go with your gut. I think there should be a level of personal connection, this is music/art, one of the most amazing forms of communication after all!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I like to get into details about the songs--the meaning, the lyrics, as well as get a feel for what music they're into and even what their lives are like. All these little stories add up to the art they make and knowing it and getting to know them helps inform decisions about the mix / production.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That any one magical, expensive piece of gear will save the day or make something sound pro. Sometimes an 80$ Shure 57 will be worlds more appropriate than a 1000$ condenser!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Often times people ask about hidden or extra fees which is why I try to keep my pricing simple and affordable, so we can get it straight and move on to making music.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working with people to see their art realized to its fullest is an absolute thrill--it's the best part of the job!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! I mainly track to digital for its clarity and convenience, but offer 8 track analog for those who either want the color of tape, or who like the limitations and challenge of committing to sounds early on.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I have several active projects at the moment, but I have the most time invested in producing the full length debut for the band "We're From Antarctica". They're lovely people with great songs, and they're already getting some label attention on demos alone!
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Last year I lead the noise-rock band Tile from pre-production, through tracking, mixing, and mastering for multiple formats and the release went on to receive very positive critical acclaim.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That no matter what, we'll find a way to make what you hear in your head a reality.