If you need someone with professional-level technique and award-winning chops for a modern sound, then I'm your cellist! I combine years of focused classical study on the cello with my experience as an electric guitarist and modern cellist to deliver stellar sounding results at an affordable price.
Visit my website to hear Demos at https://www.stevenschumann.com,
One of the reasons that strings are possibly the hardest instrument to synthesize beautifully is due to the deep technique and finesse required to make them sing! I am an award-winning classical cellist (Belle & Lynum Jackson award, 2019 1st Place) but importantly, I spend much of my time playing with modern bands on both the cello and on electric guitar. This means that I bring a fine level of technical effectiveness, and combine that with my ear for modern, radio-ready sounds. I am featured on the 2019 winner of the International Songwriting Competition in the Country Music category (Kate Pederson, The Landing) and have worked with producers from all over the U.S. and internationally. I regularly perform with groups of various genres, as well as my own folk trio Cypress. From part writing in the style of Bach, to soloing over changes, my wide exposure to many styles guarantees my tracks will sit well in the mix.
I record with high-grade equipment, including a Neumann Tlm 102, and an acoustically-treated room. My experience in the studio means that I am familiar with techniques which help a track mellow out or cut through accordingly. Book me today for a session for great sounding tracks and a quick turnaround!
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
6 ReviewsEndorse Steven Alan Schumann
I am very satisfied with his work. Great person and flexible with what you ask for.
Steven was excellent and meticulous. He was not happy unless I was happy and got it perfect the way I wanted. Keep it up Steve!
Outstanding musician, amazing work, Steven did multiple interpretations of my song and gave a lot of options to work with.
Amazing talent! Unbelievable professionalism. Will not be disappointed having him play for any event!
An absolute talent and a pleasure to work with! Steven is not only a wonderful musician but a great person! It is my pleasure to endorse Steven.
I have the great pleasure to endorse Steven, who is an amazing and versatile artist with multiple musical interests that ranges from classical to rock! His warm personality and keen interest on his clients, makes him an ideal person to work with. His professional attitude and knowledge will make your musical experience memorable.
Interview with Steven Alan Schumann
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I work in many different genres, but most commonly I am either adding a sweet and tasty cello line to a highly produced song (e.g. a hook before the bridge or intro) or I am adding 2-3 cello tracks to folk/singer-songwriter type songs. Cello is the PERFECT instrument to fill the gaps in an acoustic song while maintaining a woody-raw quality!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Chris Thile, Yo-yo ma (genre crossover), John Mayer, Bobby McFerrin.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I start with the most important part of my setup... my cello! I have a ~ $20,000 Anton Krutz instrument as well as a few other cellos, so that I can use multiple instruments for a section sound if desired. I use a heavily dampened room (to get a nice dry track for producers) and typically use my Neumann TLM 102 for Cello tracks, but sometimes I like to blend in some other mics. I go into a Tascam US-1800 and work through logic.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Most songs are fairly straightforward, and I can work with tracks alone, or with written music or chord charts. I will listen through the songs 2-3 times during the day to get a feel for the overall dynamics, write out a plan for the different tracks, and go for it!. I will shamelessly admit that I will often comp my takes. It depends on the song (such as a raw folk song) but typically, producers want a clean fairly perfect track in articulation, intonation, and style. I aim to deliver this and comping helps to deliver that professional-quality polish.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring professional level technique, as well as a vast array of musical influences and knowledge of gear that very few cellists in the world can bring. I am a high level player (studied classical cello at university) but I get most of my gigs playing modern music with bands and songwriters. My experience as an electric guitar player, producer, and occasionally keys gives me a great grasp on the desires that producers have for a good track!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My flexibility and professionalism. I aim to always over-provide and leave every client happy. I've just about never missed a gig in my life... even when my car was stolen!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: All genres; folk, pop, christian, synth-based, rock, film, classical.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Get everything perfect that you can in the take, and you'll thank yourself during the edit. Everything from tuning to choosing the right instrument benefits from this.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: NeedToBreathe. I love their energy and sound, and everything is better with a cello in it!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would describe my style as tasteful and versatile. Each instrument in a song needs to be where its best suited, and that will change for each song.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1. My cello (of course) 2. Neumann TLM 102 3. Interface 4. Laptop 5. Coffee maker (what do you know, not that different from my current set up)
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Trust me!! I won't claim to be the best in the world, but please trust me when I say that I'm good at what I do. The easiest and BEST SOUNDING projects I work on are when the producer trusts me while giving specific feedback and instructions!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I am quite young as a professional, however, 100% of my income comes through music at the age of 21. Starting when I was 18 in college, I had to sustain myself financially through my music. As a performance major, I spend half of my day practicing, and the other half of my days performing. I once totaled it up my freshmen year and I was playing an average of 6-12 hours every single day Monday-Sunday. I've been gigging since I was 15 years old, and now I've become one of the top calls in my area because of my good playing, and diligence to always be on time and work incredibly hard.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Do you have anything specific that you're wanting from me, or do you want me to provide you with options? What kind of sound/production are you going for? Do you want the part to be perfect or "human"?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception is that as a classically trained player that I am stuck in a box creatively, especially when it comes to playing by ear. My training gives me access to great technique, but my experience playing all different styles by ear and chart broadens my abilities greatly.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Most commonly customers ask if something is possible to play on the cello. And my answer is almost always yes BUT, there may be a better way. I am well acquainted with extended techniques on the cello that allow me to play almost anything you can imagine, but there may be a way to re-write it to be more conducive to the instrument.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Getting to create something new every day that blows people's minds when they hear it!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that you will be satisfied with my tracks! Happy clients are the MOST important part of my job. I always aim to go above and beyond.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Well the cello is obviously analogue... but I work through logic. Typically I do not need to do any processing to the tracks as producers like control (and cellos are preeetty close to not needing to be touched anyway). Unless I need to do some melodyne, then that is digital obviously.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Jake Rye, producer out of Michigan. Worked with him on a recent award-winning song as well as some others.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Lots of projects! Between my gigging and recording it would be much to list, but about 18 hours every day is on one project or another right now.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I worked on the score with a film-maker for his project, and really was proud of the end result! Not only did it sound well-done and fit the tone of the film, but I was able to do it QUICKLY and cheaply for the film-maker. This is because I mix synthesized instruments (such as pipe organ, piano, and sampled cinematic drums) with real instruments that I played (Such as cello , violin, bass, brass) to get something that sounded hollywood-quality at an indie-film budget.