Keith Hanlon

Producer and Engineer

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24 Reviews
Keith Hanlon on SoundBetter

I love rock and roll, jazz and songwriters. I prefer to capture an inspired performance, with all its beauty and imperfections. Albums I wish I worked on: Funhouse, Another Green World, Astral Weeks.

"You see, the whole thing about recording is the attempt at verisimilitude - not truth, but the appearance of truth... And you get there not with tricks and schtick, but with music - it's the key to all of this." - Jerry Wexler, words to live by from one of the most influential producers of our time.

My guiding principle is Empathy. I spent my younger years out there writing, recording and touring, so I don't take your effort and creativity for granted.

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Keith Hanlon
  • Connections
  • Lydia Loveless
  • Counterfeit Madison
  • Counterfeit Madison
  • The Kyle Sowashes
  • Jerry DeCicca
  • Ed Askew
  • Ed Askew
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • Daniel Rogers
  • Jon Chinn
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • The Black Swans
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Orchestraville
  • Orchestraville
  • Orchestraville
  • Orchestraville
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Ron Hester
  • Ron Hester
  • Parker Paul
  • Parker Paul
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Orchestraville
  • Orchestraville
  • Orchestraville
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red
  • Zapruder Red

24 Reviews

Endorse Keith Hanlon
  1. Review by Scott Gorsuch
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    Keith is just the fantastic-est engineer to work with! I've watched (and sometimes helped) him work many times - personable, smart, and cool under pressure! He instinctively knows when to get more involved in a session, like a producer, and when to step back and just let it happen. I can't recommend Keith highly enough!

  2. Review by Joe Hess
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    A great sense of sound, and has patience and devotion to his client's project.

  3. Review by Peter English
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    Best ears in Ohio, hands down

  4. Review by Amy Sharp
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    Keith is a brilliant musician and sound engineer. I work with him and witness musicians interact with him and trust him. He knows exactly what is going on at all times with the music. It’s in his heart. And he’s so very chill and open as a human, others are drawn in and feel relaxed, secure and heard. He makes beautiful music.

  5. Review by Dan DellaFlora
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    Our band has worked with Keith on studio and live recording sessions. Can’t say enough about his preparation and attention to detail. All the way through the final mixing his efforts to give you the product you want is remarkable. We have already reached out to him for our next recording session.

  6. Review by David Murphy
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    I love working with Keith. Aside from being an excellent engineer and set of ears, he reads the room incredibly well. I’ve seen him know when to produce, when to coach a bit and get the best performance out of people, when to make suggestions, and when to sit back and let it happen on its own because he already sees it coming. Keith works fast, but not with any kind of rushed feeling. A session with him is laid back and productive.

  7. Review by Paul J Carney
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    Keith has a great ear for detail and the composition as a whole.

  8. Review by Keith Novicki
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    Keith is a great engineer, producer and musician, but there are a lot of people who have those skills. The things that separates Keith from the pack is that he has incredibly good taste, his general openness to ideas, and his magic ability to make you feel comfortable and at ease so you can play at your very best.

  9. Review by Nick Terry
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    I recorded with Keith Hanlon last year. I don't have much studio experience. He made me feel comfortable. He was very cool and creative throughout the entire process. He was open to our ideas. He had plenty of suggestions when we were out of ideas. He was patient when I'm certain it was difficult. I don't think we could have come any closer to sounding exactly the way we wanted to, and sometimes better. I will forever be grateful for that.

  10. Review by Todd May
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    Keith Hanlon is proficient, gracious, and visionary. I consider myself fortunate to have worked with him.

  11. Review by Jon Beard
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    I’ve known and collaborated with Keith for almost 30 years. Not only is he a skilled engineer, producer and a fantastic drummer and musician, Keith has the perfect chill, kind yet direct and creative personality that has great effect on his approach to creating great music.

  12. Review by Paul N.
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    Keith is a fantastic person, musician, and engineer.

  13. Review by Justin Hemminger
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    This happens very rarely, but I'm at a loss for words to describe how great Keith is as an engineer, musician and all-around human being. I've had a lot of good experiences with different studio engineers, but working with Keith is always so great and the finished recordings sound as perfect as my hands are able to play them. I'd give 6 stars if I could. Maybe more.

  14. Review by Aaron Troyer
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    Keith rules! Keith has recorded, mixed and mastered various projects for my bands. He's got great sensibilities and tons of technical knowledge across both digital and analog formats. He's also very patient and accommodating to fickle musicians (me).

  15. Review by Jordan Kirk
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    Keith engineered, mixed, and co-produced my album in 2016-2017. He was he a joy to work with, and the album turned out great and even received a good amount of radio play.

    Keith brings a sense of calm and confidence to his practice that is calming for the artist to be around. He also has many years of experience, and some really killer specific methods for getting the best sounds out of instruments. Can’t recommend working with him enough!

  16. Review by Micah Schnabel
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    An incredible engineer, human, and listener. Always working to help you get the sound in your head onto the track.

  17. Review by Phillip Park
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    A lovely chap and very talented

  18. Review by Kerry Stewart
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    Worked with Keith on many different projects.
    Would recommend to anyone and will seek His expertise to helm my upcoming solo project..

  19. Review by Dave Jones
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    Good ear. Good skills. Good attitude. Would work with Keith anytime.

  20. Review by Doug Leed
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    Have worked with Keith several times and it’s been a pleasure every time. He has been a part of the creative process and has the technical prowess to make whatever idea one has come to fruition. His attitude is always positive and he takes a personal interest in everyone’s project. Highly recommend!

  21. Review by Chris Stevens
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    I have had the pleasure of working with Keith Hanlon on many projects and sessions. His work speaks for itself and I can only say the best about him. You can trust that your product will be respected and have the upmost care that can be given.
    Best,
    Chris

  22. Review by Matthew Byars
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    Keith is smart, efficient, intuitive, and is in this business for exactly the right reason: he loves music.

  23. Review by Erik Anderson
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    Not only is Keith technically a whiz - but just as important, he is an absolute pleasure to work with. He knows how to guide and nurture the process without ever getting in way. Highly recommend!

  24. Review by Patrick Koch
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    I’ve worked with Keith on three different projects and look forward to working with him again in the future.

Interview with Keith Hanlon

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

  2. A: I had the pleasure of working with Lydia Loveless and her band, and they recorded "I Would Die 4 U" by Prince. I'm a huge Prince fan, so it was a blast working on a song I knew since a kid, and hearing Lydia belt out the lead vocal on the other side of the glass.

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

  4. A: Your satisfaction is my goal.

  5. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  6. A: Q: Do you know what all those knobs are for? A: Yes.

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

  8. A: The biggest misconception about me is that I'm an all-analog guy and don't work on electronic music, but I'm perfectly comfortable in digital and love artists like Little Dragon, Goldfrapp and Aphex Twin.

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

  10. A: I identify the heart of the song, and always refer back to it as I'm mixing.

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

  12. A: As a child, I was drawn towards music and recording, as my father had a reel to reel tape deck and my brother was and still is a jazz composer, arranger and saxophonist. I studied audio production at Ohio University, in the last graduating class to work with analog tape. I interned at Ardent Studios in Memphis, where I had the pleasure of helping on sessions for Steve Earle and Eric Gales. Throughout the 90s, I made my way as a musician, eventually touring and recording with The Black Swans. In 2010, I came back to recording, and soon became house engineer at Musicol Recording Studio, a 50 year old studio filled with vintage gear. In 2020, I opened my own facility, Secret Studio.

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

  14. A: I just finished a new record by Counterfeit Madison that is absolutely beautiful. I opened Secret Studio in March 2020, my own facility where I can track, mix and master.

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

  16. A: Sometimes mistakes are perfect.

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

  18. A: While I'm perfectly comfortable layering tracks over a click, most of my clients are playing music together in a room with minimal overdubs (vocals, guitar layers, keys, etc).

  19. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  20. A: I don't like to take control of a session. I let the artist guide me to their point of view, and I try to highlight what is unique to them.

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

  22. A: I look for the brilliant unintended moments and highlight them.

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

  24. A: Brian Eno ambient recordings. Sun Ra free jazz chaos. Ziggy Stardust (Ken Scott's genius production). Love's "Forever Changes". And anything by Prince.

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

  26. A: Tracking: While I'm perfectly happy to start with a click and layer all the instruments, there's nothing like a band playing live in the studio. I'm flexible, as long as the music inspires. I'm usually drawn to the one beautiful human moment in a performance. Mixing: There's no single way to do it. I've mixed jazz albums and garage rock tracks that document a performance. At other times, I've pulled out all the production tricks to create a unique sonic world.

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

  28. A: Glenn Davis is an excellent mastering engineer whom I've had the pleasure of working with on many occasions.

  29. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  30. A: Both. I like the tools that digital recording offers. It saves time and money. But I also love the workflow demanded by analog recording. There isn't an endless amount of tracks to choose from at mixdown, as is common in digital recording. There's something to be said for making those choices early on, instead of saving them all for later.

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

  32. A: The variety of music that I have the pleasure of recording and mixing.

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

  34. A: Neumann U67, Urei 1176, EMT plate reverb and a Studer 2-track tape deck. That's four.

  35. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  36. A: I recently opened Secret Studio, which boasts a 20'x'20' tracking room. The control room features a Soundcraft 8000 console, Pro Tools, Logic and Reaper, plus and a variety of quirky outboard effects that compliment my array of plugins. I am also house engineer at Musicol Recording Studio, the oldest studio in Columbus (50+ years!). It definetly has a 70s vibe in there... lots of vintage Neumann and RCA microphones, 24-track 2" tape, and seven (!!!) Urei 1176N limiters, plus a variety of vintage preamps, EQs and compressors.

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Shout About Clout by Counterfeit Madison

I was the Engineer and Mixing Engineer in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • Van Morrison
  • The Stooges
  • Brian Eno
Gear Highlights
  • Avid Pro Tools
  • Logic X
  • Cockos REAPER
  • Tascam 38 1/2" 8-track
  • Soundcraft 8000 console
  • Telefunken CU-29
  • 3U Audio Warbler MKII
  • Urei 1176
  • Warm Audio preamps
  • Furman Spring Reverb
  • Effectron Delay
  • Echo Chamber
  • Otari Tape Delay
More Photos
More Samples
  • Keith Interviewed at Ghettoblaster MagazineMar 26, 2020

    Ghettoblaster Magazine just published an interview with me, wherein I discuss my time in The Black Swans and my record label, Scioto Records.