Recording the highest quality Hammond B3, Piano, Wurly, Rhodes or Clav tracks for your next project. From funk to pop and everything in between.
I am a session Hammond B3 player, touring musician and sound engineer. I'll deliver high quality audio tracks of organ, piano, rhodes, wurly or Clav to your next project. With almost 20 years of experience as both a musician and engineer I can create the best professionally recorded tracks to fit your project.
I have my own studio just outside of Philadelphia, but have also worked in Los Angeles, New York and Portland, OR. A screaming B3 part, a warm Rhodes or a funky clav track can really take a recording to the next level. I have a BM in Recording Technology and specialize in tracking, mic placement and mastering. So you're not just getting a great performance when you work with me, you're also getting a high quality, professionally recorded track.
Notable Studio Credits:
Lewis Capaldi (Pop)
Amy Banks (Jazz)
The Bridge (Americana/Jam-Band)
Mark Sullivan (Bluegrass/Trad.Irish)
Notable Live Credits:
Mike Gordan (Phish)
I specialize in the Blues, Rock, Country and Funk. However, I'm classically trained and have performed with artists from just about every genre including jazz, latin, pop and gospel. I also write and arrange for larger ensembles and can create horn or string parts for your project. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my gear, recording methods or other services I offer.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
5 ReviewsEndorse Mark Brown
Mark is my go to for any organ parts I need, and always delivers brilliantly. He is extremely professional and a real pleasure to work with.
Mark Brown is not only a masterful B3 organist, piano, and all around keys player, he is an incredible engineer and producer. He played on, mixed, and mastered a number of my band's singles/records. On top of all that, he also did all of the production on my podcast. Mark is unequivocally one of the most essential people in my life when it comes to music and production. You absolutely need to hire him.
Great player and highly recommend. Total pro.
Mark is an excellent musician and a complete pro to work with. He has added just the right Hammond B3 organ parts to a few of my songs, and I will definitely be working with him again for future projects.
Mark mastered our recent single and if came out sounding amazingly! He had patience with us as we were picky and went back and forth a few times. Excellent work - thanks again! Will definitely be coming back to work with Mark on future releases.
Interview with Mark Brown
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I recorded hammond organ for pop singer Lewis Capaldi on the track "Something Borrowed". It was recorded remotely at my home studio with his producer overseeing the project. The track was on Spotify for a couple of years and had almost 10 million plays. I also recorded and produced 3 albums with my band Hambone Relay. Hambone Relay is a Philadelphia-based funk rock organ trio. I write the majority of the music and had the pleasure to produce these albums both in my home studio and at Green Room Studios in Harrisburg, PA.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I have two recording projects for L.A. based bands that I'm working on. Both singles. I'm also in the process of producing and editing my own podcast. We are currently up to 32 episodes and are now in our 2nd season. I am still also a touring musician and have played a few gigs here and there since COVID began. However, I do plan on touring again once it is safe to do so.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not that I'm aware of. However, I would love to meet some of my collegues on this site. I'm always about helping out other musicians and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend someone to a client if I thought that soundbetter collegue could truly help that client more so than me...or if they were looking for a different skill set that I can't offer.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I'm very tempted to say analog. I learned recording and mixing on 2" tape and I love how warm and full it sounds. If I have a tape machine at my disposal, I would at least record drums and bass to it for that fat tape sound. Then fly it in to Pro Tools for ease of editing.... All of that to say...in this day and age, I would go with DIGITAL. It's just more efficient and the industry standard at this point. Plus, editing, mixing and mastering can be done so much more efficiently and with ease. No more cutting and splicing.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to deliver you the highest quality professionally recorded track to your song in a reasonable amount of time. I promise to keep our line of communication open and always ask you if I have any questions.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working with people and like-minded musicians. I love to create and I love to hear different original projects that clients want me to play on. I've heard some pretty amazing stuff and it is so much fun to hear what people are creating these days.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How quickly can you have this done? Most projects take between 5-7 days. I usually finish them in less than 5 days but I give myself a couple of extra days just in case I have any questions or issues regarding the project. Do you back-up and save all of your sessions? Yes. I have hard drives upon hard drives full of sessions dating back to 2003 (if you can believe that!!!). I don't get rid of anything and I back-up all of my drives once a week...the current drive I'm using is backed up every night.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I just hit record, lay down a few chords to your track and move on to the next session. I can spend hours working on your track to get it sounding perfect the way you want it. Which is why it is important for you to give me as much info as possible before I start the project.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Can you give me an example of what you're looking for??? i.e. I really like Billy Preston's playing on "Will It Go Round in Circles" . Can you play a piano part like in that style. I'll also ask basic session questions.... what DAW did you use? What's the sample/bit rate? Are you planning on adding more overdubs after the keyboards are done?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Please be specific with what you want. Give me as many details as you possibly can. Tell the the sample and bit rate, BPM, what instrument you want and then give me some direction. I love to be creative, and I certainly will if you give me license to. However, I want to give you the best possible result. And so, the more info you can give me the better. You could even provide me with other song examples to give me an idea of what approach i should take.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Definitely my Hammond B3 and Leslie...that's it! Oh...and a generator to turn that baby on...make sure the power is right so those tonewheels turn at 60 Hz or it will be quite annoying to have a severely out of tune B3.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have played music professionally since high school. Graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 2003 with a degree in Music Recording Technology and immediately began working as a professional. I played keyboards in the house band at the American Music Theater from 2003 - 2007 and then joined the Baltimore-based jam band The Bridge and began touring non-stop for 5 years. During this time I had the opportunity to play with such great musicians as Mike Gordon of Phish, Derek Trucks, moe., The Allman Brothers and New Mastersounds. Throughout this period of time, I worked as a freelance audio engineer building my own studio in New Jersey just outside of Philadelphia. I have since recorded on and produced over 100 albums all together.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I come from an old school of analog recording and mic placement but love to combine that with newer technology. There are some incredible plug-ins and VST out there that combined with the knowledge of acoustics and good mic placement can really make a good project sound incredible. I always look at each project individually and try not to get ahead of myself or overwhelmed. I work fast but effeciently...always stopping to fix something or address any issues that arise during the process.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Would love to work with Larry Goldings. Great organ player and a bit of a character. I would love to experiment with his setup and record him playing B3. Would also love to work with producers such as Mutt Lange, T-Bone Burnett, Quincy Jones and David Foster. Those guys are brilliant at getting the best performance out of an artist and making it sound incredible.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I've found that it isn't necessarily how expensive a mic you are using. It's all about the pre-amps. Great pre-amps and really good mic placement as well as acoustics can make a good recording great regardless of the microphone budget. I mean, don't get me wrong...who wouldn't want a bunch of $4000 U87's??? But let's be realistic. I have good mics but even better preamps and I understand mic placement and acoustics.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Proficient in all genres. But my preferred specialities are Blues, Rock, Funk and Country. Studied Jazz theory and composition in college and am very strong with bebop, cool jazz, hard bop and big band music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Hammond Organ and Keyboards. Especially Hammond Organ. I have been fronting my own organ trio for 10 years and played hammond organ professionally since 2003. I also have a Bachelor of Music in Recording Technology which gives my audio engineering and editing skills a huge boost. I recently finished a class on audio mastering and will be receiving certification shortly.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I can bring the full, warm sound of a REAL hammond B3 and Leslie to a song. My years of touring and studio experience coupled with my ability to play many different styles of music allow me to create a professional quality track for the client with several different takes to choose from. I like to approach the track differently with each take. Take 1 will generally be very simple and "inside the box". Take 2 will be much more busy and I might throw fills or licks in to emphasize certain sections of the tune. The 3rd Take will usually be something completely different and "outside the box". Then if the client likes one of the appraoch of one of these takes better, I can do another take with their one revision using that previous take for direction. My goal is to give you - the client - the most bang for you buck. The best quality track with a lot of different direction for you to choose from.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start with a pre-production session in which I gather all of the information that I need before starting a project. This includes (but is not limited to) sample and bit rate (44.1/16 etc.), BPM of the track, specific instrument settings or notes and song ideas. If needed, I will also write out a chord chart or sheet music for the song I'm about to record. Once I've worked through the pre-production notes, production begins. I set up microphones, MIDI keyboards, etc. and begin working on the project for the client. I like to keep an open dialogue going with the client through the process in case I have any questions for the client. I prefer to offer 3 takes of the work to give my client a few options. My terms of service will explain this policy in greater detail. Finally, I deliver the high quality WAV files to the client and ask for feedback. Under my terms of service I will allow 1 revision before I charge an extra fee.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use Pro Tools for tracking, mixing, mastering and audio editing. My Leslie Cabinet 147 is mic'd with 2 Neumann TLM 102's and an AKG D112 on the lower rotor. I have a full MIDI set-up with a wide range of VST instruments. Along with the Hammond B3 I have an Altenburg 6 foot grand, Korg SV-1 and a Fender Rhodes.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My career in the studio has been inspired by producers/artists Quincy Jones and David Foster. The hammond organ playing of Jimmy Smith and later Steve Winwood and Jon Lord has defined my musical direction and the love of the hammond.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Primarily, I record Hammond B3 organ through a Leslie 147 for clients. I use Pro Tools and, Neumann microphones. I can also record keyboard tracks using other various vintage instruments or I am