Zena Kay

Pedal Steel / Dobro / Guitars

7 Reviews (3 Verified)
Zena Kay on SoundBetter

I am a Los Angeles based engineer and multi-instrumentalist offering professionally engineered overdubs on pedal steel, lap steel, dobro, weissenborn, banjo, slide + electric guitar, acoustic and classical guitar. I make the process fun and easy and will work with you help deliver whatever the song needs.

Hey everyone, I have worked with Angel Olsen, Maddie Zahm, Jen Awad, Karl Blau, Rosali, Speedy Ortiz, Adult Mom, Cosmic Guilt, and the list goes on. I’d love to help you with any of the instruments listed above. I have gotten great results from streaming high quality audio and video for the session over zoom. It makes the process more collaborative, more efficient, and a guarantee that you will get everything you want while we get into the details of the music. For these reasons, I would recommend booking a virtual session with me. Otherwise, delivering tracks over email will work!

I work out of a professional quality studio from my home, and I am happy to say I have some of the best mics and preamps for what I do. The tracks I deliver are guaranteed to fit in your professional, industry standard mix without any extra work on your end. Here is some of the gear that I use:

Antelope Audio Discrete 4
Royer R-121
AKG C414
Unidyne III 57
Shure SM7B
Phoenix Audio DRS-2
BAE 1073
Teletronix LA2A
Antelope Audio Edge Solo

I have session rates available for any of the instruments above per track or day rates if you require a number of instruments over a series of tracks. Hopefully that is all clear! If you have any questions please reach out. Thanks so much - Zena

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

7 Reviews

Endorse Zena Kay
  1. Review by Gabriel R.

    Zena is a true artist and professional. It was such a treat listening to the files he sent. Thank you Zena!

  2. Review by jackee
    by jackee

    Zena is a grade A player! Total PRO. Loved working with him and watching his love for the pedal steel. Can’t wait to work with him again.

  3. Review by Greg P.

    Zena was excellent! They were extremely professional and extremely fast. Their Pedal Steel playing was also phenomenal, exactly what my song needed. I highly recommend hiring Zena for all of your Pedal Steel needs.

  4. Review by Allegra Eidinger
    by Allegra Eidinger

    I recently hired Zena to play both pedal steel and guitar on my record. When I say Zena is one of the most talented musicians I know, I mean it will my full heart. They were highly professional, their musical ideas are bright and intuitive, and they delivered a quick result. 10/10 would recommend Zena for all of your pedal steel needs!

  5. Review by Silent Partner

    We sent Zena a number of songs that needed some spicing up and couldn't be happier! Great pedal steel solos, tasteful background ambiance, all well-recorded and done quickly. Since this was done remotely, I expected to go back with revisions/suggestions but everything was so great on the first pass I used it all. Highly recommended!

  6. Review by Emmett Drueding
    by Emmett Drueding

    I came across Zena while we were both working on a big production for theater concert in downtown Philadelphia. Zena was playing in a different ensemble but when I saw them performing I knew I needed to find a way to get them involved in the project I was working on. Since then, Zena has been a dedicated and innovative member of the band I put together consisting of a variety of great Philly session players. Zena can do it all; the classic country lines, western swing, as well as experimental and adventurous playing if the tune calls for it. Zena would be welcomed addition to any project.

  7. Review by Noah Dreiblatt
    by Noah Dreiblatt

    I've collaborated with Zena in a variety of musical situations over the years -- on stages small and large throughout New York and Europe, in rehearsal studios, and remotely in pandemic-times-studio mode. & I can honestly say that Zena is one of the very most skilled, thoughtful, and multifaceted musicians I know. Whether it's a live gig or a studio gig, you can count on Zena to exceed your expectations!

Interview with Zena Kay

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

  2. A: I recently was lucky enough to accompany Angel Olsen and her awesome band on pedal steel for Jimmy Kimmel Live. That was so rad!

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

  4. A: So many gigs in town here in LA

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

  6. A: I am super easy to work with, and we will get some really great recordings

  7. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  8. A: Get in touch!

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

  10. A: Steel, amp, volume pedal, cables generator

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

  12. A: Originally I’m a classical and electric guitarist, and have had experience playing in most major genres. I have worked for the past 15 years in pit orchestras, event bands, regular cool bands, and in the past 6 years I have been lucky enough to be working full time as a pedal steel player and generally a great utility player with the ability to play so many instruments on a pro level.

  13. Q: How would you describe your style?

  14. A: Easy going and professional af

  15. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  16. A: I am so happy to be making music with anyone!

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

  18. A: Keep it simple :) if it sounds good it is good.

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

  20. A: Country, Americana, pop, indie rock is pretty typical right now.

  21. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  22. A: Playing supportively, coming up with hooks, And ripping a solo if needed..

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

  24. A: I try to contribute as much as possible with the simplest ideas. My goal is to always be helping to bring the spotlight to the singer or soloist. Other than that I try to help support the song form and arrangement as best I can.

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

  26. A: I prep tirelessly before the session ever begins to save everyone a lot of time! I will typically chart out all the songs and begin getting great takes right away. It is a great feeling when everything goes smoothly and you can leave with a surplus of musical options.

  27. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  28. A: I work out of my home studio with ableton 11, antelope audio discrete 4 interface, and all the gear needed to get top quality recordings.

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

  30. A: I feel lucky to know so many musicians and production professionals that inspire me on a daily basis.

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

  32. A: A majority of my work is playing pedal steel, whether that’s in the studio or on tour. I am happy to play any of my other instruments as well!

Searching For Gold

I was the Pedal Steel in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Phoebe Bridgers
  • Kacey Musgraves
Gear Highlights
  • Williams S10
  • MSA Legend XL D10
  • many great amps
  • many great mics!
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