Chris Donohue

Bassist * Producer * Composer

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4 Reviews (4 Verified)
Chris Donohue on SoundBetter

My artist roster includes Emmylou Harris, Tom Jones, Elvis Costello, Indigo Girls, Robert Plant, Shawn Colvin, Pete Seeger, Iris Dement, Steve Earle, Rita Wilson, Rufus Wainwright, Kristin Chenoweth, etc. My music has been heard on projects for the ABC, USA, SyFy, and EPIX networks, JWT New York, License Lab, and Human Music.

I will provide both clean (DI) tracks and dirty (amp/effects) tracks which you can blend to your liking. All tracks will be recorded using Avalon or Useful Arts DIs, Focusrite preamps, and a Universal Audio interface. For acoustic bass tracks I will use a Stager ribbon mic through a dbx160 compressor. See "Gear Highlights" for my instrument list.

Prior to recording, you will provide either consolidated stereo mixes or a folder with consolidated stem files suitable for use in Pro Tools. During this consultation you will clearly express your creative ideas and preferences which I will then interpret and implement accordingly. You are also welcome to send written bass parts as ideas or requests.

Thank you for trusting me with your music!

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Chris Donohue
  • Stu Garrard
  • Lauren Daigle
  • Indigo Girls
  • Rissi Palmer
  • Doug Seegers
  • Doug Seegers
  • Nashville Cast
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Yancy
  • Nashville Cast
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • One: A Worship Collective
  • Young Hines
  • Don Moen
  • Don Moen
  • Aaron Keyes
  • David M. Edwards
  • Selah
  • Leigh Nash
  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • John Brannen
  • John Brannen
  • Chris McClarney
  • Kelly Minter
  • Kelly Minter
  • Kelly Minter
  • Kelly Minter
  • Kelly Minter
  • Chris McClarney
  • Miriam Webster
  • Michael Neale
  • Aaron Keyes
  • Aaron Keys
  • Aaron Keyes
  • Aaron Keys
  • Nina Hagen
  • Stuart Townend
  • Yancy
  • Walking Upright
  • Walking Upright
  • Todd MacDonald
  • Sherwood
  • Seeds Family Worship
  • Seeds Family Worship
  • Twila Paris
  • Twila Paris
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Julie Miller
  • Buddy Miller
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Allison Moorer
  • Allison Moorer
  • Allison Moorer
  • Joel Auge
  • Joel Auge
  • Joel Auge
  • Joel Auge
  • Joel Auge
  • 33Miles
  • Chris Sligh
  • Jeffrey Halford
  • Tim Hughes
  • Brian Smith
  • Kellie Coffey
  • Kellie Coffey
  • Solomon Burke
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Rob Giles
  • Vicky Beeching
  • Sam Ashworth
  • Sam Ashworth
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Rita Springer
  • Michelle Tumes
  • Michelle Tumes
  • Joel Engle
  • Joel Engle
  • Joel Engle
  • Sean Smith
  • Sean Smith
  • Jaime Jamgochian
  • Ginny Owens
  • Ginny Owens
  • Laura Powers
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Jamey Clay
  • Jamey Clay
  • Jamey Clay
  • Jamey Clay
  • Jamey Clay
  • SONICFLOOd
  • Promise Keepers
  • Collective Soul
  • Collective Soul
  • Terry Scott Taylor
  • Christine Dente
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Nichole Nordeman
  • Brooks Williams
  • Brooks Williams
  • GlassByrd
  • GlassByrd
  • Dakota Suite
  • Dakota Suite
  • Dakota Suite
  • Laura Powers
  • Alathea
  • Alathea
  • Alathea
  • Jill Phillips
  • Jill Phillips
  • Bill Mallonee
  • Bill Mallonee
  • Bill Mallonee
  • Out of the Grey
  • Hunter Moore
  • Sheila Walsh
  • Gordon Kennedy
  • Lincoln Brewster
  • Lincoln Brewster
  • Acoustic Worship
  • Kenny Meeks
  • Kenny Meeks
  • Kenny Meeks
  • X-Treme
  • X-Treme
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Say-So
  • Sixpence None the Richer
  • Sixpence None the Richer
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Matt North
  • Dakota Suite
  • Twyla Foreman
  • Phil Madeira
  • Phil Madeira
  • Will Kimbrough
  • ESOEBO
  • ESOEBO
  • ESOEBO
  • Yancy
  • Yancy
  • Alice Peacock
  • Alice Peacock
  • Michael Logen
  • Andy Bromley
  • George Tifft
  • Phil Madeira
  • Yancy
  • Mark Tedder
  • Rebecca Sayre
  • Terry Scott Taylor
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Tiffany
  • Will Kimbrough
  • Will Kimbrough
  • Sam Torode
  • Peter Rogan
  • Peter Rogan
  • JC Coe
  • Changing Horses
  • Changing Horses
  • Changing Horses
  • Changing Horses
  • Changing Horses
  • Melissa Brett
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken

4 Reviews - 1 Repeat Client

Endorse Chris Donohue
  1. Review by Todd L.
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    Thanks Chris. You went way beyond the call of duty to make this project possible!

  2. Review by Todd L.
    starstarstarstarstar
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    Chris is amazing! Each time I hire him I am blown away by how much his tracks elevate my songs and gets them noticed!

  3. Review by Todd L.
    starstarstarstarstar
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    Chris delivers yet again another collection of phenomenal bass tracks for a new project. Once you start working with Chris, you won't even entertain the idea of hiring another bass player. One of the top bass players you will find out of Nashville and equally as pleasant a person to work with.

  4. Review by Todd L.
    starstarstarstarstar
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    Once again, fantastic product and super communication skills make Chris a perfect partner on our project!

Interview with Chris Donohue

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

  2. A: In 2013 I produced a record for the Haitian folk singer Beken, which required several trips to Port Au Prince to record lead vocals, primary acoustic guitar, and accordion, before finishing the tracks at my Nashville studio. It required enormous amounts of empathy, diplomacy, and persistence to bring to fruition, but was well worth it in the end. I remain grateful to Thirty Tigers Music for making it possible and also for the filmmaker Jonathan Demme, who is himself heavily invested in Haitian artistic culture and reached out to me to offer ongoing support throughout the making of the album.

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

  4. A: I am composing an ambient project that combines musical textures and drones with field recordings from around the world. In our current era of sheltering in place and isolating ourselves, it is intended as a means to travel within our imaginations until our bodies can move safely and freely about the world again.

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

  6. A: Pianist/Organist Phil Madeira has been inspiring me and helping me to lift my game since we first recorded together in 1994. He is a soulful, masterful musician and songwriter and a dear friend.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Analog into digital! Plugin technology is better than ever and amazingly efficient, but there is no substitute for a real vacuum tube somewhere in the signal chain.

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

  10. A: 1) I will draw upon all my years of experience and musical sensibilities to support your songs well. 2) I will communicate clearly and honestly. 3) I will draw you into the process.

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

  12. A: Getting into my flow state, listening deeply, and losing track of time.

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

  14. A: It's "just bass." (-;

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. A: How were the existing tracks recorded? Are there any parts in the song you would like for me to highlight or accentuate? What bass players do you like? How will this recording eventually be used or distributed?

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

  18. A: 1) Consolidate your tracks to :00 and know your exact grid tempo (if a click track was used). 2) Make sure the vocal in the stereo mix is not too loud - otherwise it can obscure the chord changes and groove elements I will need to hear clearly. 3) Wav files are preferred over mp3s.

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

  20. A: My 1975 Fender Jazz bass, a headphone amp, an iPhone equipped with Spotify, a solar charger, and a pocketknife.

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

  22. A: I have been a full-time session and performing musician for over 25 years. After moving from New York to Nashville in 1994, I toured with various artists throughout the nineties including GA-based Vigilantes Of Love and Nashville-based, Grammy Award-winning Sixpence. I built my session career as my creative community in Nashville expanded during this time, and I continue to work with many of the same producers and musicians to this day. I have been a member of Emmylou Harris' live band since 2006.

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: Tasteful, confident, and - when called for - assertive.

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

  26. A: Springsteen. No explanation required.

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

  28. A: Remain constantly aware of what the listener is meant to be paying attention to at any given moment.

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

  30. A: In any given season I work on a broad range of projects from the Rock, Pop, Country, Jazz, and Musical Theater genres, but Americana has been the main focus of my career.

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: Deep focus.

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

  34. A: I work hard to make sure my bass parts not only feel good groove-wise but are also tasteful and stylistically appropriate for the song. Though I am alone when recording remotely, I strive to create parts that sound as if they were recorded simultaneously with the other instruments in the track.

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

  36. A: I usually record one take that is very basic and addresses any particular requests from the client, and another take where I play more intuitively and spontaneously. In this way the client can select which approach they like best or combine elements of the two into a single "comp" take.

  37. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  38. A: My work suite is housed within a full production studio in East Nashville. I record using Pro Tools with version updates performed monthly. My signal chain includes preamps by Useful Arts and Focusrite, a Dbx 160A compressor, and various pedals by Aguilar, Lehle, Darkglass, and Tech21 NYC. My 19th-century Tyrolean double bass is recorded with either a Stager (ribbon) or an SE Electronics (condenser) microphone.

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

  40. A: I draw inspiration from so many music professionals I am privileged to work with in Nashville. There are too many to list, but Buddy Miller and Emmylou Harris certainly deserve particular mention as they have connected me with musicians such as Robert Plant, Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Dave Matthews, Iris Dement, Elvis Costello, and numerous others.

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

  42. A: Recording bass tracks, composing music for media, and live performance.

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"Gasoline And Matches" by Buddy & Julie Miller

I was the bassist in this production

Terms Of Service

Depending on my schedule, single songs can be turned around in 24 hours or less, multi-song projects in 48 hours or less. Multi-song pricing available. Up to two revisions per song.

GenresSounds Like
  • Tony Levin
  • Chuck Rainey
  • Carol Kaye
Gear Highlights
  • 1975 Fender Jazz / 1976 Fender Precision / 1974 Univox Hi-Flier / 2018 Epiphone Viola / Kala U-Bass / Boulder Creek Fretless Acoustic / 19th Century Tyrolean flat-back double bass / UA interface / Useful Arts & Focusrite preamps
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