Steve Kolakowsky is a freelance engineer and producer based out of northern New Jersey. He is an AES fellow, a BMI songwriter and Voting Member of the Grammys (Recording Academy, Producers & Engineers Wing).
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- Wiz Khalifa
- Living Colour
- Enemy Of Everyone
- Junior Sanchez
- Marcos Carnaval
- With Snack
- NY Philharmonic
- Berklee College
- Will Calhoun
- Run Dmc
- Troy McLawhorn
- Sick Mind
- Off the Record
- Kings Will Fall
- Chino Music Group
- DUMP Records
- En Victoria Records
- EP Entertainment
- M2P Records and Urban Legendz
- M2P Records
- Urban Legendz
- Chris Opperman
- Hazard Adams
- J.J. Dembiak
- Big Thief
- Brent Cobb
- Drive-By Truckers
- Hurray For The Riff Raff
- John Paul White
- John Prine
- Julia Jacklin
- Margaret Glaspy
- Marlon Williams
- Shovels And Rope
- Wild Reeds
- Peter Criss
- Roger Waters
- Margo Price
- Zero Hour
- Erik Larson
- Mark Dresser Seven
Reviews (11)Endorse Steve Kolakowsky
Very Professional, Really knows what he is doing. It absolutely blows me away how much he added to my song. I will definitely be working with him in the future. Just AWESOME!!!
Quality work, super sweet, and easy to get in touch with! Will definitely ask for help again in the future.
He brought my artist's song to a new level, was very professional and helpful. Great listener and extremely collaborative. Definitely would recommend.
Excellent job once again. Flawless finish. Definitely my go to man for mixing and mastering.
Steve is a BEAST! He did a BRILLIANT job. Far surpassed my expectations. Excellent communication and did it fast. Highly recommend.
Was great working with Steve. Very professional and patient. I explained exactly what I wanted and what experience I have and Steve was great through the whole process. His quality of work is good and most definitely good value for money. I will definitely use him again.
Steve's work is great! He's prompt, professional and very responsive. I will definitely use his services again.
Steve did an incredible job mastering my tracks. He took the time to really determine what sound I was after and made it a reality. I will be using Steve again for my next project. Thanks Steve!
I've worked in the studio with Steve a number of times, and he really knows how to get your song to exactly where you want it to be. Funny, punctual, Professional.
I started working with Steve back in 2011 and continue to use him as my engineer on ALL of my music. Steve is extremely talented, knowledgeable, patient, dedicated, and hard working. Its not everyday you find an engineer who is this easy to work with. Out of all the big named engineers I've worked with in my career, Steve is hands down the best!
Steve Kolakowsky is the real deal. He cares greatly about his craft and puts a lot of effort into getting the "right sound." He's very easy to work with, personable, funny, and opinionated (which is to your benefit). I really enjoy working with him.
Interview with Steve Kolakowsky
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Most recently, I was part of the team that was responsible for the live capture & remix of the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. We recorded 60 bands on 3 stages over the course of 3 days, then remixed 15 of the acts for NPR. I was responsible for the event preparation & staging for all 3 stages, the capture on the Harbor stage & the remixes alongside Steve Remote. The remixes included Big Thief, Brent Cobb, The Drive By Truckers, Hurray for the Riff Raff, John Paul White, John Prine & Friends, Joseph, Julia Jacklin, Margaret Glaspy, Marlon Williams, Pinegrove, Shovels & Rope, Wilco, and the WIld Reeds.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The majority of my work is editing (session preparation, tuning & timing correction of vocals & instruments, midi "humanization" of drum parts, etc...), mixing and mastering projects for clients.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both (I know...is a cop out) Nothing beats the speed, flexibility and recallability of digital, however the sound and the ability to get completely engrossed into an analog project is second to none. Working analog draws you in in a way that digital never can.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The idea of creating something from nothing is definitely the best part. Taking an idea, translating it to a sound, sculpting these sounds to a cohesive mix and finally getting it out there for an audience to enjoy is an unbelievable feeling.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your goal with this project? What other songs/artists do you want your songs to sound like? Are you having your project mastered?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't be afraid to ask questions and provide direction. My job is to see your vision through to fruition, but that will only happen if you let me know what direction you'd like to head.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: If I were on a desert island, I'd bring ice, margarita mix, tequila, a blender & sun block (super high spf) and enjoy my vacation 8-)
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: There is no such thing as being "too rehearsed"
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My attention to detail is my strongest skill. I try to take as much off of my client's plate as possible so they can focus on their main task, bringing creativity to their project.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: 1. Put on pants. 2. Make a record. 3. Eat pizza. (but seriously, no two projects are alike and each deserves to be treated as such. There is no "typical" process)
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My personal mix rig is a hybrid setup centered around Pro Tools 12HD, Lynx Aurora & Apogee Rosetta converters and a Dangerous 2 bus summing mixer. I use a combination of choice "analog plugins" (including DBX, Universal Audio, Chameleon Labs, Groove Tubes, Avalon, Joe Meek & Furman) and digital plugins (including Antares, Avid, Izotope, Plugin Alliance, Slate, Sonnox, Soundtoys, & Waves) to help realize my client's vision for their project.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Ron Saint Germain has been one of the biggest inspirations to my career. He and I have been working together since 2007 and there is not one session we do together where I am not learning a new trick or technique to improve myself.