Chris Hesse is a producer/mixer/engineer/mastering engineer and songwriter in southern California, Owner/operator of The Lighthouse Recording Studio and an original/current member of multi-platinum, triple Grammy Nominated band Hoobastank.

I've had the pleasure of working with and learning from A-list producers and engineers such as Rich Costey, Chris and Tom Lord Alge, Howard Benson, Randy Staub, Gavin Brown, Jim Wirt and more. I have many years of recording experience and own/operate a very well geared studio. I'm very comfortable in both digital and analogue domains. The Lighthouse Recording is a one stop shop, containing everything needed to complete a quality finished record.

My credits include

Gear highlights

  • HCL Varis mastering compressor
  • Foote P3S mastering compressor
  • Avalon 2044 compressor
  • custom 8 channel Sontec EQ
  • API 2500 compressor
  • A Designs Hammer EQ
  • Custom Summit Pultec EQ
  • 3-1176 compressors
  • 2-Distressors
  • loads of top notch outboard gear

Genres I specialize in

Terms of Service

Varies with project

Reviews of Chris Hesse / The Lighthouse Recording

  • Default-avatar5 months agoby Verified Review

    An absolute pleasure to work with Chris. His work is fast, pro and amazing. He is very open-minded and always try to find the best way to please the band. He also brings his own artistic sensibility to the mixes when the music needs it. We couldn't have dreamed of a better collaboration. Will sure work on the next record with him.

  • Listing_thumb_best_1over 1 year agoby Verified Review

    Chris was great to work with I am very happy with the mix he's done and exceeded my expectations of an online mix engineer. I made a few suggestions after the first mix and he listened to everything exactly as I described and delivered the perfect final mix.

  • Listing_thumb_hb-img_84238 months agoby

    Chris is a fantastic musician with a unique perspective to music being both a performing artist and a great mixer/engineer. His experience making top level recordings and performing some of the biggest venues in the world gives him the background that few people have in the business. And being a nice guy doesn't hurt either... 5 stars

Endorse Chris Hesse / The Lighthouse Recording


Interview with Chris Hesse / The Lighthouse Recording

What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Q: What's the biggest crowd you've ever played in front of A: I dunno, too many to count but it was over 100,00 and it was terrifying!
What's your typical work process?
I consider myself a vehicle to happiness! I step in as much as the artist is comfortable, offering my expertise and experience. Some artists are very particular and are simply looking to achieve a desired sound. Others want and need more direction with the writing and producing. My only care is that the artist is happy with the end product and I work until that goal is reached.
What are you working on at the moment?
Recording a new Hoobastank album, working with a Grammy winning composer and various indie artists
Analog or digital and why?
I love both and couldn't do without either.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
That they will enjoy the experience and be happy with the results.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the end product. Going from demo to finished song and hearing progress.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That anyone with a laptop and Garage Band/Logic can make a radio single. While that can certainly happen, it's infinitely helpful to have a professional at the wheel to get the performance out of the artist
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What is it you're looking for in a producer or mixer (or any other service I offer)? What message are you trying to convey in your song(s)? What are your influences?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Look for someone who's sound is what you're looking G to attain. Have a meeting or phone call, make sure there's a good connection. Recording is a very personal experience, you want to make sure that you're comfortable and the people working with you share the same goal
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Distressor U47 HCL Varis Burl converter Kush Electra
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been playing/singing since I was 5 years old. Both parents were very musical so naturally I moved to LA as soon as I good to pursue a career in music. I am a founding member of the band Hoobastank since 1994. I alway had a keen interest in recording, even before moving to LA so I started putting together a studio as soon as I had the means. I started recording my band and other bands until eventually it became a second profession.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
One of my favorite bands to record and mix is Old Man Markley. I love working with acoustic instruments and the band has a LOT of them. The mix is always a challenge because there's a lot of stuff going on all at the same time. Finding a space for it is like putting together a puzzle! They're all super talented and not one of them sound bad so it's a blast.
How would you describe your style?
I like to think I have many styles. I can do clean and polished pop material and also get down and dirty garage rock! I don't have a preference.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Adele is my favorite modern day singer. I love working with musicians of that talent, it's impossible to make them sound bad!
Can you share one music production tip?
Make sure the singer is comfortable and do whatever it takes to make them so. Maybe it's laying down on a couch while singing, holding a guitar even if they don't play it......or sitting at a piano, whatever it takes. You want the singer to convey their message genuinely so the listener can connect.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I'm comfortable in all formats
What's your strongest skill?
My ears are my greatest asset. They've been finely tuned in the many years I've spent as a music professional
What do you bring to a song?
Decades of experience in songwriting, performing and recording. I have a knack for bringing out what it is in the song that the audience will react to.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I run a private studio called The Lighthouse Recording. The most common comment I get when people walk in is "wow.....this place has more gear than *insert insanely expensive big name studio here*". The room is professionally tuned and capable of the highest quality sound.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I admire bands that push boundaries musically and emotionally. Emotion is one of the most important aspects of of a song to me because no one is going to connect to your music if it doesn't make them feel something.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
The bulk of my work these days is mixing and mastering however I love getting creative and producing, drawing from years of experience working with some of the best songwriters and producers in the world.