A Little Bit About Me

 

Like many other producer/engineers, I began by recording my own music.  In the process, I discovered a passion for the art of crafting a recording, from reaching for the best performance, to getting the right mic in the right place, to signal processing, to mastering.  This passion quickly extended beyond my own songs, leading me to begin helping regional artists make their musical visions a reality.

Over the last five years, I’ve had the privilege of engineering and producing for many fantastic artists.  From hard rock to small-group jazz, from folk to avante-garde classical, from studio first-timers to road-tested veterans, and everything in between, I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen, heard, and learned a great deal in my relatively short career so far.

So whether you’re a self-recorded singer-songwriter looking to get mixing off your plate, a producer who’s tired of trying to judge the quality of a take while simultaneously worrying about how much level is going to the A/D converters, or a mix engineer looking for an objective ear to get your mix ready for market, I want to make it easier for you to do what you do best by doing what I do best.

A Little Bit About Me

 

Like many other producer/engineers, I began by recording my own music.  In the process, I discovered a passion for the art of crafting a recording, from reaching for the best performance, to getting the right mic in the right place, to signal processing, to mastering.  This passion quickly extended beyond my own songs, leading me to begin helping regional artists make their musical visions a reality.

Over the last five years, I’ve had the privilege of engineering and producing for many fantastic artists.  From hard rock to small-group jazz, from folk to avante-garde classical, from studio first-timers to road-tested veterans, and everything in between, I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen, heard, and learned a great deal in my relatively short career so far.

So whether you’re a self-recorded singer-songwriter looking to get mixing off your plate, a producer who’s tired of trying to judge the quality of a take while simultaneously worrying about how much level is going to the A/D converters, or a mix engineer looking for an objective ear to get your mix ready for market, I want to make it easier for you to do what you do best by doing what I do best.

SERVICES

As a recording engineer, my responsibility is making sure your creative needs are met by: selecting and placing microphones to best capture each instrumental or vocal source needed for a project, setting any necessary input processing (EQ or compression applied to a signal before recording), preparing cue mixes for players, and running the Pro Tools recording system. 

My aim is to ensure you as the artist or producer can focus solely on getting evocative performances and building songs at the speed of creativity, without having to slow down to worry about the tech.

Access to Blues Alley Studio in Morgantown, WV is available.  I’m also open to travel upon request.

Editing is the often overlooked process of preparing Pro Tools session folders for mixing by: ensuring proper key, meter, tempo, and marker rulers are in place; properly labelling all channels; comping final parts from multiple takes; ensuring all punch-ins and clip boundaries are clean and properly faded; ensuring proper phase alignment for instruments recorded with multiple microphone perspectives; correcting rhythmic inconsistencies; pitch-correcting vocals or other monophonic parts; preparing stems for auxiliary arrangements (background vocals, strings, horns, etc.), multiple microphone perspectives (ex. setting blend between a DI’d bass channel and a cabinet microphone to form a single bass channel), or specific processing applications (ex. applying pre-mix, in-the-box amp simulation, modulation, or time-based effects to a guitar channel); and preparing rough mixes.

If contracting a third-party mixer, sending them a well-edited session will save them time, which will save you money.

If recording sessions were not conducted in Pro Tools, editing can be conducted from audio files to be assembled into a Pro Tools session to send to a mix engineer, as long as all punch-ins and fades were done properly before audio clips were consolidated to be sent for editing.

Mixing is the process of framing all the elements of your recording in their best light, ensuring every part fits together within the whole and that the final product conveys, reflects, and enhances the emotional impact of the song.

Mixing begins from an edited session, whereupon relative balances will be set and EQ, compression, effects, and automation will be applied to individual channels (as well as the sum of the individual channels) to define each part’s contribution to the overall sonic tone of the final mix.

My mixing philosophy is to always be guided by the intention of the song.  Achieiving the highest possible sound quality is all prelude to creating an atmosphere, a habitable world for the listener to lose themself in.

Mastering is the process of getting final mixes to meet the proper format and loudness specifications for each medium, as well as setting the proper sequencing time in between tracks to ensure a cohesive flow from song to song. Along the way, further processing may be applied to ensure the mix will affect the listener as the artist intends.

Mastering begins with a final mix, bringing that mix to its final loudness, addressing any frequency or dynamic imbalances, adding color, and setting starts, ends, and fade outs, before ending with file sets ready for manufacturing or distribution to streaming and download platforms.

This process is equal parts art and science.  And though the goal is transparency, don’t underestimate the physical impact of a good master: a great mix sounds good, but a great master of a great mix feels good.

Producing has many meanings and will vary greatly depending on you as the artist and scope of your project.  Producing can include any number of the following: managing a project from an administrative side, keeping track of the recording budget, booking studio time, contacting recording engineers, contacting session players, keeping track of progress, setting an itinerary for each session, etc.; helping you brainstorm creatively as to how the songs should be recorded, advising on the structural arrangements of their songs, providing line-edits for lyrics, etc.; serving as a session player; serving as a recording engineer; assessing the quality of each recorded take, making suggestions along the way to ensure the best performances are achieved; comping takes; ensuring the energy in the recording environment is conducive to capture the songs; serving as a mediator between artist, engineer, and session players during recording; writing and/or transcribing auxiliary arrangements for background vocals, strings, or horns; working with the editing engineer (or serving as the editor) to prepare any stems and rough mixes; working with the mix engineer to ensure the final mixes sound as intended; working with the mastering engineer to ensure the final masters sound as intended; delivering final masters to you or your label to the specifications of the recording agreement.

Recording – $20/hr with 2hr minimum (not including studio rental fee); Block Rates: $70 for 4hrs; $120 for 8hrs; $150 for 12hrs

Editing – $60/session file

Mixing – $150 for one song; $100 per each additional song

Mastering – $50 for one song; $30 per each additional song

Producing – contact for a quote

Project pricing and service bundles are available upon request; contact for a quote!

Travel rates for recording, mixing, and producing are available upon request

SERVICES

Recording

As a recording engineer, my responsibility is making sure your creative needs are met by: selecting and placing microphones to best capture each instrumental or vocal source needed for a project, setting any necessary input processing (EQ or compression applied to a signal before recording), preparing cue mixes for players, and running the Pro Tools recording system. 

My aim is to ensure you as the artist or producer can focus solely on getting evocative performances and building songs at the speed of creativity, without having to slow down to worry about the tech.

Access to Blues Alley Studio in Morgantown, WV is available.  I’m also open to travel upon request.

Editing

Editing is the often overlooked process of preparing Pro Tools session folders for mixing by: ensuring proper key, meter, tempo, and marker rulers are in place; properly labelling all channels; comping final parts from multiple takes; ensuring all punch-ins and clip boundaries are clean and properly faded; ensuring proper phase alignment for instruments recorded with multiple microphone perspectives; correcting rhythmic inconsistencies; pitch-correcting vocals or other monophonic parts; preparing stems for auxiliary arrangements (background vocals, strings, horns, etc.), multiple microphone perspectives (ex. setting blend between a DI’d bass channel and a cabinet microphone to form a single bass channel), or specific processing applications (ex. applying pre-mix, in-the-box amp simulation, modulation, or time-based effects to a guitar channel); and preparing rough mixes.

If contracting a third-party mixer, sending them a well-edited session will save them time, which will save you money.

If recording sessions were not conducted in Pro Tools, editing can be conducted from audio files to be assembled into a Pro Tools session to send to a mix engineer, as long as all punch-ins and fades were done properly before audio clips were consolidated to be sent for editing.

Mixing

Mixing is the process of framing all the elements of your recording in their best light, ensuring every part fits together within the whole and that the final product conveys, reflects, and enhances the emotional impact of the song.

Mixing begins from an edited session, whereupon relative balances will be set and EQ, compression, effects, and automation will be applied to individual channels (as well as the sum of the individual channels) to define each part’s contribution to the overall sonic tone of the final mix.

My mixing philosophy is to always be guided by the intention of the song.  Achieiving the highest possible sound quality is all prelude to creating an atmosphere, a habitable world for the listener to lose themself in.

Mastering

Mastering is the process of getting final mixes to meet the proper format and loudness specifications for each medium, as well as setting the proper sequencing time in between tracks to ensure a cohesive flow from song to song. Along the way, further processing may be applied to ensure the mix will affect the listener as the artist intends.

Mastering begins with a final mix, bringing that mix to its final loudness, addressing any frequency or dynamic imbalances, adding color, and setting starts, ends, and fade outs, before ending with file sets ready for manufacturing or distribution to streaming and download platforms.

This process is equal parts art and science.  And though the goal is transparency, don’t underestimate the physical impact of a good master: a great mix sounds good, but a great master of a great mix feels good.

Production

Producing has many meanings and will vary greatly depending on you as the artist and scope of your project.  Producing can include any number of the following: managing a project from an administrative side, keeping track of the recording budget, booking studio time, contacting recording engineers, contacting session players, keeping track of progress, setting an itinerary for each session, etc.; helping you brainstorm creatively as to how the songs should be recorded, advising on the structural arrangements of their songs, providing line-edits for lyrics, etc.; serving as a session player; serving as a recording engineer; assessing the quality of each recorded take, making suggestions along the way to ensure the best performances are achieved; comping takes; ensuring the energy in the recording environment is conducive to capture the songs; serving as a mediator between artist, engineer, and session players during recording; writing and/or transcribing auxiliary arrangements for background vocals, strings, or horns; working with the editing engineer (or serving as the editor) to prepare any stems and rough mixes; working with the mix engineer to ensure the final mixes sound as intended; working with the mastering engineer to ensure the final masters sound as intended; delivering final masters to you or your label to the specifications of the recording agreement.

Rates

Recording – $20/hr with 2hr minimum (not including studio rental fee); Block Rates: $70 for 4hrs; $120 for 8hrs; $150 for 12hrs

Editing – $60/session file

Mixing – $150 for one song; $100 per each additional song

Mastering – $50 for one song; $30 per each additional song

Producing – contact for a quote

Project pricing and service bundles are available upon request; contact for a quote!

Travel rates for recording, mixing, and producing are available upon request

EXAMPLES

A currated list of songs from projects I’ve recorded, mixed, mastered, and/or produced:

Testimonials

“Working with Chris makes the process of producing music exponentially easier, especially if you are someone with little to no experience with music production like I was.

Not only did he listen to my ideas and help them come to life, but he also spent time making sure everything was cohesive to accomplish the best sound to match my style.

If you’re looking for someone who couldn’t be easier or more pleasant to work with, Chris is your guy.”

 

 

-Lillie King

 

Gear List

Music Recording Studio WV
SOFTWARE

DAW:

Pro Tools 2019

Plug-ins:
Waves – Studio Classics Collection, Gold, PRS Supermodels, NLS, Saphira, CLA Compressors, JJP Fairchild and Pultec, Center, Linear Phase EQ, InPhase, WNS, WLM+, miscellaneous others

FabFilter ProQ3

Soundtoys 5

iZotope Ozone 9 Advanced, RX8 Standard

Slate Trigger2, Fresh Air

Synchro Arts Vocalign Project

ValhallaDSP – Supermassive, Space Emulator, Freq Echo

Audiomovers Listento

VIs:

Waves: Electric 88, Electric 200, Grand Rhapsody

Hardware

Computer:

Dell Inspiron 5000 (intel CORE i7 8th gen, 32GB DDR4, Windows 10)

Interfaces:

SSL 2+

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Control Surfaces:

Presonus FaderPort

Alesis v25

Yamaha p125

Monitoring

2 x Adam Audio T5V

2 x IK Multimedia iLoud Micro

Sennheiser HD280

Inquiries

11 + 9 =

Follow @chriskuskey
Email: chriskuskey@gmail.com

Follow @chriskuskey

Email: chriskuskey@gmail.com