Audio Services

For the last ten years, we've been working with singer/songwriters and bands who want to make music for a living (or at least try)! It's competitive and challenging to do this in today's music environment. For the emerging musician, most of the money earned still comes from CD's sold at live gigs. The quality of these CD's will demonstrate how serious you are about your craft. Creativity will only get you so far. It's your recorded sound that will leave a lasting impression.

Who are we?

Barry is knowledgeable and easily approachable. He's a fully trained and certified audio engineer and a Professional Engineer. He and Barbara have been operating the studio since 2003. They are also musicians currently playing with Loose Change Quintet and Symphony on the Bay among other things. Barry plays classical, rock and jazz on drums, guitar, keys and bass. Barbara is a keyboard player, vocalist and songwriter. In the studio, Barbara provides significant production input and advice on vocal technique.

The quality of the studio was confirmed when two separate projects from the Jazz Kitchen were nominated for prestigious Hamilton Music Awards.

Studio Lounge

Why come to a professional studio?

Ever love a song but get tired of listening to the track because your ears become fatigued or even hurt? Amateurs with little knowledge of how to mix are often the problem, they just don't know it. Your laptop may have the latest version of Pro Tools and your unrecorded sound may be absolutely incredible but how are the recorded results? Disappointing? In an effort to save money, many musicians try to record in their bedroom or in a friend's basement using a laptop and a few rented mics, often with frustrating results. You know that feeling when you when you go to your car and play the track? Too bassy? Muddy? Vocals lost in the mix?

There are at least three main reasons for poor sound. The room you are recording in is probably not acoustically treated for the purpose of recording. Second, the technology and lack of recording knowledge are probably driving you nuts. Musicians know their instruments well but often not their recording technology. Thirdly, the recording has not been professionally mastered. Don't be embarrassed (we've been there ourselves!) Show us what you've got so far and we can help you get a better quality result. Our rates are great and the Jazz Kitchen can join your project at almost any phase. Here's how:

Mix Evaluations and Help

If you are currently working on a project and would like some unbiased feedback from an engineer with an experienced ear, you should consider getting a mix evaluation. Some problems can be improved or eliminated during the mastering process but most issues are much better resolved during the mixing stage. Even if your budget doesn't have room for mastering, a mix evaluation can add significant improvement to your project as well as provide you with suggestions and hints to help make you a better engineer. (Mix evaluations will be free of charge if you've booked us to do your mastering.)

Where needed, book some studio time. Some tracks, especially vocals, may need to be done in-studio using better mics and other gear. Come on in and we'll lay down the tracks and get a mix you'll love.

Audio Mastering

Why mastering? We could give you lots of technical discussion about compressors, limiters, and enhancers in mastering but it's easier to use an analogy with furniture making.

The recording or tracking of your music is the same as a furniture maker producing the rungs, the seat, the back and the legs of a chair. Each piece of the chair is like the individual tracks of vocals, guitar, keys, drums, etc. Neither the chair nor the music has been put together yet.

Mixing can be compared to assembling the pieces of the chair into a unit that one can sit on. All the different pieces of vocal, guitar, keys and drums are brought together and balanced into two stereo tracks. The chair is now a unit but is still a raw, unfinished piece of white wood. The mixed tracks are also unfinished and raw.

The furniture maker takes that unfinished chair, uses fine sand paper and applies a quality stain or varnish. Suddenly the chair takes on its unique character and the beautiful wood grain that could not be seen before stands out in all its glory. Mastering does the same thing to the raw mix. Suddenly the grain or particular quality of your music comes through. Mastering is an essential step in the production of a professional quality recording of your music.

As a mastering engineer, Barry will listen to your music and to the particular quality of it that will give your sound its unique character and grain. No presets but pure creativity and craftsmanship. And yes, your tracks will be loud but the dynamics of your music will be preserved!

There are several other advantages to the mastering process. Another pair of trained ears identifies places where the music can be strengthened. These places are often missed when you've listened to the mix for one hundred plus times. The mastering engineer can create a "redbook" master copy in a format suitable for replication and duplication that includes song titles, credits and other information necessary for a commercial product.

Studio Specs

Here's a little tech talk. The heart of the Jazz Kitchen studio is an RME-800 Fireface interface and a 3.2 GHz dual core Music XPC S7 LE/2012 computer with 16G of RAM and 2T of storage. Monitors are JBL's and Paradigms with a Sony subwoofer. The mastering platform is Soundforge Pro 10 supplemented with Ozone 5 Advanced, iZotope Rx, SpectraLayers Pro, Slate Virtual Tape Emulator and CD Architect. Over 250 payware plug-ins are also available to take your mix to a new level of mastered audio quality. Final levels at today's volume standards are assured using K-series meters (as developed by mastering guru Bob Katz) calibrated for the genre of music being processed. The mastered product will meet your loudness expectations without sacrificing the dynamics of your music. We have all the hardware and software necessary to do the job.

Our recording and mastering control room are specifically treated with bass traps, absorption and diffusion panels. The monitors are calibrated to the control room providing a very accurate sonic environment for mastering.

Other Services

We will produce your music and provide arrangements as well as record, mix and master. When asked, we can provide backing vocals and instrumental tracks.

We do transfers and audio restoration from old format reel-to-reel, cassette or vinyl to CD/digital for duplication or archival purposes.

We offer clients the ability to upload mixes as well as download references and other media using a unique account on our server. We can also deliver your music anywhere in the world digitally.

We compose scores for film and television. We do commissioned pieces of music for other occasions.