Welcome to the website!

I appreciate you taking the time to read some random thoughts about music production and mixing.

Nashville is a great place to live partly because it attracts such talented and creative musicians.  I’m fortunate enough to work in this great music community and many of my posts will be because of new or different gear that has somehow found its way into my studio.

I’ve been fortunate enough to sample 2 of the compressors from Retro Instruments this summer – their Sta-Level and their 176.  The Sta-Level is its own animal – if you’re not familiar with the Gates Sta-Level compressor (and I wasn’t) then the nature of this unit might take some getting used to.  But it’s worth it – I like it on many sources, but it excelled on a P-bass thru a RedDI.  Check out the bass on 2 of my audio clips on the homepage of this site  – “Dark” & “Can’t Help Who You Love” both have this bass chain.

The amazing lead vocal on “Can’t Help Who You Love” was captured with the Retro 176 which turned out to sound very modern indeed. We ran a Lawson 251 – Aurora GTQ-2 – Urei 1176 Rev F – Retro 176 for her vocals and even I couldn’t make this sound bad – it’s just a great vocal chain.  The 1176 & 176 worked particularly well together in this order as the vintage 1176 fattened up the bottom of the track while the 176 smoothed out the top end nicely, sculpting that beautiful air and detail you can hear in the track.

Any questions/comments?

Hit me up on Twitter.com/Hartwellstudios.  Or email me at michael@Hartwellstudios.com