Craig Smith – Music Producer
Q: Why should you work with me on your music when there’s many other studios and music producers out there?
A: What I do best is conjure the alchemy and capture the magic to make your project stand out from the pack. I make the studio a fun, easy going, vibe-y place to work, and I’ve spent my life developing the skills that have allowed me to become an effective and experienced music producer, musician, composer and mixing engineer, such as:
– Listening and communicate effectively with you, the artist – it is your art, after all!
– Understanding music composition and songwriting; sometimes it’s to your benefit to have someone skilled in the craft hear your song in a different light, and then be able to offer suggestions and help ‘steer the ship’ so that the right tools are used, and effective decisions made to make your song pop.
– Having a deeper understanding of how instruments and sounds gel together (I play multiple instruments and I’m a master programmer of beats and utilizing midi programs from creative software companies such as Native Instruments, Addictive Drums, etc).
– Utilizing the tools in the studio with skill to make you sound great. The preamps, compressors, microphone choices…all factor in to what your final product will sound like.
I’m proud to say that I possess the expertise to make your record shine.
Please feel free to reach out if you’d like a quote for pricing, or any questions:
About the Studio:
*NOTE: Due to COVID, I’ve been working and collaborating on projects online, producing music, mixing, and mastering projects more than in-person in the studio. Please contact me if you wish to discuss further how this could also work for you.
Mad River Recording is a private recording facility located in Duntroon, Ontario, Canada, in the beautiful Blue Mountain ski hills area near Collingwood, Ontario. The studio overlooks Georgian Bay and is nestled in a serene and Idyllic setting, surrounded by trees, and rolling hills. The peaceful vibe of the location is alone worth 90 minute drive from Toronto. This is home-base, Mad River Recording – where the music happens.
Vibe is really important to me, its the je ne sais quoi that makes a thing special. The studio (and the house it’s contained in) was hand built with old barn board and various woods by it’s charismatic owner, Neill Lanz. It’s quintessentially Canadian in it’s surroundings, it sounds great, and most importantly, the vibe is perfect for writing, playing and recording producing timeless music.
Music tastes and styles evolve, but at the heart of it all is the song. First and foremost I’m a music fan. I’ve learned that at the heart of everything is the song. I take pride in creating the alchemy of the song to help bring out the best from artists I collaborate with.
The studio is also set up for live tracking – a 70’s Ludwig drum kit is mic’d and ready to track. We are equipped with some rare gems, ranging from vintage analogue gear to modern software. The equipments list changes from time to time, but here’s an in-house equipment list below:
- Universal Audio Apollo 8
- Universal Audio Apollo Twin
- Motu 8 pre
- Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, Cubase, WaveLab (Mastering)
- A long list of industry standard plugins from Universal Audio, Waves, Izotope (i.e. Studer, Ampex, SSL, API, Neve, Ultramaximizer L2 & L3, SSL, etc.)
Hardware & Outboard Gear:
- Chandler LTD 1
- Chandler LTD 2
- Universal Audio 6176 Preamplifier and Compressor
- Universal Audio 710 Twin Finity preamp
- Universal Audio Ox Amp Top Box
- Summit Audio TLA-50 Tube Leveler
- Summit Audio TD-100 Tube Direct Preamp
- TM-Audio x2 (Neve 1073 preamps)
- DBX 5176 Tube Preamp & Compressor
- 341 15 band EQ.
- Sony TC-766 Reel-to-Reel Tape Machine (for a total analog experience)
Many microphones by some of the finest mic producers, such as: Neumann, Sennheizer, AKG, Rode, Shure, Audio Technica, Aston, Warm Audio, Cascade, and more.
Guitars, Drums, Keyboards, Etc.
- Many guitars for use, such as ’63 Gretsch 6176, ’62 Gibson J45, ’69 Martin D-35, ’70 Martin D-18, Gibson Les Paul, Fender Telecaster, Danelectro Baritone guitar.
- Keyboards by Yamaha, Wurlitzer.
- bass guitars – Fender P-bass, Fender Mustang, Ibanez
- Amps by Fender, Gibson, Vox & Marshall.
- Drums: Ludwig 1970’s 7-piece & Yamaha 5-piece Beech Custom.
- Lots of other knick knacks and gadgets!
- Yamaha HS7
- KRK Rokit 5
- Tannoy Reveal
CRAIG SMITH – MASTERING ENGINEER
So – why mastering??
Mastering is the last step in the creative process before your project is manufactured to CD, vinyl and/or sent for distribution, such as for Spotify, iTunes, etc. In the studio, you are recording songs one at a time, resulting in different peak volumes and varying EQs. With skillful management of compression, EQ and gain, your music will be given consistency and your tracks will have a more polished, vibrant sound. Most importantly, mastering gives your music a focus, bringing out the rich highs and booming lows needed to distinguish your sound from others.
Mastering can’t really be taught; it’s a skill that needs to be developed over time as it is highly dependent on acute and knowledgeable listening. The attention to detail required for mastering is different than that used in the production of music and specific mastering techniques are often applied to distinct genres. For example, hip-hop has a characteristic feel independent of country or rock and understanding these subtleties is an integral component of effective mastering.
I’ve spent years refining my craft as a mastering engineer and I have the best tools for the job. Music is a bouquet of sweet vibrations and in the end it has to feel right. There is no substitute for audio mastering – it has to be done properly. Don’t let your hard work be heard by the masses without it!