Craig Smith

Musician & Producer


Craig Smith – Music Producer

Hey! Thank you for visiting.  Here’s some background on who I am as a professional music producer and engineer:


I work out of Mad River Recording, a studio which is located in Duntroon, Ontario, Canada, in a beautiful part of the world in the Blue Mountain ski hills area near Collingwood, Ontario, overlooking Georgian Bay.  It’s a serene and Idyllic setting, surrounded by trees, hills, and it’s a 90 minute drive from Toronto.


I’ve spend 20+ years honing my craft as an in-demand music producer and mastering engineer, having worked with 100’s of artists and songwriters of many genres.   I’m also a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, which are strong assets I’ve benefited from in co-writing, arranging, engineering, and producing music for artists.


I’ve also toured and performed internationally with bands and as a solo artist, and released 3 solo albums (Not Sure Not Sure, 2007, Heavy Early, 2011, and most recently Frozen Light, 2018).  I know first hand the hard work, dedication, and fierce determination it takes to succeed in the music industry.   I have the tools, experience, artist testimonials, and most importantly, the ‘ears’ to prove it.


Mad River Recording 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 pride myself in creating the alchemy of the song to help bring out the best from artists I collaborate with.


We are equipped with some rare gems, ranging from vintage analogue gear to modern software. Please find an in-house equipment list below:




  • Mac
  • Universal Audio Apollo 8 (UAD2)
  • Universal Audio Apollo Twin
  • Motu 8 pre
  • Pro Tools, Cubase 9, Logic Pro X, WaveLab (Mastering)
  • A long list of industry standard plugin’s from Universal Audio, Waves, Slate, Izotope (i.e. Studer, API, Neve, Ultramaximizer L2 & L3, SSL, etc.)


Hardware & Outboard Gear:


  • Chandler LTD 1
  • Chandler LTD 2
  • Universal Audio 1176 Preamplifier and Compressor
  • UA 710 Twin Finity preamp
  • Summit Audio TLA-50 Tube Leveler
  • Summit Audio TD-100 Tube Direct Preamp
  • TM-Audio x2 (Neve 1272 preamps)
  • Fatman Compressor
  • DBX 5176 Tube Preamp & Compressor
  • 341 15 band EQ.
  • Sony TC-766 Reel-to-Reel Tape Machine (for a total analog experience)
  • Soundcraft Spirit Power Station Mixing board




  • Yamaha HS7
  • KRK Rokit 5
  • Tannoy Reveal
  • Yamaha HS7.




Many microphones by some of the finest mic producers, such as Neumann, Sennheizer, AKG, Rode, Sure, Audio Technica, Cascade, and more.


Guitars, Drums, Keyboards, Etc.


  • Many guitars for use, such as ’63 Gretsch 6176, ’62 Gibson J45, ’69 Martin D35, Gibson Les Paul, Fender Telecaster, Danelectro Baritone guitar.
  • Keyboards by Yamaha, Wurlitzer.
  • bass guitars – Fender P-bass, Ibanez, F
  • Amps by Fender, Gibson & Marshall.
  • Drums: Ludwig 1970’s 7-piece,  Yamaha 5-piece Beech Custom.
  • Lots of other knick knacks and gadgets!




So – why mastering??


Mastering is the last step in the creative process before your project is manufactured to CD and/or sent for distribution, such as for iTunes or radio. In the studio, you are recording songs one at a time, resulting in different peak volumes and varying EQ’s. 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’s 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!