Studio 11 Chicago : Recording, Mixing, Mastering, And Music Production
About Studio 11 Chicago
studio11 on 01/22/2014 at 02:01AM
As a major contributor to the Studio 11 music engineering team, Steve Anderson has also found time to produce his own collection of top notch tunes. Not only does Steve have a fabulous voice, he is a consumate musical producer as well. Of the innovative collections that Steve has produced, his album "Late Night Girl" best sums up his vocal abilities and production skills.
Interview with Alex Gross:
What originally steered you into music?
My first musical memories are of my grandfather playing piano and organ. He was a soulful guy and it was always a joy as a child to watch him play. My older brother followed suit and decided to learn piano. This brought a piano into our house and the journey started. I was more attracted to rock instruments at first, such as the drum set and guitar, but despite that, when the instruments came to my elementary school for band I strangely chose the trombone. I played trombone in school for the next 11 years, and during that time I became a seasoned drummer and recreational guitar and piano player. In those years (the 90s) ska and punk were really popular, so I was lucky enough as a horn player to play trombone in a non-classical or jazz setting. I was hooked. I played different instruments in many different bands before eventually falling in love with electronic music.
What was the first show you attended?
My big brother took me to see KISS. Needless to say, I was blown a way by the ridiculous spectacle. I was probably too young to be there, but I'm glad I got to witness all those theatrics.
How did you end up pursuing audio engineering and composing?
One of the bands I was in when I was 14 decided to cut a record in a real studio. This was at the time the most exciting thing I'd ever done. I was a music nerd and a science nerd so the studio was a perfect marriage of the two. I remember admiring the engineer and noticing that his work was a performance in itself. I loved all the flashing lights and racks of gear, and the ability to manipulate sound. From 14 on I knew I'd end up a studio junkie.
Are there any major points in music technology that inspired you?
I'd have to say the advent of affordable home recording. I remember installing Cakewalk Home Studio on my clunky Apple computer in 1998. I had absolutely no clue how it worked but over time figured out how to do basic recording and editing. Before long I was making multitrack recordings out of my bedroom. I was amazed how I, as one person, could make complete songs.
STEVE ANDERSON AT THE CONSOLE
What are your favorite cuts off of "Late Night Girl"?
They change depending on how I'm feeling. That record spans many genres and reflects on many periods of my life. Sometimes I hate the whole thing and other times I'm impressed by my own material. It's weird. I think "Live To Regret" "My Balloon" and "Things Forgotten" hold up the best. I really never get tired of any of those.
Who did you work with on the record?
A majority of that record was just me turning chord progressions and sounds into songs. Early on I had no intention of making an actual album. Over time though, I noticed if I was clever with the ordering, I could make those tracks into a cohesive project. I decided a few of the tracks needed some rap vocals so I reached out to some of my favorite Studio 11 clients to fill those voids. Rappers Ogun ("Down to Clown") and C.J. Hamilton ("Mice of Men") were always into my music and I was into theirs. I think a mutual respect lead to the collaborations. The Gift (an amazing producer and long time Studio 11 client) produced "Modelin" when he was interning at Studio 11. It was only right to let him have at the verses.
What was the inspiration for the song "My Balloon"?
My Balloon is basically a metaphor for me and my nightlife habits at the time. At that time I had a lot of financial freedom and was living in an area with tons going on. The song follows the balloon around to all the spots you might find me after work on any given night. The music is heavily inspired by what was popular in the Chicago dance scene. Hard hitting 4 on the floor.
How 'bout "Modelin"?
Modelin is your typical, spiteful, break-up tune. To be truthful, the feelings and emotions conveyed are a bit exaggerated for the sake of musical drama. Yes, it is directly related to what I was dealing with at the time, I think everyone has an ex that they feel like throwing the bird to. The Gift wrote those verses and I wrote the hook. We both drew from real life to make that song come together.
I know you spent a few years rockin' to music in Chicago, what are some of your favorite venues?
I like the divey spots. Exit, Neo, Liar's Club, Smart Bar. As far as actual performance venues, I've never had a bad time at Park West or House Of Blues.
What music are you listening to these days?
Right now I'm steering towards music that is mostly instrumental. Ive been enjoying music that is minimal, tasteful, and full of wisely chosen sounds. There seems to be a bit of a trip hop revival thing happening these days that I've also been loving. I'm into those thick mid-tempo grooves that Phantogram has been creating lately. Other current favorites include M83, James Blake, Goldfrapp, and Bat For Lashes.
Steve Anderson is a talented multi-instrumentalist, electronic musician, and vocalist. Many believe the artistic side of Steve contributes positively to his engineering work. Steve’s mixes showcase an element of musicality and creativity that can only come from an engineer who truly has an understanding of music as well as technology. Steve has worked with numerous notable music projects including E! Hollywood, Rockie Fresh, Yung Berg, Crucial Conflict, Patrulla 81, and Do or Die.