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Upaya Sound Recording Studio Logo

RECORDINGS WITH WARMTH, DEPTh and Clarity

Recording Studio For Emerging Artists in Hamburg

Recording Mixing Engineer

I create bold and innovative records.

With sonic clarity, atmosphere and punch.

Hey, I’m Nick.

I’m a musician and audio engineer from Tasmania, Australia, based in Hamburg, Germany.

I record, mix and produce innovative, left-field rock music in my recording studio in Hamburg.

I love artists like Chelsea Wolfe, Russian Circles and The Drones. Caspian, We Lost The Sea and PG.Lost. Her Name is Calla, Yndi Halda, Anais Mitchell.

I also love their production!

I am here to guide you through the recording process and help produce the sounds you envision for your next release. So you can join the ranks of those above.

I will capture your performances and sculpt them into a coherent mix, with each element and nuance given space to unfurl. I want those bone shuddering toms, I want that snare to snap, I want those guitars to howl.

I want you to take your new record and go on tour, get a label deal, sell all your merch. Blow them away.

Hit me up and let’s talk. I can’t wait to hear your tracks.

LISTEN.

album-art

I WILL TRANSFORM YOUR SONGS INTO AN ALBUM OF KILLER TRACKS

BEFORE AND AFTER MIXING

In order to give you an idea of what I can do with your raw tracks, I have put together some before and after clips of tracks I have worked on.

Ahab – Kaimar

Raw Tracks
Mixed and Mastered

Excommunication – Vandemonian

Raw Tracks
Mixed and Mastered

Einkreisung – Lazar

Raw Tracks
Mixed and Mastered

STUDIO.

UPAYA SOUND is a recording studio in Hamburg specialising in recording, editing and mixing rock, indie and folk music and related genres.

Situated on the edge of the city of Hamburg, Germany. The area is surrounded by forests and fields, and is a place to quieten the mind to perform creative duties with focus and intent.

The intimate 40m2 studio atmosphere was designed with lowkey lighting for a creative vibe. It is a space to create. A space to invoke the muse. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable, nail your part and nail your sound.

I guide musicians through the entire music production process from songwriting to demos and pre-production, recording to editing, mixing and mastering.

I take your raw tracks and form them into an album of killer songs using high end microphones, analogue EQ as well as compression, effects.

As an active musician, guitarist, songwriter and producer, I thoroughly understand the musician psyche – the highs and lows, the elation, doubts and fears. I work with you to create and capture the best version of your music in a setting where you feel comfortable enough to deliver the best performance.


HAMBURG is geographically the centre of the universe for music. It’s one of the reasons I moved here, and why I have stayed here so long.

Bands and musicians from all over the world trek through Hamburg, a crossroads between Scandinavia and southern Europe, England and the Baltic. Every year, bands drop by at one of the many local venues on their European tours.

Locations such as Molotow, Astra Stube, Grünspan and Hafenklang are world-renowned amongst musicians and fans alike. Almost every European tour poster will have the name of a local venue in Hamburg listed on if.

For locals, Hamburg is like a smorgasbord of music – every night you can choose from many live concerts and often you have to make hard choices between 2 or 3 bands that you really want to see.

The diversity is immense – from rock and pop in the big arenas, Docks and “The Bunker”; indie in the small clubs around St. Pauli and Sternschanze; punk, metal and hardcore in and around the Reeperbahn, Fischmarkt and Hafentreppe; as well as classical and contemporary music in the Elphi, Laieszhalle and resonanzraum.

Not to mention the myriad of club nights at Pudel, Übel & Gefährlich, and all the other places catering for the electronic music crowd.

It’s no wonder Hamburg is growing more as a tourist destination. The city attracts bands and fans alike towards a collective live music experience.

RELEASES.

SERVICES.

An album is a snapshot of a band’s musical, emotional and creative standpoint at the point in time in which it is produced. It is of upmost importance that the elements of each instrument, every musician and the unique personality of the band as a whole are formed, sculpted and amplified to strike a chord and make a lasting impression on any listener, critic, label-rep or booking agent.

An album is more than a collection of recorded songs, it is work of art. A record doesn’t have to be a concept album to take a listener on a journey through the dynamics of each song and from one track to another. Track sequences and transitions from one song to another are so important, further enhancing the experience by keeping the focus and intrigue going through the whole album.

I offer full album production – not only recording, mixing and mastering, but pre-production, demo feedback and consulting, as well as musical guidance and producing through the entire process.

We track drums, guitars, bass and piano together. Vocals, synth and strings. Kazoo, flute and oboe. We bleed, sweat and cry together.

An EP (Extended Player) a short album with 4-6 tracks, often the first recording of a relatively new band or artist before releasing a full album.

Strong tracks on an EP are sometimes re-recorded and re-released on the following full length album.

Some artists choose to only release EPs in relatively quick succession, as the production time and costs are only a fraction of a full album production.

EPs are great – no fluff, no filler tracks, just the core of a band’s music. Sometimes less is more, and sometimes 4 tracks are perfect and need to be unleashed onto the world. You can go and get gigs with a 4 track EP without waiting to finish writing and recording the rest of the album.

Record one song and release it on it’s own to gauge an audience’s response. Release a song independently of an album, working with a new producer, engineer or studio. Release only singles, tapping them out once a month, gaining momentum with each track. Then, once you’ve got a collection of singles, release an album of them. If we’ve learnt one thing from the past 15 years, it’s that in the music industry – anything goes.

Bands that generally create music together spontaneously in the band room tend to benefit from live recording. Getting all musicians in the room to track the songs at the same time often captures an energy that can be difficult to recreate when recording overdubs.

The group must be tight, a click track may be required to keep everyone together, depending on how well the musicians gel.

A recording studio with a large room and a sufficient number of console or audio interface inputs is required. For projects like these, I tend to rent out a larger space for recording before mixing at Upaya Sound.

Good timing is imperative in modern recordings and even the best drummers make mistakes. I will take your raw drum and instrument tracks and make sure only the best takes make it onto the final record. I use drum editing to fix errors while keeping the original natural groove.

No matter if you record to click, free or as a live session, I can clean up any timing issues so that only the best performance makes it onto the final recording. However, my focus is maintaining the human element in music at all times. Drum triggers, MIDI and Ableton Live all have their merits, but nothing can replace the creativity and soul of a human being making music.

If you wish, I can help shape your music, song structures, melodies and dynamics to bring out the very best versions of your tracks. I will guide you through the entire music production process giving you input at each step of the way.

We get creative and take time to experiment with guitar tones, backing vocals, overdubs, delays, reverbs and alternative recording and mixing techniques. If you want to stand out amongst the plethora of bands out there today, you’ve got to find your niche, your voice and get creative.

GEAR.

Instruments

Drum Kit: Mapex Saturn V, Sonor S Class Maple Snare, Masterwork Iris Cymbals
Guitars: Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Breedlove Acoustic
Amps: Fender Deluxe Reverb II, Engl Squeeze 50
Keys: Roland FP-30

PRICING.

RECORDING

  • Pre-production
  • Tracking at Upaya Sound
  • Mobile & On-Location Recording
  • Use of drumkit, guitars, amps, pedals & other instruments

200€ / day

excl. VAT

MIXING

  • Drum & instrument editing
  • Analogue & digital processing
  • Innovative, creative, left-field mixing
  • Unlimited revisions until you are satisfied

200€ / tracK

excl. VAT

MASTERING

  • Mastering offered through partner studios
  • I take care of all communication with the mastering engineer
  • Complete project support from start to finish

from 70€ / track

excl. VAT

WHAT YOU GET

RECORDING

recording engineer

BEFORE THE RECORDING SESSION

  • We talk about what bands, albums or sounds inspire you and what kind of atmosphere you are looking to achieve with your new record. Name elements from 3-5 bands or albums that you would like to borrow and build on with your own album. Music is always an evolution from one artist to the next, so there is nothing wrong with taking inspiration and using it to go one further.
  • A checklist for each member of the band as preparation so you can come thoroughly prepared as a group and get straight down to business in the recording studio without delay.
  • Prior communication in regards to song tempi, tempo maps, time signatures and guide tracks.
  • Click tracks mapped out in advance and ready to go as soon as you set foot in the studio

DURING THE RECORDING SESSION

  • My undivided attention for the full duration of each recording day – not only in setting up and tweaking your instruments, amps and pedals so they translate to tape… but also (and most importantly) while you are laying down each track, in order to pick the perfect take and the ultimate performance. So only the best version of each of your parts make it onto the final record.
  • Creative input from me where needed. I try to coax the best performance out of you by offering tips on the delivery of your parts. I know when to offer guidance – and when to keep my mouth shut and let you do your thing! 😉
  • A relaxed atmosphere in which you are given room to take enough space and time as you need to get your tracks laid down.
  • A home cooked meal for the whole crew on the first day of recording (at least!). I love to cook and will through something delicious together beforehand so we can sit down for lunch and have a yarn.

INSTRUMENT EDITING

Recording Studio Hamburg
  • A fully edited, cleaned up project session consisting of only the best parts and takes.
  • Any mistakes, timing issues, breathing or sneezing (!) will be uncreated and removed from existence.
  • Your tracks will be superhuman before they even get to the mixing stage.
  • Drum editing, instrument editing, vocal comping – you name it!

MIXING

Online Mixing Desk Allen & Heath ZED R16
  • 3-dimensional, multilayered mixes, with warmth, clarity and punch (or cold, hard and aggressive!).
  • Delivered with the utmost care given to clear and direct communication and the implementation of your comments and revisions.
  • I usually mix one track until you are satisfied and then continue to work on the next. At any point you can cut in and get me to fix something until you are wholeheartedly proud of your new album!

MASTERING

Mastering Music
  • A polished, equalised, stereo track – loud and proud – ready for radio, streaming, CD & vinyl and any other formats you want to release.
  • I work with partner studios and therefore take full responsibility for the end product. I stay the man in the middle, handling all techy communication with the mastering engineer who brings a fresh pair of ears to the project to enhance it even further.
  • I only work with mastering engineers I know and trust, so there will be no unpleasant surprises.

THE FINAL RESULT

record
  • An album that is captivating and bold, innovative and atmospheric.
  • A recording that contains the core of your musical vision and can propel your band to the next level.
  • Take it and find a label to help you grow your audience.
  • Cut it to vinyl, go on tour and start killing it on stage.

WHAT YOU BRING:

  • An album or EP full of your finely crafted tracks, all parts rehearsed and ready to go.
  • Each instrument serviced, tuned and polished.
  • Voice warmed up and ready to roar.

CLIENT REVIEWS.

Max Stein
Max Stein
30. August, 2022.
Nick ist ein sehr geduldiger und freundlicher Mensch, der stets bemüht ist den Musiker:innen eine kreative und inspirierende Atmosphäre zu bieten. Das Studio ist ruhig gelegen und gut eingerichtet. In der Postproduktion war Nick sehr geduldig und ist auf vielfältige Wünsche sowie Änderungsvorschläge eingegangen!
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Fabian Westphal
Fabian Westphal
29. August, 2022.
Das Upaya Sound ist ein sehr schönes Studio in ruhiger Lage in Volksdorf. Nick ist zuvorkommender und freundlicher Mensch und ein hervorragender Toningenieur, mit dem die konstruktive Arbeit am Track, sowie der Recordingprozess selbst, viel Spaß gemacht haben und gute Ergebnisse brachten.
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Leon Harden
Leon Harden
29. August, 2022.
Leo Rosenhauer
Leo Rosenhauer
28. August, 2022.
Super workflow und auch sonst eine wirklich sehr angenehme Zusammenarbeit. Vielen Dank!
Read more
Hanne Haumann
Hanne Haumann
28. August, 2022.
Ich kann das Upaya Studio auf jeden Fall weiterempfehlen, Nick macht super Arbeit und weiß genau, was er tut. Daumen hoch, der ganze Prozess hat sehr viel Spaß gemacht und das Ergebnis hat mich und meine Band sehr glücklich gemacht 🙂 Tausend Dank!
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River Rain
River Rain
21. August, 2022.
Das Recording unserer Single war ein sehr schönes Erlebnis bei Upaya Sound. Nick ist sehr sympathisch und stets bemüht, alle Wünsche zu erfüllen und auf die Bedürfnisse der Band einzugehen. Wir haben uns sehr wohl und gut aufgehoben gefühlt! Ein großes Dankeschön!!
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Franziska K.
Franziska K.
18. August, 2022.
Wir waren mit unserer Indie-Folk Band @riverandrainmusic bei Nick im Upaya Sound Studio um eine Single aufzunehmen. Es war eine wunderbare Erfahrung, Nick hat den Prozess super begleitet und viel Herzblut in das Recording, die Mikrofonierung, das Mixing und die Revisionen gelegt. Er hat den Sound unseres Songs wunderbar eingefangen und wir freuen uns sehr über das schöne Ergebnis. Vielen Dank, gerne wieder!
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Michael Rupp
Michael Rupp
17. July, 2022.
Sehr gutes Studio! Wir haben dort unsere Ep aufgenommen und sind absolut zufrieden mit der Arbeit von Nick. Die angenehme und entspannte Atmosphäre lädt zum Wohlfühlen ein .Wir freuen uns auf das nächste Mal!
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Henrike Holtz
Henrike Holtz
27. April, 2022.
Super Studio, Bearbeitung und sehr professionell! Immer gerne wieder! Vielen Dank!
Read more

CONTACT.

Let me know about your music!

Tell me about your new album. The more details, the better!

By the way, if you just want to drop me a quick message, you can of course email me instead.

Recording Studio FAQ

Recording studio rates are generally charged per hour or per day. They can vary greatly from 50€ – 80€ per hour to over 150€ for high end studios. Rates for whole days are usually discounted when studio hours are booked in bulk.

Mixing prices can vary from 200€ to over 500€ per track, depending on the complexity of a song, the number of instruments and the profile of the mixing engineer.

Prices for professional mastering are usually between 50€ and 100€ per track. Be wary of any mastering engineers offering lower prices, as this is the final stage in music production and you don’t want an amateur “fixing” up your tracks.

Some studios will also offer a complete project package including recording, mixing and mastering with an agreed time frame but no specific rates for time spent in the studio. This can take the pressure off a band when recording, knowing that they have the time to complete their record creatively, without checking the clock every take and worrying about paying more than their budget allows.

Get in touch below and let me know about your project. I will be able to give to a final quote once I have all the details.

Mastering is the final stage of music production. This involves processing the stereo mix and fine-tuning it for maximum compatibility on different sound systems and media platforms. Mastering involves processing the frequency spectrum, adjusting the overall loudness, and adding meta data such as song and album titles and release codes to the digital audio file.

Adjustments to the frequency spectrum involve cutting any areas that are too overpowering, or boosting any frequencies that aren’t present enough. A mastering engineer will generally only add or cut small amounts of any given frequency to enhance the mix rather than change it dramatically.

Learn more about the entire music production process.

A music producer is the creative and technical person overseeing the music production process. Traditionally, they are in charge of forming an artist’s raw music and talent into a recording that can be marketed to a specific audience. Often, they are hierarchically situated between the record label and the artist and give creative guidance based on the musical vision of the label.

A record producer can take on several roles during the production of a record. Whilst recording an album in a studio, they work alongside an audio engineer, who supports them by setting up microphones, instruments and equipment according to their vision and guidance.

They will often choose which microphones and which preamps to use, where to set up instruments in a room, and which methods are used to capture the sounds.

Producers often get creative during album production with approaches such as recording drums to analogue tape, using unconventional methods for producing reverb and recording in unusual spaces to achieve a unique sound.

Learn more about music producers here.

A guide track is a recording that is used to track overdubs without the whole band playing live.

It is usually used so that a drummer can record his parts before other instruments are added afterwards in the recording process.

A guide track is usually created by recording foundation instruments such as guitar, bass and vocals to a click track in order to guide the drummer while recording solo.

The drummer will often play along while the guide tracks are being recorded, but will then re-record his or her parts afterwards.

The guide track would then consist of click, guitar, bass and vocal tracks, or whatever the drummer needs to be guided through the recording.

That is a very good question! I have written several articles on this subject and have a checklist for bands to download so that you know exactly what to do prior to entering the studio.

Generally you should be proficient on your instrument to record your tracks as perfectly as possible. Practice with the band and at home by yourself. Record yourself and listen for any patches that need extra attention.

Guitarists and bass players need to change their strings about 3 days before hitting the studio and play them in.

Drummers should put new drum heads on their snare and toms and tune them. Get comfortable playing to click and practice over and over again.

Vocalists, finalise your lyrics and practice singing. Learn how to warm up your voice and get a singing tube thing. Record yourself and see how it sounds. Get used to hearing and judging the quality of your voice. Singing lessons can also be extremely valuable prior to recording.

Pianists, strings and other musicians, know your parts and if necessary write out your sheet music on paper or in Sibelius.

Determine what tempo you will be recording each track at. Practice the songs as a group with the drummer playing to a click track.

Make sure to finalise the structure of each song and that every member is on the same page.

Download the recording preparation checklist for a full list of tips.

I have many resources for bands and musicians looking to take the first foray in to the music production world. Head over to my blog and learn about how to record drums, guitars, bass, piano along with many other music production tips and tricks.

I sure can. Get in touch below and we can get on the phone and talk about your project. For more information on online mixing projects – head to my Online Mixing and Mastering page.

Unfortunately I cannot offer any jobs or work experience at this time.

But don’t be disheartened! Set up a home or mobile studio and teach yourself to record and mix with the many resources out there on the web. With every project you will learn valuable lessons and will be producing great tracks in no time!

Also delve into the live scene as there are currently not enough audio engineers to mix the thousands of concerts being held every month in your city.

© 2022 Upaya Sound