Here is a short and long version of me Music Producer Mix Engineer Chris Hamilton UK.
Name: Chris Hamilton
Job Title: UK Music | Record Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, Record Label Owner, DJ
From: St Helens & Manchester
Live: On a Narrowboat
UK Studio: Currently at CottonMouth Recording Studios Salford | Manchester. Head Engineer / Producer
Favourite Music: Anything! Certainly a Vinyl Junkie, Jazz, Folk, Funk, World, Electronic, Ambient, Rock, Pop, Acoustic,
Interests: Hiking, Travelling, Creative Arts, St Helens Rugby League, Discovering, Engineering, Narrowboating
I grew up in a semi-musical family and was bought a drum kit at 10 years old. I even did the band thing at 14. Albeit, ‘The Resurrection’ was no Oasis but being in the same school as Richard Ashcroft we thought we were pretty good. We had a manager, tours and spent time in residential studios. What am I talking about we were MASSIVE! and only 14. Sadly that all ended with a big bang. The bass player decided to shoot someone in the face with a BB gun during our home gig at the Wigan Orwell. We had a great gig as well, some guy from a band called Starsailor supported us. Needless to say the bass player got 9 months in a youth offenders institute, which coincidentally sparked the manager confessing he’d been having an affair down south so he had to do one as well. So with the sudden ending of the ‘almost famous band’ and a £20 note to show for it, I got pissed in a pub in Wigan and said good bye to that era. The next day I signed up to St Helens College’s Cubase course and learnt about midi and the basics of putting cables in holes.
Don’t Laugh too loud, the tracks below are from 1998 from when i was young and daft and in ‘the band’
Manchester Recording Studios:|
Fast forward: I turned 17, sold my drums and bought my mate’s vinyl decks and mixer and started collecting vinyl at a silly rate. Travelling to 3beat Records in Liverpool, BPM in Leicester, Eastern Bloc in Manchester and Juno Records, it was always about finding the newest records (at the time!). I found this new addiction after sneaking into a nightclub called Feel in Preston. It was there I discovered what happened properly after 1am in these types of clubs and after the parent’s relentless Monday morning questions about my weekend antics I had no option but to quickly pack my bags, decks, Kaos Pad, records and moved up the M62 to Manchester.
It wasn’t long before I started running my own nights in the city centre, DJ’ing in various clubs and then signed up to Manchester Midi School’s year long production course. Electronic music, nightclubs and festivals had really taken my early 20’s and I quickly became hooked on sampling and production. During my course at MMS I rented my first unit in 23 New Mount street in the city centre of Manchester. It was a real hub of studios, musicians, radio stations and producers. I didn’t have the money to setup a proper recording studio, so I settled with a set of Mackie Monitors, Behringer DDX3216 Desk, some synths, samplers, a new G5 Mac and a shit load of rock wool. I spent days locked in this basement creating ambient, tribal house and progressive music although I didn’t know at the time, it was probably the real starting point for me wanting to be a producer.
Heres some of the tracks i can find from when I was in my early 20’s
Bluetube & Toast Studios:|
A couple of years and a visit to see Mr Bank Manager later and I got enough money together to increase size of the studio and equipment collection. I put in a live room with enough space to record drums and started making demos for bands. I called it Bluetubes Studios, finally a place I could call a studio and start real recording. The first band recordings I did was an experience I shall never forget for good and particularly bad reasons. I had a great couple of years learning and progressing. Unfortunately, 23 New Mount Street had enough of having 20 studios in the basement of their building and decided to serve us all notice. Having only finished the building work and being open for 2 years all the money invested into the studio was left to get demolished. I’d be lying if i said i wasn’t pissed off! You now had 20 Manchester producers, engineers and recording studios hunting for places to setup a new home.
Being without a studio didn’t last that long though. After looking and viewing lots of units like the old SSR building and lots of mills. I found a place called Bridgewater Mill over in Eccles. 1500sq foot and a whole floor of a mill. It was a fairly ambitious build and size to have at that age but what the hell. I went back to Mr Bank Manager for another hefty loan. Thankfully it was at the time when banks would give you thousands of pounds plus credit cards. The build had taken a year and lots of late nights, putting in a floating floor throughout, a dead room, a huge live room and a massive control room. It was 2006 when I opened and the name Toast Recordings was born. Below are some pictures of Toast Recordings Manchester Recording Studio.
Like everything so far in my studio life, something was waiting around the corner to change my path. After a good three years in Toast Recording Studios Manchester, some personal things happened that swayed my decision to leave, sell up and go travelling with a new companion. Only before I bought that around the world ticket I had been put in touch with a studio owner called Rene by a dear friend, Andrew Parry. I was invited around for food and a beer to the house and studio, not really knowing what to expect. A week later I was asked if I wanted to run the studio, move in and get things going as Rene was leaving to go to Dubai for a year the week after. The studio was brand new and never been used, loaded with the Trident 80b and 24 track tape machine. Needless to say I jumped at the chance. You could say that it was a bizarre, almost too trusting situation to be in. Rene and I were working on finishing the studio until the early hours of the morning right up until i dropped him at Manchester Airport. From that point up to now, 6 years later, I’m still in the same studio. Although changes have happened. I’m now working freelance as a Music Producer and Mix Engineer, keeping the name Toast Recordings and the studio is now named CottonMouth Studios. I still manage the studio and head all the sessions. I still find it one of the best studios in Manchester to work in.
The last six years have been a roller coaster, having worked with some of the best bands in the UK. I have worked on albums from all over the world, producing and engineering for other producers and studios. I’ve found a sound that I love and ways to get the best out of the artists I’m working with. BUT this is the music business and things change all the time. I’ve learnt that hard work and commitment leads to the path forming it’s self. Im looking forward to continuing being freelance Music Producer, Mix Engineer.
UK World Music Record Label:|
I’ve also set up a label called Together Records in Manchester. The label is dedicated to bringing together music from around the world. I’ve always wanted to create a platform for artists to work from. One that can provide the recording studio, photographer, designers, tours and platforms to sell their music to the right people. Together Records has a great team of creative, established business owners behind it to make sure we reach the goals we want. The label is currently working with artists from Europe and the UK and productions are under way. Keep your ears peeled for the releases. Or just sign up to my mailer.
I’m looking forward to filling out the rest of this about page over the next decade or so of working in the industry.
Check out the rest of my site. I’ll be writing much more these days!
Thanks for reading.
Music Producer Mix Engineer Chris Hamilton UK
Music Producer Mix Engineer Chris Hamilton UK