Working remotely for clients near and far
Harry Harding at HCH Studios
Here at HCH Studios every day is slightly different. I have the opportunity to work with many different artists, all with their own style or spin on a genre. Being based in Bristol this fact is only accentuated, with it being such a musical city. There are so many bands and artists to discover.
A typical day at HCH will begin with a cycle to the studio. I know this isn’t music related, but it’s an important start for me. I find it really beneficial to get the blood pumping first thing, it wakes me up and sets me up right for a day sat in front of a pair of speakers. Exercise and coffee do the same thing for me so I try and alternate between the two!
Once I have received an assignment to work on, be it a track ready for mixing or building up from scratch, I start by finding reference material to listen to. I’ll always ask the client what they enjoy listening to, as this gives me an idea of the sort of sound they’re used to hearing and helps me identify key musical elements that I can adopt.
Once I have an understanding of where it should be headed, I can begin work on the track.
HCH Studios was created as a tracking studio, where I could have all my instruments and recording gear permanently setup. Most of the time I work by myself, but when I get the chance I’ll call on one of many brilliant musicians based here in Bristol. Whether the track needs strings, brass, vocal arrangements, or specialists in a specific genre, Bristol’s got you covered. It’s always a joy to collaborate on a project as each musician brings their own magic and angle to the music that is unique to them.
My workflow would normally consist of building from the ground up, starting with the drums. Moving through the rhythm instruments, I’ll begin to layer up the foundations for the top line and main melody to sit on. I try to leave plenty of space for the focus of the track, be it the lyrics or melody. Balance is key, allowing the elements to breathe and have enough space in the stereo field.
Once the main instruments are in place, I can start looking at the bigger picture and applying the extra touches that will elevate the song. I enjoy a good amount of dynamic in a mix, so I’m looking for little elements that don’t carry too much weight but compliment the vocal or melody. These may include the use of effects, to draw the ear away from what it is used to hearing, or with the addition of auxiliary melodies in response to the main melody. It all depends on what is required in the mix.
Sometimes of course, the song can be finished without the need for anything more. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, and that’s what I love about making music! When I’m happy that everything is working well I’ll send the track to the client for their approval. This is the part of the process that can be the most rewarding; when the client is happy, I’m happy!
To hear some of my previous work, have a listen below:
If you’d like to find out more about HCH Studios, get in touch here.