Christian Hurst is a music producer and music industry professional based in Toronto, Canada. Below you will find more information on Christian and the services he provides, as well as a thread of aggregated music industry RSS posts for your enjoyment... or at least your consideration.
Christian is a multi-talented musical professional with a special focus on Production. His philosophy is to simplify, encourage, nurture and inspire, and to find and utilize the most effective and suitable tools and studios available for each individual project. This allows the art to take shape with no restrictions (except of course budget), so that the project can develop into exactly what it is intended to be... a creative expression of the writer and performer. This approach creates the environment and opportunity to deliver the best possible performance, the truest arrangement, and the most inspired recording. In addition to the production process, Christian can help with the next step of releasing this great music to the world.
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A professional musician beginning in 1990, Christian studied performance, composition and arranging at the esteemed Humber College Music Program in 1993, focusing on guitar, saxophone and vocals. A multi-instrumentalist, he also plays bass, piano, drums and a diverse range of instruments from across many cultures. In 1998, he studied audio engineering, production and music business at Trebas Institute, where he was awarded the Sennheiser Award for Academic Excellence as the top production / engineering student in his graduating year. The Award offered a scholarship to study at the internationally acclaimed Liverpool Institute for
Performing Arts, founded by Sir Paul McCartney, its patron and principal. While at Trebas, Christian studied intensely with sonic experts Jeff Dalziel and Neville "Gadget" Campbell.
In order to augment his academic credentials with production and engineering experience, Christian began working in professional studios even before he graduated at the top of his class. He quickly became an invaluable contributor to each session, and was given ever-increasing levels of responsibilities on A-list projects. Under the attentive supervision of some of the industry's top producers, Christian quickly established a reputation as a first-rate 'record man' known for having a finely tuned musical 'ear', impressive technical skills, and a distinctive artistic flare. This combination has earned him notable industry recognition and an enviable client roster over the past decade. Christian is now an accredited FACTOR jury member who sits on multi-genre panels.
Christian's colourful and auspicious list of clients includes A-list artists signed to U.S. and Canadian Major Labels, such as Esthero, Ashley MacIsaac, Simon Wilcox and Casey Marshall, as well as up-and-coming buzz-worthy bands like Fred, The Prince Brothers, Belladonna and Freeman Dre and the Kitchen Party. His scope is boundless, covering dimensions from sparse acoustic styles to grand and layered orchestrations. Christian's musical range also spans the spectrum of musical genres from pop, rock, folk and country to jazz, blues, hip-hop, r&b and electronic music. The opportunity to learn from and collaborate with local studio legends such as Les Bateman and Pete Prilesnik and international superstar producers like Larry Klein and Helik Hadar has given Christian a priceless treasury of creative insight and invaluable artist-centered business experience.
Christian chooses to work out of the best studio for each project, including many of the top studios in the Toronto area, and is also the owner and manager of Granitewish Studios. He mentors emerging artists and producers, has performed extensively live, and has co-written with many talented musicians. He also does stylized composition and sound design for live theatre, film and television, multi-media and corporate events. He was recently pivotal in the Strong Road / Cineplex production entitled Larger Than Life, acting as Stage Manager, Audio Technical Consultant and Artist Liaison, and in December of 2010 acted as Stage Manager in the Michael Kaeshammer DVD Concert production filmed at The Great Hall.
Noted for his commitment to putting the music and the artist first, Christian is known for his ability to nurture an artist's creative vision, and for avoiding the development of 'cookie-cutter' musical identities. Christian's rare ability to identify the heart and soul of an artist and a song has been celebrated on every project he has contributed to. He is recognized for nuanced and intuitive ears, and the capability to capture and shape sound so that it lives and breathes. Refreshingly, in a music business reeling from the ravages of a business and technological revolution, Christian still believes that music can change the world. And with vigilance and creativity, he does his part every day to make that belief a reality.
Christian offers a range of services through the various roles in his career. These services are made available individually or as part of a package. See the expandable list below for some areas of specialty, or expand this 'Services' menu for a list of frequently asked questions:
Q: Do you sign artists to your roster or do you just have service contracts for projects?
A: In special cases I do sign artists to longer term development deals, but primarily my services are available individually to allow you freedom to focus on what you consider to be the next stage of your development as you can afford it. Even though artists often desire full-time representation, there are a few things that need to happen before it is required or appropriate. Contact me if you would like to learn more about long-term development.
Q: What kind of music do you produce?
A: I work with what I consider to be great artists and great music. I've worked on just about every kind of music there is and the common thread isn't genre, it's quality. Great songs that really have something to say along with unique and authentic personalities and performances. Musical interests include hip-hop, country, rock, jazz, world music and many more. The merging of musical styles is the natural evolution of new genres and I try to embrace that with every client. The goal is to find great songs and encourage the strongest performance possible from the artist.
Q: What are the fees or costs?
A: There are several models that I use depending on the type and length of the project. Key cost considerations include studios. Generally, hourly rates range from $75 - $150 per hour. Other options include complete 'All-In' packages to simplify the process. Development deals are unique, but possible. Shorter projects have tighter margins, so there's less room to negotiate costs, but I always provide my clients the best effort and deal available in any situation.
Q: How can I get a record deal?
A: First, are you sure you want one? In my opinion, record deals are rarely a good idea for anyone but a star who can command an advance huge enough to justify the risk. They sound good in theory, but with all new deals covering 360 degrees of an artists business, the recoupment process allows for very little profit on the part of the artist. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but they are rare. More and more it makes sense to build your own best team, adding the roles that you need as you need them. There are so many amazing music professionals and tools available to help you, you simply need to find those that are the right fit to help you create your strategy and do the work. There are actually initiatives happening now to help you do exactly this. Polyphonic is a good example. And I've partnered up with A-list music industry veteran Blair Holder to do something similar, so I can better help my clients really achieve success. You'll hear more about that soon. Of course, once you've built some real success on your own, then the labels will come knocking. And there's your deal, if you still want it.
Q: What kind of gear do you use?
A: It completely depends on the project. I'm familiar with all platforms, mic's, pre's, outboard gear, and use what's best for the project. It's a huge part of choosing the studio we'll be working out of, and rental of particular pieces of equipment is common as well. I could list all of the best gear, but you can find that in lots of other places. It's the same as choosing instruments, everything affects the sound, tone and vibe of the performance and recording.
Q: How should I choose a studio and or producer?
A: First you should take the time to really figure out what you need. "Producer" has become an extremely ambiguous title. What is a producer? The range of answers you'll get is spectacular. Better for you to decide what your ideal producer would be and start there. You can probably find someone very close to what you're looking for. Some experienced artists know exactly what they want and how to articulate and achieve that, and can do fine with a good engineer. They are acting as their own producers. Others need help to define their vision, refine their arrangements and performances, get comfortable in the studio, choose players and parts, they might need development, mentoring and nurturing. Then you need to know if you want a particular producer's "sound", or if you want someone transparent who really works to help you create and define your very own sound. Think about your ideal process and result, and then figure out who can best help you produce that scenario.
Q: Who else do I need on my team?
A: That depends completely on what stage you're at and what your strategy is. Be smart, figure out what a real artist business plan looks like and start building and working one. At certain stages you'll need help with management, legal, publicity, booking, radio tracking, all kinds of things. But you need to know when that is neccesary. Spend the time and money to do this part right or you'll waste far more time and money doing it wrong. You are a business now. How much are you really wiolling to invest in your career?
Q: How do I protect my rights?
A: The reality is that the copyright for your Sound Recording exists at the moment of creation. There is much more to copyright law, but the best way to learn is to read up on contracts and copyright laws, consult an entertainment lawyer and ask questions. Don't forget to register your songs with SOCAN.
Q: Is there any funding available?
A: There are many music funding organizations in Canada which you can apply to: FACTOR, Canada Arts Council, Provincial Arts Councils like the Ontario Arts Council, Municipal Arts Councils like the Toronto Arts Council, Starmaker, SOCAN and others. Visit the websites and contact these organizations to learn more about the programs and eligibilities. There are professional grant writers available to help you and a great place to learn more about these things is to attand panels and workshops which are presented regularly by these organizations.
A Producer can be many things. The primary function is to manage the recording (production) of an artist's music. A producer performs many roles and Christian's approach includes a focus on nurturing the artist and their material, acting as creative collaborator, fostering and implementing ideas, and translating artistic vision into technical terms for a variety of professionals in the music industry. Christian's experience as a musician, engineer, diplomat, coach, mentor and teacher define his approach to working with artists. The goal is to lead the artist to create the songs they hear in their head, and to present achievable goals to inspire even more than the artist might expect. As a Producer, Christian will gather ideas for the project, help select songs and musicians, coach the artist and musicians through pre-production and in the recording studio, direct the recording sessions and supervise the mixing and mastering.
Audio engineers control the technical process of capturing the sound during recording sessions. Christian is especially skilled at this role. His understanding of equipment and technique is thorough and his experience as a Producer enhances his skill and creativity as an Engineer, and vice versa. Christian is open to working collaboratively with other Producers and Engineers.
Christian is a talented multi-instrumentalist. In fact, this is where it all began. His fluent relationship with instruments includes Guitar, Saxophone, Bass, Clarinet, Drums, Percussion,
Vocals, Piano and more. He is adept at various popular, cultural and ethnic styles and capable of assisting on your project.
Contact Christian to learn more about his availablity if you are looking for a session player, stand-in or co-writer.
As a Composer, Christian is widely diverse. His understanding of performance and recording brings a special skill to the composition of instrumental and popular music. Style influences
include, but are not limited to; Contemporary, Traditional, Filmic, Ethnic, Jazz, Folk, Country, Rock, Blues, Electronic,etc.
Christian's compositions can be purposed for film, television, video games, popular sound-recordings, theatre, musicals and more. If you have a project in mind contact Christian to determine your best opportunity to bring the music to life.
Christian can assist as a writer and co-writer of songs. He can help find the right chord changes, lyrics, melodies, harmonies, lead parts, etc. A songwriter traditionally writes both the lyrics and music. Someone who solely writes lyrics is called a lyricist and someone who writes music may be called a composer. Songwriters do both and some even serve as their own music publishers. Still, outside publishing deals are common and sought after.
If you have a song that you would like to reinvent, or a cover-song that you would like to reimagine, you would consider hiring an Arranger. Christian can help you develop guitar, vocal, string, horn, synth, or percussion parts and more. He will help you pull the song apart and put it back together with the inspiration that is driving the project.
Strings, horns, synths, percussion, ethnic, drums, beats, bass, anything at all... Programming is a part of many projects.
"Programming is a form of music production and performance using electronic devices, often sequencers or computer programs, to generate music. Programming is used in nearly all forms of electronic music and in most hip hop music since the 1990s. It is also frequently used in modern pop and rock music from various regions of the world, and sometimes in jazz and contemporary classical music." (Wikipedia referenced)
Artist development, pre-production, production, songwriting, session musicians, grant writing and other funding sources, A&R, studio equipment and design, marketing and business
Christian offers career advice in the areas listed above and more. He is available to hear your challenges in each of these areas and offer solutions tailored to your specific needs and goals. The idea is to help find a unique and customized way to accomplish your goals, not just direct you to the formula that 'works'. Christian can offer consultation through the navigation of your career, and if needed he has relationships with industry professionals of all varieties.
Christian is proud to be mentoring emerging artists and producers in the professional areas of production, engineering, guitar and other instruments, vocals, theory, songwriting, composition, arranging, programming and professional management.
- Michael Kaeshammer / Frameblender | DEC 2010 | DVD Concert production | Stage Manage
- Nuru and The Caravan | OCT 2010 | Full Album | Produce, Arrange, Perform, Program, Record, Mix
- Winston Wuttunee | SEPT 2010 | Full Album | Produce, Arrange, Perform, Program, Record, Mix, Master
- Benjamin Stecker | JAN 2009 | Full Album | Produce, Arrange, Perform, Program, Record, Mix, Master
- Belladonna | APR 2007 | Double Album | Produce, Compose, Arrange, Perform, Program, Record, Mix
- Freeman Dre and the Kitchen Party | OCT 2010 | 4 Songs | Produce, Perform, Engineer, Mix
- Hayley Moran | DEC 2009 | Vacation EP | Produce, Compose, Arrange, Perform, Program, Record, Mix
- Fred | MAY 2009 | 4 Song Video Series | Edit Audio, Mix, Master
- StrongRoad/Cineplex | OCT 2008 | Larger Than Life | DVD Concert Production | Artist Liaison, Consultant, Stage Manage
- Donna Michelle St. Bernard | MAY 2008 | The First Stone (Theatrical Performance) | Compose, Record, Sound Design
- Rhymekeepers/Native Earth Performing Arts | SEPT 2007 | Produce, Arrange, Record, Mix and Master
- Boulay | Intake |JUNE 2007 | Produce, Arrange, Perform, Program, Record, Mix and Master
- Carey Cox | APR 2003 | What's A Ghetto? | Produce, Arrange, Perform, Program, Record, Mix
- Frank Reddon | OCT 2002 | Lady Liberty | Produce, Compose, Arrange, Perform, Program, Record, Mix
- Esthero | JAN 2001 | Wikked Lil' Grrrls | House Engineer, Studio Manager
- Ashley MacIsaac | JUNE 1999 | Helter's Celtic | Assistant Engineer
- Cliff Benoit | MAR 1999 | Bridges That You Burn | Compose, Arrange and Conduct String Quartet, Assistant Engineer
And many more...
In no way do opinions found in these posts represent Christian Hurst or his affiliates. This thread of posts is available for general information purposes only.