John McKay - Freelance Engineer, Mixer, Producer
Welcome to Suitcase Recordings. I created this business as a way to make my recording skills available to a greater number of artists, in a wider variety of situations. I've never really dreamed of owning my own studio, or working out of a single facility. I love the challenge and creative opportunities of the freelance world. Add to that the total freedom of location recording, and the whole world is your studio.
Please don't think of me as a budget alternative to traditional studios. I can work in traditional studios, and have relationships with several. However, I like to work in non-traditional spaces, because I think that it's inspiring to the artist, more comfortable than a 'studio' (often a converted office space), and offers sound-sculpting possibilities beyond what a treated drum room and vocal booth have to offer. Call me crazy, but many of my favorite albums were recorded outside of the studio walls, like Radiohead's 'OK Computer', Led Zeppelin IV, The Doors' 'L.A. Woman', Wilco's 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot', The Rolling Stones' 'Exile on Main Street', etc. Add to that the number of great albums made in small home studios, and you start to wonder why anyone would work in a traditional studio. Granted, if you're doing radio jingles, or books-on-tape, a traditional studio is the place for you. But I just don't find them inspiring.
Then there's the gear. My mobile rig is as good as the gear you'll find in most small to medium sized studios, my mic locker is better than many, and the computer side of things is the same. You'll notice if you look around the web that most studios advertise their gear list prominently. They also usually have some artsy pictures of their fancy floors and nice lighting. While these are important elements of a facility, they tell you nothing about the work that is done there. If I walk into that room, the recordings I make will sound different than if another engineer handles things. The only thing that matters is, of course, their productions. No audio demos is a bad sign!
Lastly, I should point out that I am here to help you make a great record, one that you can be proud of for the rest of your life. I'm not here to abstract your songs into some homogenized ideal version of the track. I can do all of the auto-tuning, etc that any studio can offer, but that's not what I'm here for. I'm here to get your vision on tape, the way you want it to be.