Session guitarist/multi-instrumentalist with Grammy/Tony nominated work, specializing in electric guitars/acoustic guitars and popular but hard to find guitar related instruments (mandolin, banjo, dobro, lap/pedal steel and more). Worked for Broadway shows and artists alike, main styles are rock, folk, Americana, singer/songwriter, pop.
Need an electric guitar solo for your track? Maybe a rhythm part on nylon stringed acoustic? Or not sure what you need but you know you hear a guitar-like part to lift your track?
I specialize in high quality recording of guitars and guitar related instruments, as well as writing and part composition. My arsenal includes a wide variety of electric and acoustic guitars for every need. Looking for a special texture or sound? I'm a professional multi-instrumentalist for artists and broadway shows, so I can provide a wide range of guitar-family instruments, including (but not limited to) mandolin, banjo, dobro, lap/pedal steel and more. Need help or guidance figuring out the best part (or instrument) to fit in your track? I would love to lend my songwriting, composition and arranging skills to figure out the best parts and arrangement to lift your track to where it deserves to be.
I play high quality instruments from Fender, Gibson, Fano, Collings, Martin, Taylor and more. I have a full service studio with professional grade amps, pedals, mics and preamps, allowing me to provide you with quick turnaround and top quality recordings that will fit right into your song session.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
3 ReviewsEndorse Nate Lueck
I have hired Nate on several occasions as both a session musician and an engineer producer. There is pretty much nothing this guy can't do. Super impressed with the number of instruments he plays and his seemingly infinite technical expertise. And on top of all this, a nice, humble guy who is super pro. Strong endorse.
Nate is an extraordinary producer and musician. His rare musical abilities and positive, collaborative temperament are and unique find. I can't recommend Nate highly enough!
Nate is a consummate professional, and an amazing musician with a killer feel and great ears. He’ll definitely deliver on whatever type of project you may have!
Interview with Nate Lueck
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I've got a couple from different ends of the spectrum. One was the recording of the Grammy nominated cast album for Broadway's Come From Away. I got to play guitars, mandolin, octave mandolin and bouzouki on that record, and I'm really proud of what we accomplished. The other was a sound design pack I put together for LP24 Audio called Particle FYSX, a collection of organic risers, drops, impacts and transition effects made entirely on a modular synth. Think Amon Tobin's Isam and you'll get the idea. In that case I got to be incredibly creative and dig down into the minutia of what makes a sound a sound. It was incredible.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Among other things, I'm currently producing some tracks for a YouTube channel that reimagines classic American Songbook tunes for the modern era. Making America The Beautiful sound like Katy Perry is a fun challenge!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! They're not enemies, lol. The right tool for the right job. Sometimes a synth bass line just needs the growl of a real Moog filter. Sometimes a riser or transition effect needs just the right amount of glitch or granular processing that only digital manipulation can give you. I pride myself on having a large catalog of both at my fingertips, ready for each unique job.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I want you to love your music. Period. Whatever it is that will make you want to replay your track over and over, I will find it. In the time we have together, I will do whatever it takes, and use whatever tools I have to give you something you'll be proud to share with your fans.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The sonic exploration. I love to take a set of parameters, asks, notes, whatever... from a client and explore the world of sound to figure out how to do what they want in a new and interesting way. Wether it's a new specialty instrument, a new recording technique, or a classic sound applied in a new way... magic!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Can you make it sound like ______________?" Yes! Absolutely I can. In fact, having a clear reference or sonic territory is a good thing, it's not a cop-out or selling out! How much we want it to sound like _______________ is the key. We still want it to preserve your unique fingerprint. That's the journey we take together, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Sometimes I come across the notion that the producer just "does producer stuff" to a demo and then it comes out a polished gem. This is a give and take process. I want my clients to be involved in the decisions, the direction, the sonic character of their music. I realize that may not be their expertise, which is why they're hiring a producer, but they still know what they like, and what works and doesn't work because it's ultimately their art. So I like to encourage clients to be open about their thoughts and suggestions. It's my job to translate it into technical and production stuff. Together is how we'll come up with an amazing track that the artist loves. It's truly a collaboration.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What kind of sonic space are you looking to create for your song? Do you have a specific vision for parts, or are you looking for guidance and exploration? Do you have any reference tracks whose sonic character you would like your track to emulate?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: So many people only want to work with the Grammy winning, big name producers. I understand that completely, and if that's your dream then go for it! But I would encourage you not just to look at the credits. Dig into their song catalogs. Listen to their work. It's like buying a guitar. Just because it has a big name on it doesn't mean it's the right guitar for you. If you find a producer that doesn't have a grammy or quite as big names on their list, but you love the sound of their work and think it would serve your art well, take a chance on them! It's very likely they'll be able to spend much more 1 on 1 time with you, and their expertise is not necessarily less than the big name producers. That's what happened with Billie Eilish, Phoebe Bridgers... I could go on. In the end, choose someone for their sound, not for the brand.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My laptop, my UA Apollo, my Neumann U87, my Collings CL Deluxe, and my Teenage Engineering OP-1. Hope I don't get sand in any of them though...
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been doing this for 12 years. I started by moving to New York with just enough money to pay my first month's rent, and that's it. Over the years I've moved from playing in local bands to touring the US, then the world, then MD'ing for those bands. All the while I read manuals, learned software and recording techniques, and hung around all the studio engineers I could meet, both in and outside the studio. I started my own studio collection almost immediately and over the years I've amassed enough gear and expertise to finally run my own spot, all the while performing live on Broadway and all over the city/country.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Human, accessible, intricate, natural yet designed.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Ryan Lott from Son Lux. His sense of sound design and the way he uses his studio as an instrument is simply incredible. Even an hour with him would probably blow my mind!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Get the best take in tracking that you can. If you're having to say "Ah, we'll fix in it mixing," something is wrong. If you don't like the sound of the guitar, change the guitar. Or change the instrument entirely. Or change the mic setup. Something can always be done. Best to do it in the tracking phase. A well tracked arrangement will mix, master and sound so much better. It all starts at the basic tracking level.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: My two wheelhouses are a mix of indie rock and folk, as well as electronic based music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Live performance and arranging. When you don't want another preset on a soft synth or quantized MIDI notes, being able to play so many instruments really helps creators feel connected to the music and makes them feel like only their song sounds the way it does. I pride myself not only on physically playing the parts in real time, but writing the perfect part that fits the song, not necessarily what showcases the instrumentalist (unless that's the ask, of course).
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a lot of experience in different performance settings that allows me a wide range of elements to pull from. This helps the song stand out, being comprised of elements that might not be the typical or common tools relied upon. I also offer live performance of specialty instruments that give the production a very intimate and human quality, as well as strengthen and differentiate the overall timbre of the track. I love when someone hears my work and says: "What instrument is that? How did you get that sound?" I live for that!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I love to meet with the artist (usually remotely these days!) and gather all the information I can about their vision for the song. Do they have any specific asks? Or are they looking for guidance? Do they have any musical references or influences they want to emulate? Then with that information I create the parts that best compliment their vision. We will then meet again to discuss any revisions before finalizing the track. I always want to make sure the artist is happy before signing off on the project. They need to be in love with their music, and I will do what it takes to get them there.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a professionally equipped studio with portable isolation booth. High end microphones from Neumann, AKG, Royer and more. Acoustic and electric guitars by Martin, Gibson, Fender and more. Keyboards by Nord, Dave Smith, Moog and more. A wide variety of specialty instruments: banjo, mandolin, lap/pedal steel, modular synths, software instruments etc. Set up includes live remote capability.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Radiohead, Son Lux, Death Cab for Cutie, Jon Hopkins, Amon Tobin.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I do a lot of full song productions, arranging, and remote studio/tracking sessions.