Thomas Hardey

Freelance Producer, Engineer

Thomas Hardey on SoundBetter

I am a skilled music producer, studio owner, engineer, and live-sound engineer. I put my clients first and deliver what I commit to. Client success is my success.

Freelance music producer/engineer specializing in acoustic music recording, editing, mixing and mastering. I seek clients who want to hear their music as closely as possible to how they played it.

I also record, edit, mix and master audio book narrations.

I will consider any genre of music on a case-by-case basis.

I accept clients from across the globe. Limited local recording capabilities locally in Houston.

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.


  • English

Interview with Thomas Hardey

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I have been working for a few years now on a musical tribute project dedicated to my late sister. I am producing an album of covers of Dan Fogelberg songs that she and I loved. She was an artist herself and bonded with Fogelberg in unique ways. This has been a very fulfilling project.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: Re-building my studio following a major cross-country move.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: Martin Merenyi...hands down. Martin has been a teacher and a mentor of sorts. Highly recommend.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: I've had the beneficial experience in building both "in the box" and "hybrid outboard-digital" studios. I see the value in both. The tactile part of working with a Neve or SSL mixing board, outboard gear, cabling, etc. grounds you in the history of recording and provides an invaluable perspective on the all-digital approach, particularly when it comes to the terminology of recording/mixing, which has it's own peculiar quirks. The digital side provides access to vast amounts of options like a giant canvas end endless shades of paint. It also provides greater efficiency in work-flow, particularly for the more experienced engineer. The sounds produced by both sides are increasingly close in quality/fidelity...almost so close that even seasoned pros struggle to hear the difference. Both analog and digital have their place in the recording business.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: I will ALWAYS communicate with you...good, bad or ugly.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: I love the endlessly dynamic interplay of creativity, technology and business.

  13. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  14. A: That it is a frivolous activity that it is JUST play and not really work. Quite the opposite is true. It is elemental to the health of mankind. Being a GOOD producer provides tremendous value.

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. A: What do you value in the people you work with? What are your end-goals for this project? What is your collaboration style? What is your budget and your time-frame?

  17. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  18. A: Seek out the three most important criteria you value in any one you work with. Don't compromise. Ans remember, EVERY person in this business, regardless of experience, has SOMETHING(S) valuable to offer.

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: My mandolin, my Izotope Spire recording device, a notebook/pen, my iPad, a water bottle.

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. A: My main career was sales/marketing in high-tech and software. It taught me invaluable lessons in how to work with people or, more importantly, how NOT to work with people. Producing music and cultivating valued customers share ANY elements. How you treat people well is the #1 important element. I've been producing full or part-time for about 5 years.

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: A combination of Collaborative and Efficient with a dash of flexibility.

  25. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  26. A: Hands down...John Hiatt.

  27. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  28. A: Preparation, preparation, preparation! ....before the client arrives to record. I use the Pete Anderson methodology for producing a record as my inspiration (HOW TO PRODUCE A RECORD by Pete Anderson. Great book about the human side of producing)

  29. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  30. A: My preference is "acoustic" though that has a broad definition. I enjoy the challenges posed by recording and mixing real musician on real instruments, particularly stringed instruments. Getting recorded music to sound like it as played is always a fun challenge.

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: Treating artists like human beings without being a push-over and deliver what you promise. Never, EVER "ghost" a client. It is a skill learned through many years in sales roles with savvy, we'll informed clients. Like hard-core business people, musicians have very sensitive BS meters.

  33. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  34. A: I have a very good ear for two things: writing/editing song lyrics and arranging backing/harmony vocals. I am a classic "musicologist-type producer". I have a talent for mining obscure recorded musical pieces for element ideas to sweeten or enhance a song.

  35. Q: What's your typical work process?

  36. A: High level of listening and planning early on with the client. I subscribe to the preparation-ethic of producers like Daniel Lanois, Michael Brauer, and Pete Anderson. Document, document, document! Strike a balance between the client's wishes and interjecting ideas to motivate them to better performances. Treat client's like human beings and understand that the mercurial nature of the creative process requires being patient and open-minded.

  37. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  38. A: Home-based studio, highly acoustically treated with mostly self-built panels and high-quality bass traps from Ethan Winer. Recording/Mixing gear mostly 'in-the-box' with Studio One as my central tool/DAW. Software: Studio One 6.X DAW, Celemony Melodyne, Sonarworks, Synchro-Arts RePitch and VocAlign Ultra, Hardware: UAD Quad Apollo DSP, Dual Antelope Discrete 8 Pros (16 total channels), Presonus Eris Pro 6 Studio Monitors, Audient Nero Control Panel, sE 2200 Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic, Mojave-MA-300 Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic, various other "workhorse" mic (Shure, Sennheiser, Antelope, etc.) Plug-Ins: UAD, Slate Digital, Steven Slate, Audiomovers, BABY Audio, Cytomic, D16 Group, Eiosis, FabFilter, Izotope, Kilohearts, Klanghelm, LiquidSonics, Overloud, Plugin Alliance, Presonus, Pulsar, SoundToys, TB ProAudio, Waves, Antelope, UVI, Native Instruments,

  39. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  40. A: Music Production - Fab Dupont, Michael Brauer, Michael Omartian, Rick Beato, Daniel Lanois, Pete Anderson Musicians - Dan Fogelberg, John Hiatt, Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Sting, Donald Fagen, John Prine, Robert Earl Keene, Al Di Meola, The Beatles, Bill Withers, Brandi Carlile, Chuck Prophet, Colin Hay, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Guy Clark, Jesse Denatale, Jorma Kaukonen, John Mellencamp, Michael Franks, Neil Young, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Paul SImon, Peter Gabriel, REM, Ray Lamontagne, Steely Dan, Chris Thile, Bill Monroe, Marty Stuart, Willie Nelson, Cat Stevens

  41. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  42. A: Planning, producing, advising, supporting, arranging, recording, editing, mixing, and mastering.

Thomas Hardey, Crow

I was the Recording Engineer, Editor, Mixing Engineer, Mastering Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

1/2 contract amount due prior to start of work
1/2 contract amount due prior to delivery.
Up to three review revisions included in work product
Mid-project changes cost additional @ $75/hr

GenresSounds Like
  • The Band
  • John Hiatt
  • John Prine
Gear Highlights
  • UAD
  • Antelope
  • Presonus
  • Mojave Microphones
  • Neumann
  • Focal
  • PC Audio
  • Nero
More Photos
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