Christopher Litwin | Crain's Connecticut

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Christopher Litwin

Background:  

Launched in December 2015 in Brookfield, Hat City Music Productions is a full-service studio providing recoding, mixing and mastering for independent music talent.

The Mistake:

I was always fascinated with how sound and instruments were recorded, but I quickly realized that it was very expensive for independent artists to achieve an excellent quality recording without going broke in the process. Through my own business, I found that running a recording studio out of your home is not always the best idea either.

In 2005, I was in the band Father Panic Riot Orchestra and we recorded an album at a well-known studio in Connecticut. But the studio charged us $100 an hour, and our 10-hour session wound up costing us $4,000. I am sure if we came to the studio today, they would be charging us a lot more than what we paid back then.

I always wanted to record and produce for a band, and have gold or platinum records hanging on my wall. I thought that I could create a studio where bands would receive quality service without having to pay high amounts.

My first attempt to create a recording studio was based out of my home. Of course, a home is not designed to absorb loud music. My roommate at the time worked for a moving company and provided home moving pads to muffle the noise.

I converted the sun porch into the studio and put up the moving pads for noise control. My control surface was set up in my bedroom and I ran the cabling into the studio that I built.

Getting the studio set up was one thing, but getting a band to come to a house where the control surface is in a bedroom is another matter. I recorded music for a Connecticut metal band, and I did that for free just to get started. I have to say that I was impressed with how it came out, considering the tools and resources that I had at the time.

But, nonetheless, it was the wrong place for this type of setup. If you had five guys in a band, there was the problem of too much bleed carrying over. There was not enough room for isolation.

I always wanted to record and produce for a band, and have gold or platinum records hanging on my wall.

The Lesson:

I realized that I needed to move out and upgrade to get the accommodation that I needed. I also wanted to upgrade my knowledge of the recording technology, so I went back to school to study with The Recording, Radio, Film and Culinary Connection.

Last year, I felt I was ready to give this another shot. It took about a month or two to find the current location, and except for having to build another interior wall it was perfect. I have already recorded music for several local bands, and I am on the lookout for more.

Hat City Music Productions is online at https://www.facebook.com/hatcitymusic/.

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