RiverBend Recording Studio, Chicago IL
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The RiverBend Philosophy


    RiverBend studio is dedicated to helping songwriters, bands, and musicians create superb recordings in a creative, comfortable, low stress environment at an affordable price.

    The staff and associates of RiverBend are musicians like you. We have recorded in large studios in Chicago and around the country. We know the price tag associated with these facilities can be prohibitive to creating the best that the artist has to offer. RiverBend studio was created so independent artists could have greater access to the studio environment.

The Cost Factor - Why pay for what you don’t need?

    Why do large studios cost so much per hour? Many reasons, but one big reason is the huge amount of high quality audio equipment that they own and maintain. Because of this vast amount of equipment, large studios have to keep their prices high to stay in business.  Do you need a huge amount of high quality audio gear to make a great recording? The answer is no. Why pay for what you don’t need?

    Quality is critical, quantity is secondary, not primary.
    • To record an average band, you need no more than 16 high quality input channels, not 40 or 50 like most large studios have.
    • To mix a quality recording you do need plenty of tracks. Many high quality digital platforms today allow for more tracks that most artists will ever need. RiverBend, using the SawStudio platform, has produced several pieces that have 30-50 tracks. More than enough for great work.

The Quality and Talent Factor

    At RiverBend, we've made it our mission to put together the right collection of high quality audio equipment, that is also used by the best studios in the world, to make your music sound like it came out of one of the best studios in the world. We have also put together the right amount of this equipment so you only end up paying for what you need.

    Having the right tools is critical, but knowing how to use these tools creatively and musically is crucial. Jeff Oliver, owner and engineer at RiverBend studio, has been involved in music for most of his life and it shows. Many engineers are only technicians. Jeff Oliver’s musicality shines thru in his approach, production and mixing of the music.

    What's needed to create pro sounding recordings? Professional recordings need great microphones, microphone preamps, equalizers, dynamics, effects processors, and good sounding rooms. I will cover a few of these below...

    • The Right Microphones – the ears that hear the music
      • The most critical piece in any recording of course is the artist. The voice, the fingers on the strings, the beat of the rhythm, the breath into the horn. The second most critical element in any recording is the very next item that hears the artist. That is the microphone.
      • Why doesn’t that mic you bought at your local music shop sound like the albums you listen to? You ever hear the saying, "THEY JUST DON'T MAKE THEM LIKE THEY USE TO." For many microphones, that is the truth. Some of the best microphones ever made were handmade in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s by very meticulous German and Austrian artisans. These microphones impart a wonderful warmth and sparkle, picking up the nuances of instruments and voices like nothing else.
      • RiverBend studio has assembled some of the best vintage microphones to capture the nuances of your voice and playing. We offer a great mix of classic vintage mics by AKG, Neumann, and Schoeps.
    • The Right Mic pre-amps
      • After the microphone, the purpose of a mic preamp is to amplify and color the sound.
      • RiverBend has put together an excellent color palette of mic-preamps from the best recording consoles ever made: API, Helios, and Neve. We also have some wonderful vintage tube gear by Altec.
    • The Right Equalization
      • Equalization helps to shape sound to either accentuate or diminish a character about the voice or instrument. The right EQ’s never sound harsh or brittle. They sound sweet and musical.
      • API and Helios EQ’s are some of the most musical sounding EQ’s available. RiverBend has assembled an array of these analog beauties as well as some hi-end digital EQ’s to bring your sound to life.
    • Good sounding rooms
      • If you have good equipment, but the rooms that the musicians are recording in sound poor, then you end up with a product that is well recorded with poor sound.
      • RiverBend has two great sounding rooms. The larger of the two rooms is excellent for recording drums. A tighter sound or a live ambient sound can be obtained in this room. The smaller room sounds great for recording a variety of material from vocals, acoustic guitars and percussion.

    Compare our equipment to the high priced studios. You will see that much of it is the same. The difference is in the volume of these items.

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