Chicago's Recording and Rehearsal Studio

Mystery Street Recording Company - Chicago Recording Studio

15 IPS: Live From the Lab, Episode 2, ft. The Polkaholics

May 7th, 2017

Episode 2 of “15 IPS: Live From the Lab”, featuring Chicago favorite polka rockers, The Polkaholics, is now streaming!

This first ever acoustic performance by the band was recorded live at Mystery Street’s Audio Preservation Lab, in Chicago, IL, on April 23, 2017.

Audio was recorded in mono using a Neumann u87ai, Universal Audio 610 tube preamp, and a Studer A812 1/4″ tape machine at 15 IPS.

Listen to more of The Polkaholics’ music at www.thepolkaholics.com.

Job Opening: Audio Archivist

April 8th, 2017

Part Time Audio Archivist


All applicants must have experience with Pro Tools recording/editing, analog recording techniques, and have superior customer service skills. You must be focused, a critical thinker, self motivator, and maintain a clean and organized workspace. Must also be willing and capable to work on a vast variety of audio projects (not strictly music production).

If you have skills in any of the following, while not a requirement, we’d like to know:

Multiple Language Speaker
Library Sciences
Soldering/Equipment Repair
Marketing/ Social Media
Graphic Design
QuickBooks

Requirements: 4 year degree in Audio Production and a passionate understanding of analog and digital recording.

To apply, please email the following to record@mysterystreetrecording.com. We will not accept applications any other way.

  • Cover letter and Resume in PDF format
  • Links to at least 5 projects in which you have recording, mixing, and/or mastering credits or equivalent audio archiving/preservation experience
  • Minimum of 3 industry references

Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2017.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL, EMAIL, OR DROP BY TO FOLLOW UP. WE WILL CONTACT YOU WITH OUR DECISION EITHER WAY.

15 IPS: Live From the Lab, Episode 1, Ft. Glass Mountain

March 13th, 2017

We are excited and proud to present the debut episode of “15 IPS: Live From the Lab”, featuring Glass Mountain.

The performance was recorded live at Mystery Street’s Audio Preservation Lab, in Chicago, IL, on February 18, 2017.

Audio was recorded in mono using a Neumann u87ai, Universal Audio 610 tube preamp, and a Studer A812 1/4″ tape machine at 15 IPS.

Listen to more of Glass Mountain’s music at www.glassmountainmusic.com.

Staff Audio Engineer Position Available

December 11th, 2016

Be a part of our fast growing company!

Staff Audio Engineer

We are hiring full or part time Staff Audio Engineers. All applicants must have experience with Pro Tools recording/editing, analog recording techniques, live sound, and have superior customer service skills. Must be a critical thinker, self motivator, and maintain a clean and organized workspace. Must also be willing and capable to work on a vast variety of audio projects (not strictly music production). Bilingual speakers are a plus, as well as the ability to solder and repair audio equipment. Engineers who can prove a steady client base will be given high priority.

Requirements: 4 year degree in Audio Production, credited recording experience, and basic understanding of live sound reinforcement

Much potential for growth, especially for motivated individuals.

To apply, please email the following to record@mysterystreetrecording.com. We will not accept applications any other way.

  • Cover letter and Resume in PDF format
  • Links to at least 5 projects in which you have recording, mixing, and/or mastering credits
  • 3 industry references
  • Please specify if you are interested in part or full time employment

Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2016.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL, EMAIL, OR DROP BY TO FOLLOW UP. WE WILL CONTACT YOU WITH OUR DECISION EITHER WAY.

Recent Americana Recordings….

November 15th, 2016

This summer, our lead engineer, Joe Tessone recorded a few really great albums by americana/folk bands- Glass Mountain and Trick Shooter Social Club. Different styles of music and both super fun. Give them a listen below and purchase their albums to support the bands!

We’re Celebrating Our 9 Year Anniversary!

June 27th, 2016

9 Year Anniversary Specials

Book an 8 hour session any weekend now through August and get a 9th hour free! Or Use Coupon Code NINEYEARS to get 9% off any rehearsal you schedule online through July 4th!

Today marks our ninth year serving the Chicago Music Scene with top notch recordings, stellar masters, affordable and comfortable rehearsal spaces, and hundreds of thousands of feet of transferred analog tapes!

Through the years we have been through quite a few changes.

Mixing consoles are the heart and soul of the classic recording studio. When we first opened our doors we had a homely Mackie 24 8 Buss mixing console. This was the console du jour for many recording studios around the world in the 1990′s into the early 2000′s. In search of higher fidelity, we purchased a vintage Tascam M-Series mixer (see photo) from another studio on Chicago’s South Side a few months after opening our doors. It was a smooth sounding console, but it had some quirks. Namely, it was very used and sometimes needed a little extra love (from a some toothpicks) to keep many of the buttons engaged. It wasn’t long after we settled in with the board that we had the infamous Mystery Street Fire, and it was left charred and damaged by excessive smoke. However, out of the ashes, we were able to once again bring a sonic overhaul for our clients, new and old. When it came time to rebuild, the first thing we did was upgrade our entire signal path in the control room.

Inevitably we added the Rupert Neve and Graham Langley designed Amek Big 44 console with Super True Automation. We upgraded our analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters so that we could record well beyond CD quality to ensure that your digital recordings could stand the test of time. We also made a major upgrade to a new Pro Tools HD system so we could offer faster and more powerful processing, editing, and recording.

Since then we have added just about every lusted after high end mic preamp to our collection. Neve? Check. API? Check. Manley? Check. Empirical Labs? Check. Universal Audio? Che… Well… you get the point!

People often ask if the gear makes a record great. The answer is no. Your performance and our ears really make a recording a record.

So why the upgrades you ask? While it is entirely possible for our well trained engineers to create a fantastic record with a few cheap mics and an off-the-shelf recording device from the local big box store, it just makes things more difficult. When you have the right person using the right tools it expedites the process needed to get a great sounding track. Think of it this way: Sure you could use the serrated blade on a Swiss Army Knife to cut through a 2×4, but why not use a circular saw?

Furthermore, using high end recording equipment is simply inspiring for an audio engineer. It is like that moment you first played your dream guitar with your favorite amp and effects pedals. Having practically unlimited combinations of gear to choose from helps our engineers to develop a sound that is specific for you. Every musician is unique and we strive to capture the personality of your band through your recording.

Everything we do here at Mystery Street is done so we continue to support Chicago’s music scene by offering world class recording and rehearsal spaces for the professional musician and even the most novice. Recording at Mystery Street means you’ll have the opportunity to hear yourself through some of the greatest gear on the planet and have creative and efficient engineers to produce your sound.

It has been nine incredible years and we look forward to what the future as in store!

Do you have any memorable stories from Mystery Street that you’d like to share with us? If so, we’d love to hear them!

Mystery Street Co-Founder Rejoins Company as Staff Engineer and Systems Manager

April 1st, 2016

Brings new fuel to rapidly growing company after 4 year creative endeavor.

(Chicago, IL – April 1, 2016) After a four year absence from Mystery Street Recording Company, co-founding Audio Engineer, Brendan Cushing, better known in the music industry as Mickey T. Craft, joins the company again as Staff Engineer and Systems Manager.

Mystery Street Recording is a multi-functional recording facility, with all-inclusive hourly music rehearsal spaces, and a state-of-the-art Audio Preservation Lab in its storefront. Mystery Street also offers services such as live sound engineering, audio equipment rentals, and karaoke recording parties for kids or adults.

Craft comes to Mystery Street with an intimate understanding of the company’s core values, including a dedication to service and world-class audio production, of which, Mystery Street has built its reputation.

“I am thrilled that our paths have crossed again,” explains Mystery Street President, Joe Tessone, “Amongst a number of highly qualified applicants, Mickey’s exceptional understanding of audio production, combined with familiarity with our way of business, make him the perfect person for this position. The choice was clear.”

Tessone and Craft have a long history together, meeting as lab partners at Columbia College’s Audio Department then co-founding Mystery Street soon after graduation in 2007. They also played in a band together for a number of years. Craft left the company in 2011 to more closely focus on music production and performance, while doing business as Multi Track Chicago. Multi Track Chicago had shared space with Wall-to-Wall Recording at 676 N. LaSalle, until the recent sale of the building and closing of the studio spaces.

What could be called a merger, the new relationship brings significant audio equipment additions to Mystery Street’s control room, including high-end preamps by Neve, Empirical Labs, Universal Audio, and Focusrite. “It feels great to call Mystery Street home once again. Plus, the combination its gear arsenal and mine, means amazing production capabilities,” Mickey explains, “It is a win-win-win for the studio, our engineers, and our clients.

Mystery Street Recording is located at 2827 N Lincoln Ave, in Chicago, IL. More about Mickey T. Craft can be found here.

Mystery Street is Hiring- Paid Positions and Internships

March 7th, 2016

Be a part of our fast growing company!

Assistant Audio Engineer

We are hiring full or part time Assistant Audio Engineers. All applicants must have experience with Pro Tools recording/editing, analog recording techniques, live sound, and have superior customer service skills. Must be a critical thinker, self motivator, and maintain a clean and organized workspace. Must also be willing and capable to work on a vast variety of audio projects (not strictly music production). Bilingual speakers are a plus, as well as the ability to solder and repair audio equipment, or accounting/administrative skills. Engineers who can prove a steady client base will be given priority.

Earn up to $33,000/yr starting. Much potential for growth, especially for motivated individuals.

To apply, please send a Dropbox download link containing the information below to record@mysterystreetrecording.com. We will not accept applications any other way.

  • Cover letter and Resume in PDF format
  • Links to at least 3 albums in which you have recording and mixing credits. Must include at least one of each of the following genres: Acoustic, Rock, Hip-Hop.
  • Before and after example of an audio track you have mastered
  • Example of a voiceover you have recorded and edited
  • 3 industry references
  • Please specify if you are interested in part or full time employment and your hours of availability
  • Optional… 1 to 3 examples of any graphic design work you have done (promotional flyers, mailers, pamphlets, album art, social media graphic…)

Applications will be accepted until March 20, 2016.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL, EMAIL, OR DROP BY TO FOLLOW UP. WE WILL CONTACT YOU.

Spring Engineering Internship

Educational Objective: To gain valuable hands-on experience in a thriving studio environment.

Requirements:

Currently enrolled in college level Audio Engineering classes
Ability to dedicate at least 20 hours a week (two 6 hour days and one 8 hour day, or four 5 hour days) from April to May
Flexible evening and weekend availability

To apply, please send a Dropbox download link containing the information below to record@mysterystreetrecording.com. We will not accept applications any other way.

  • Cover letter and Resume in PDF format
  • Proof of enrollment in college level Audio classes

Applications will be accepted until March 20, 2016.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL, EMAIL, OR DROP BY TO FOLLOW UP. WE WILL CONTACT YOU.

Music Business/Marketing Internship

Educational Objective: To gain hands-on experience in social media marketing, gain accounting/bookkeeping skills, and be immersed in a music-focus workplace.

Requirements:

Currently enrolled in college level Music Business or Marketing classes
Ability to dedicate 15 hours a week from April through July
Basic understanding of graphic design
Friendly and outgoing personality

To apply, please send a Dropbox download link containing the information below to record@mysterystreetrecording.com. We will not accept applications any other way.

  • Cover letter and Resume in PDF format
  • Proof of enrollment in college level Music business or Marketing classes

Applications will be accepted until March 20, 2016.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL, EMAIL, OR DROP BY TO FOLLOW UP. WE WILL CONTACT YOU.

 

 

 

The Recording Academy Comes to Mystery Street

November 27th, 2015

Studio Tour: Mystery Street Recording Company

By Olivia Schroeder -November 18, 2015
 

Photo by Olivia Schroeder – Control room with 32 analog/96 virtual track Pro-Tools HD2 System

The Chicago Chapter got the inside scoop from Joe Tessone, Owner and Lead Engineer of Mystery Street Recording Company, about what makes Mystery Street the recording studio it is today.

Mystery Street Recording Company
Offers: Recording, Mastering, Production, Live Sound Engineering, Rehearsal Spaces, Audio and Music lessons, Karaoke Parties, Format Transfers & Audio Restoration, Equipment Rental
Recent work: The Pleasure Centers, The Polkaholics, Glass Mountain
History: Mystery Street Recording offers a creative and professional environment for recording, mixing, and mastering. With a carefully selected collection of analog and digital recording gear, and an experienced engineering staff, you’ll walk away with the album you’ve been dreaming of. Mystery Street strives to provide a hassle free environment and ensure that your recording session suits your specific needs, giving you the freedom to pull of the performance of a lifetime and have a great time doing it!

Click here to see a full list of gear available at Mystery Street Recording Company

Q: What’s your favorite piece of gear in the studio? 
A: I’d have to say our favorite piece is our echo plate. It’s a huge 8 foot by 5 foot tank that sounds unlike any other reverb I’ve ever heard. When I first got it, I plugged in, and was like that’s what reverb is suppose to sound like.

Q: Who have been some of your favorite artists you’ve had come through the studio?  
A: Recently, we worked with Glass Mountain, a three-piece string band, who are really great. We’ve worked with The Polkaholics, and they’re very fun. We’ve done three records for them now, and we’re currently working on a fourth album. Everyone in Chicago needs to go see them.  Another artist is Al Scorch, who is an old friend of mine that just recently signed to Bloodshoot Records. We work on everything though, from hip hop to bluegrass to punk. We work with a lot of different artists.

Q: Mystery Street has a lot of cool offers, including the opportunity for clients to trade in their gear for recording credit. How does that process work? What inspired you to start the program? 
A: We started the program to mirror the City of Chicago’s trading your hand gun and get fifty bucks program, and we wanted to get recording gear off the street. We wanted people to take that gear that they don’t really know how to use that they never were able to get a good sound out of anyway, to give people what they paid for it in exchange for studio time. So they’re basically out nothing and they get real time in a studio.

Q: You also offer karaoke parties, which is really unique. How did that start? 
A: We started that by a request, but most of the things I’ve done have been by request. Kids come in and we give them a tour of the studio while teaching them about audio. They get to leave with a CD of them and their friends singing their favorite tunes. It’s a fun way to introduce kids to a recording studio; it shows them it’s not that scary. When I was 13, I had no idea it was possible to go to a recording studio. I always thought “Oh, you have to get signed. You have to have a record deal.” I didn’t even know it was an option for me. I wanted to let kids know that they can just go to a studio— that it’s that easy.

Q: Do you have any words of advice to producers/engineers looking to get their start in the industry?
A: Take it slow. Jumping head first into opening a studio was probably a bad idea in hindsight. I had a lot of really great things that helped me along the way, but it’s really easy to get yourself into a lot of debt. Before you really know what you need, don’t go crazy buying equipment. Try it out; rent out of other studios. See what works for you.

Q: Is there anything else you want readers to know about your studio?
A:
 I think Mystery Street is kind of like your neighborhood bar. We’re a neighborhood recording studio. We have a very welcoming environment open to people of all ages. We have a huge variety of services. People don’t come here just to record a record; the bands that come here are here all the time.

Reference: https://www.grammypro.com/chicago/blogs/studio-tour-mystery-street-recording-company

Glass Mountain review in Chicago Tribune

September 29th, 2015

This week, the Chicago Tribune featured Mystery Street band Glass Mountain in their “Chicago Fall Music Preview” and gave them, and their album, a glowing recommendation.

Don’t call Glass Mountain a nostalgia act. Although its music might sound retro on the surface (fiddles and banjos form the core of the group’s sound), a more complex sense of production underlies each track. The group layers each instrument to an unnerving degree, highlighting the haunting underbelly of the sounds of traditional Americana and early country music. Glass Mountain makes music to “capture the grit and beauty of the American folk tradition,” and “In Threes,” its first album released in May, does just that. From album opener “Hog Eye Man / Brushy Fork of John’s Creek,” an instrumental ditty that grows and grows in speed and fury, to album closer “Oh Sing to Me of Heaven,” a cover of the traditional Christian hymn, Glass Mountain’s music stuns in its ability to capture the past with elegance and triumph.
-Britt Julious, Chicago Tribune, 9/22/15

Take a listen and download the album, recorded at Mystery Street, here…