SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 2014: In San Antonio, Texas, Harter Music has been working on a 32-channel 1608 for almost a year now – and they are hard-pressed to choose their favorite part about it. Keith Harter owns the studio, and along with his team Jonathan Harter (producer and engineer), Jorge Infante (sound engineer) and Joshua Harter (Composer) Harter Music has carved itself a permanent place in the “diverse culture involved with Texas music.” Keith explains, “We work on all kinds of music. There’s a lot of country, blues, rock, gospel, a good deal of hip-hop and R&B as well. Tejano music is particularly unique to our area, so we work with lots of artists in that genre.”
In addition to recording other artists’ work, Keith and Joshua work together as in-house composers, which they consider an equally diverse role. “We write everything from stripped down ukulele tunes to full-on orchestral film score pieces. A lot of our favorite work is scoring to picture.” In fact, the music that the Harters produce for on-camera work had a lot to do with their decision to purchase and install a 1608. “Writing and recording music for commercials, television and movies is a large part of our business, and now the 1608 gets used for all our commercial music.” Reliability was essential when choosing equipment that Harter Music would use so frequently, and that made their choice simple. “We felt very comfortable selecting the 1608 because we’ve always received great service from API. When it comes time to maintain or repair something, we know API is going to be very easy to work with.” The Harters were already familiar with the API brand because, before the 1608 arrived, the studio was well stocked with API gear, but they wanted one cohesive unit.
Keith got in contact with Darrin Fendley at Vintage King for a solution. “We ordered the 1608 unloaded because we already had a lot of API EQs. That was a huge part of what made the console affordable for us.” Harter Music didn’t want to move away from the gear they already had because “The pre-amps and the EQs sound so good! The console format just makes it easier to record and mix now that the gear is in the chain. It’s also super easy to route things in a bunch of different ways to accommodate any set up we’re using.” There was one other element that Keith says impressed him about his API gear and especially his 1608: “We like the sound, most importantly. It’s equally as great sounding as our other gear, solidly built, but way bigger! It’s a great feeling when you’re sitting behind that much API.” Before the 1608 made its debut, the studio also boasted a 2500 stereo compressor, a 3124 mic pre, and a six-slot Lunchbox®. Having everything in one place, however, is one of the things that has changed their work the most. “We couldn’t efficiently run all analog sessions before. Now we can record and mix all on tape if we want.”
Another bragging point for Harter Music is the celebrity artists who have recorded in the studio in the last year. George Strait and Cheyenne Jackson are mentioned particularly by Keith, who is very proud of how busy Harter Music continues to be. The studio just wrapped on an upcoming movie The One I Wrote for You. “It was an intensely musical project where lots of actors sang songs in the film. We spent over a year recording and mixing everything – it was such a blast.” The studio shows no signs of slowing down. If you want to keep up, or are interested in a project of your own, check hartermusic.com or facebook.com/hartermusic for updates.
ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.)
Established 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608, and the BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.
(PHOTO CAPTION: from left – Keith Harter, Jon Harter and Jorge Infante)