derek chafin

That’s me. Owner and operator. I’ve done lots of session work as an engineer but the vast majority of my work is in the role of both producer and engineer.

I started in the music industry at the age of 12 performing a lead role with the Pennsylvania Opera Company. Kicked out when my voice changed (welcome to the industry!), I went on from musical theater to making records and touring in rock bands, to a solo career which I still maintain.

Born in Huntington WV, the music of Appalachia, folk, country, blue grass and gospel surrounded me and soaked in. Moving to Philly when I was young brought a great love of classical music of all eras, from Gregorian to Phillip Glass.  The power of an orchestra, for me, so directly connected to the power of rock and punk, a love that still remains. The communal, sonic and hypnotic qualities of electronic music are also an influence. After working with Astrud Gilberto my love for Brazilian and American Jazz music grew. The musicians I’ve worked with in their various genres have also increased my passion for all types of music. Music is a conversation and I’m always listening in.

Wanting to be able to more fully express myself as an artist created my interest and love of the recording studio as a tool. It’s via the artistic side that I entered the technical side to understand mics, equipment, computers, etc and how to use them in musical ways and to achieve a “sound”.

As Producer:
Not everyone needs or wants a producer. I’m always happy to act solely in the role of engineer and working with the producer or client to achieve the desired sound and result.

When I’m in the producer’s seat, the idea is not to imprint myself or my “sound” on the music of the artists I work with. The goal is to enhance their music to be all it can be. Pretty simple in theory. Sometimes it is and other times it’s a journey for the perfect expression.

I like being old school in that genre or style doesn’t matter. I’ve always admired producers who work in all genres. The key is bringing out the performance and placing the music so that it can affect the listener.

Spending time in pre-production working with the artist on material, working out any trouble areas or arrangements prior to hitting record, has always been essential to me. This saves time when recording, lowering the cost and also just makes for a better, tighter, more focused record in the end. So when actual recording begins it can happen in an organic, efficient, and creative way. As simple an idea as this sounds, it’s an almost nonexistent luxury in today’s recording environment.

The idea is getting down to the truth and letting the listener hear that. There’s no one path or system, for each artist it’s a unique journey.