What others have to say about their experience at Top of the Hill Music
Composer, Terry Levitt and I have had the pleasure of recording the scores and soundtracks for eight of our original musicals for young audiences at Top of the Hill Music Studio. The facility is state of the art, professional, and yet still comfortable and cozy. At each session, Steven Bell has made sure our talent was relaxed and confident so they performed to the best of their abilities. His ear for detail and knowledge also ensure that we always get amazing recordings to market our shows. I highly recommend Top of the Hill to anyone looking for an affordable, professional venue to produce high quality recordings of their work.
Winking Kat Books
I’ve used some of the leading studios in the northwest for recordings and voice-overs but there is no better than Steven Bell and Top of the Hill Music Studio. His expertise, professionalism and calm demeanor produce incredible results. He immediately put the talent at ease and guided them with subtle suggestions that brought out the best in their performances.
A beautiful studio, professionally designed, in a serene country setting only enhances the experience. Steven has gone above and beyond my expectations and has made me look like a hero with my clients.
Talon Graphic Design
Your communication was clear and to the point. You performed the producer function well, refining the arrangements on the go, balancing your ideas with those of [the clients] and finding what worked best to communicate the songs.
Gory Ryan, percussionist, composer, arranger
Steven is a brilliant engineer to work with. He understands the character of every composition and did well to produce the sound that I wanted for my EP. Recording at Top of the Hill Music was a pleasant experience from the very beginning.
At Top of the Hill, it is the best of all worlds: state of the art studio, lovely spaces, and a great engineer in Steven Bell. He plays several instruments himself, and his combination of musicianship and mastery of the technical recording arena is what makes it great to work with him. You have a true partner in the studio with Steven, and he completely commits himself to helping the artist realize their vision, no matter the genre or where the musician is on their career. His approach is relaxed but disciplined – he will make you feel at home, but then put you to work to make the best use of studio time. Steven is very honest about what he hears, and offers up direct suggestions and guidance, but is very clear that the final choices are always up to the artist. The whole atmosphere when one walks into Top of the Hill is superb – set up to make the musician feel relaxed, comfortable, respected and supported, and ready to do their best work.
I have recorded at a few different studios in my lifetime, and there is a reason, no several reasons that my group keeps returning to Top of the Hill Music Studio (in no particular order)
Atmosphere: Yes it is a studio, there is equipment and ‘studio’ things everywhere, but when you walk in, you feel as if you are in someone’s home and you are treated as a valued guest. Steven goes to extremes to make sure his guests are comfortable and have what they need to relax.
Input: Steven is a joy to work with. Being a musician, he is able to offer credible feedback without being intrusive.. He is also a very good observer and listener, and is able to empathize and work with some of the nerves and stresses that can come with a recording studio experience.
Care/Integrity: When I am working with Steven, he makes me feel that my project is the most important thing in the world, and that alone makes it all worthwhile.
Crazy Banjo Guy
Top of the Hill Music studio is a beautiful, spacious, state-of-the-art sound studio that frankly trumps the Seattle-area recording studios I have been in! Steven can isolate several players playing together at once, thus providing complete sound separation while maintaining a true “live” feel. The capabilities of his facility also save time because each musician doesn’t have to play separately – one after the other. (Though that is an option.)
My experience with owner Steven Bell, other than attending musician’s events at his studio, has been working with him on CD mastering (we recorded songs elsewhere, semi- live). He has really improved the recording, even in ways that I didn’t think was possible, and he has an excellent ear in getting the volume levels between the tracks right. (I worked with an expensive but rather well-known mixing studio on my last CD, and every time I listen to it it bothers me that one song is louder than the others!) I have found him to be both skilled and patient.
Steven has developed a good ear for producing as well as playing, too. I was impressed with some saxophone and tasteful keyboard parts he added to recent tracks (of other musicians), and his production suggestions were right on.
We hired Steven Bell and Top of the Hill Music to record my daughter performing electric guitar and vocals for an original song she wrote. The facilities are outstanding, with separate rooms for recording instruments and voice, including a large room that holds a grand piano, drum kit, etc. — suitable for a good sized band. The large room also contains an impressive LED lighting array that enables great video recording. During our session, Steven acted as more than a recording engineer — he was also a coach, encouraging the talent (my daughter) to be courageous and take some chances (that paid off big time), an adept sound editor, and a creative producer who thoughtfully applied effects to enhance the quality of the finished product. After separate vocal and instruments tracks were recorded (using a background drum track for sync) Steven edited and produced a final song file for us, and also provided the individual tracks that can be loaded into another sound editor later (to produce new effects and alternate versions of the song). I would highly recommend Steven and his first-class facilities for anyone needing a professional recording studio run by an empathetic, creative, and constructively critical producer. Fantastic stuff!
You have a beautiful facility and it sounds as good as it looks. That is rare. Plus you have beer. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I hired Steven to help me record a 4-song EP for my senior project. He was incredibly helpful, and perfectly balanced giving me advice with listening to my own ideas. I’m extremely happy with how my project turned out!
It’s a great place to work!
Rick Ravenscroft, singer/songwriter