Biography - Phil Hardman:


I grew up in Buxton in the heart of the peak district and also spent many years in Heidelberg, Germany. At an early age I started learning the piano and then went on to take up the saxophone (DipABRSM). Following a joint honours degree in Music and German at the University of Nottingham I got a place on the Creative Music Production masters at what was Leeds Metropolitan University. Here I gained valuable experience in many aspects of audio engineering from studio recording, sound effects, music to film, Foley, sound design, to sound art and live streaming. Crucially though it was here that I was introduced to the recording engineer, Richard Scott.  Richard was a rare veteran pop and classical engineer and took me under his wing. Through this invaluable working traineeship I came to understand how a "proper" session is run as well as learning first hand the technical skills required of a recording engineer. With the benefit of years of Richard's generous help and the openness of various other veteran engineers including from the BBC, Decca and other independent freelancers I was able to establish myself as a classical recording engineer. I have had the opportunity to work on a great variety of genres from jazz, folk, classical, and rock through to contemporary sound design and sound art. I have been fortunate to work with many great and well-respected musicians including conductors, producers, soloists, small ensembles, brass bands, choirs and orchestras. Other than music I enjoy anything to do with the outdoors and am a qualified mountain leader and climbing instructor.


My Work


I specialise in location recording. I come to you or your chosen venue and turn the space into a professional broadcast quality-recording studio. Previous locations include cathedrals, concert halls, churches, studio live rooms, and school halls to name a few. If you aren't sure whether your venue is suitable to record in then I'd be happy to advise you.


I do commercial CD sessions, live recordings of concerts, live streams, PhD portfolio recordings, archive recordings, 360 degree immersive spatial audio, 5.1 surround to Dolby Atmos mixes. My setup can be very discrete and I am very accommodating. It is my aim to create a friendly, relaxed and professional environment in which to capture your music. I am proud of the good relations I have built with my clients.


My recording system is based around multiple DAWs including SADiE, Pyramix and Protools. This allows for very high quality multitrack recording, mixing and editing. It enables me to be compatible with most other industry professionals and to output high resolution files to most industry standard formats. I record any size ensemble from solo recorder to extended symphony orchestras with multiple choirs.



I compile all the takes that have been recorded and edit them into a performance. Normally I work from scores that I or another producer has marked up but I am happy to edit from anything you give me, even from ear. Normally it is not possible to get all the musicians together to re-create the recording to cover any occasional little tweaks that might be desired. I have the tools to slow or speed up anything from individual notes to whole pieces without affecting the pitch. I also have tools available to make changes to the pitch, sometimes to individual notes within a polyphonic setting. Every now and again these options are widely welcomed though not widely advertised!



Many great recordings were made in less than perfect acoustic environments. Traffic rumble, air conditioning, coughs and many other extraneous noises no longer need to detract fr0m recordings. It is possible to hide most noises very successfully with digital restoration software. In fact it is now quite a common part of the production process to "denoise" recordings before release. At Northern Audio Productions I am well practised at cleaning up noises from audio as well as restoring poorly recorded material to an acceptable quality.



This final stage of the production process requires great care and attention to detail. At Northern Audio Productions I use broadcast quality mastering software to ensure professional result, whether that's for CD, LP, DVD, digital stream or high-resolution digital download. Demand is high for digital audio streaming and downloading such as via iTunes, Spotify, YouTube etc. However, there isn't standardisation across each platform and without the correct care and attention your music could be altered and degraded if it doesn't meet each sites individual requirements. I have the tools and expertise to ensure your music is mastered to the correct requirements.


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