Chris Litwin: new skills, new studio, near New Haven
How does a 45-year-old guy go from a successful day job as a senior mechanic to building his own recording studio with the help of a Grammy-winning engineer? Ask Recording Connection graduate Chris Litwin.
As a regular guy making a comfortable living in Meridan, CT, Chris still had an unfulfilled dream. A lifelong musician, he caught the engineering bug over 10 years ago when his band was making a record at a local recording studio. He bought some gear and started tinkering with it. “I started doing some recordings here and there,” he says. “They weren’t the best, because I didn’t really know what I was doing.”
But finding an audio engineering school proved to be a challenge, in part due to his job, and in part because he couldn’t make the commute to New York City for the school he wanted to attend. When he found out the Recording Connection could train him in a real recording studio near his home, he jumped at the chance. Soon after, he found himself apprenticing at a studio in Waterbury, near New Haven, CT, under the personal mentoring of Edwin Ramos, a Grammy-winning producer who has worked with the likes of Mary J. Blige and Dr. Dre.
“The guy’s an absolute genius,” he says. “It just blew me away some of the recordings that he has in that studio, and how he makes it sound..”
Chris had some “un-learning” to do from some of the bad habits he’d picked up on his own—particularly the overuse of compression. “We were laughing one day,” Chris recalls. “[Edwin] was like, ‘Bro, it sounds like you’re trying to fit a 747 through a dime hole!'”
However, Chris soon caught on, and caught on well. Not only did he excel at engineering, but he formed a tight friendship with Edwin that has lasted beyond graduation. In fact, when Chris decided to build out his own recording studio, Hat City Music Productions, his Grammy-winning mentor actually stepped up to help with the build!
Now on the verge of starting a whole new career in music, Chris is planning to continue his studies with the Recording Connection master’s program. He’s already getting clients in his new studio, and he’s thankful for the journey so far. “I sit in my studio and I go, ‘I’m thankful for what I have,’” says Chris. “I’ve worked very hard for what I have, and I’m very thankful.”
The hard work has impressed his mentor, Edwin Ramos, as well. “[He’s] one of my best students,” says Edwin. “He took my advice, and he’s got some pretty cool clients right now…He deserves everything that he’s got and everything that’s coming for him.”