Red Stereo is a recording company based in Scotland. With over 20 years of experience working on location and in studios across the UK and beyond, your music is in safe hands. We offer the full service—from project planning, engineering, editing and mixing, right up to preparing audio for commercial release.
From performance to release, the recording process is complex and varied. We are a one-stop solution, offering our services in all areas of recording.
Contemporary classical to avant-jazz, alt-folk to Renaissance master works—we have experience recording many styles of music. We are genre-agnostic and no matter the project our approach remains the same: let the recording be at the service of the music.
While we are often hired to work on a recording project from start to finish, we equally welcome clients only requiring one or two services (e.g. only mixing, or only recording).
See below for info about the individual services we offer.
If it makes a sound, we've probably recorded it. Be it large orchestral performances in impressive concert venues; intimate studio work; straight-forward live demos; spoken word; full blown recording sessions featuring countless musicians and hundreds of overdubs—our experience runs the gamut. We specialise in high quality recording of acoustic music on location and we can advise on suitable recording venues for your particular project.
In simple terms, editing involves sifting through recorded takes, finding the best bits and glueing them together to make one satisfying whole. We can work from an edit list (or annotated score), or we can create a final comp from a pool of takes. We fuse awareness of musical aesthetic with the use of cutting-edge editing software to make seamless, invisible edits. So whether it's comping a vocal take or editing Berio's Sequenza, we've got your back.
More than just adjusting relative track levels, mixing involves judicious tone-shaping, dynamic adjustments, and creative flair. We are digital evangelists and do all of our mixing in the digital domain, avoiding superfluous digital-to-analogue-to-digital conversion. Using digital workflow best-practices and industry-leading EQ, reverb and dynamic processors, we always strive for dynamic, rich, full, clear mixdowns that translate well.
A music producer guides and galvanises those involved in a recording project to deliver on a collective vision. Our role as producer varies from project to project. It might involve creative decision making or be more concerned with motivating and guiding musicians during a lengthy tracking session. Other times it may focus on logistics and planning. We're content to produce with a light touch or get more involved as the session/project demands it.
Mastering is the final stage of the recording process before manufacturing or digital release. It is both a technical and musical undertaking. We partner with top mastering engineers who expertly bind together disparate mix elements (tonal and level matching) and make your recording flow. We take that "musical master" and complete the technical side, ensuring glitch-free, standards-compliant audio ready for physical manufacturing or online distribution.
If you plan to release music digitally (e.g. Spotify, iTunes) or physically (e.g. CD or vinyl), you can take advantage of Red Stereo's twenty years of experience in this domain. Catering to labels and self-releasing artists alike, we can create album artwork from scratch; prepare artwork for print; liaise with pressing plants to have your album manufactured; provide barcodes; advise on ISRC codes, mechanical licensing, digital distribution; and much more besides.
“I’m very impressed. This kind of quality does not happen by accident. Marvelous tonality, very accurate from top to bottom, mic position and interchannel gain are so precise that the stereo image falls just right, both technically and aesthetically. You are a superb engineer and basically succeeded in using me as a sounding board for approval in a way that has not happened to me in a long time—I don’t have a single nit to pick! And I’m a picky nitter, so I bow down to you, sir!”
Bob Katz Mastering Engineer (three-time Grammy winner)
“I love the sound. It feels very natural and how I hope I come across to a listener! Also the flow of the piece feels just right, I don't think I've ever been this satisfied with a first edit!!”
Amanda Cook Guitarist
“Great job Douglas—the sound and reverb are perfect! Thanks for a really relaxed session—it was great! [...] nothing needs to be changed as far as I'm concerned.”
Katherine Bryan Flautist
Solo, RSNO, Chandos
“Douglas is a world class engineer, mixer, producer, and superb musician. He got probably the best result I've heard in my studio [...] and is an extremely valuable asset to Scottish music.”
Chris Sheehan MD / Owner
Euan Stevenson’s third solo release, Rzeszów—Solo Piano Nocturnes, is the result of three nocturnal location recording sessions in the recital room of Filharmonia Podkarpacka in the beautiful old town of Rzeszów, Poland.
Boasting a magnificent Blüthner Model 1 Concert Grand, the recital room is a beautifully designed modern theatre with wonderfully resonant acoustics. Red Stereo was tasked with all key aspects of the recording: producing, engineering, editing, and mastering. We also recommended the recording location and dealt with all session planning and logistics (travel, accomodation, piano tuning, liasing with venue, etc.).
The material is based on a variety of approaches: original compositions, several improvised variations on well known jazz, classical and folk themes, and entirely improvised abstract pieces. Solo Piano Nocturnes is due for release on iOcco Music in autumn 2021.
Glasgow based saxophonist Lewis Banks brought Red Stereo in to record Jay Capperauld's major new work for saxophone and piano, Afterlife. We were booked to record both the live premiere, and also record, edit and co-produce a 3-day studio session.
Red Stereo was booked to record and co-produce the new collaborative EP from M G Boulter & Samantha Whates entitled How to Read. Recorded primarily at 50:50 studios, north London, this was a vibey, creative two-day session with multiple overdubs. We also did some additional tracking and sequencing back at Red Stereo HQ.
Artists and ensembles we have worked with: Hebrides Ensemble, Psappha, Scottish Flute Trio, RSAMD, Lewis Banks, Jay Caperrauld, Katherine Bryan, James Akers, Matthew McAllister, Aisling Agnew, Feargus Hetherington, Frevo Quartet, Maelasta, Alba Quartet, Philharmonia Scotland, Euan Stevenson, Konrad Wiszniewski, Richard Craig, Steve Hamilton, Mario Caribé, Michael Janisch, Colin Stranahan, Leo Genovese, Gordon McPherson, Alyn Cosker, Steven Mackey, Richard Greer, Glasgow New Music Expedition, Chór i Orkiestra Nicolaus, Mira Opalińska, Matt Rogers (a.k.a. Gameshow Outpatient), David Ward Maclean, Allan Neave, Craig Ogden, Samantha Whates, M G Boulter, Angus Lyon, Amanda Cook, Blue Rose Code, Georgia Cécile.
Check out a selection of our recordings below:
We have recorded for a number of domestic and international record labels, and the albums have been aired by major broadcasters and critically acclaimed in key press. Some notable examples below:
Red Stereo is a division of music venture ELSWHR LTD, run by composer and bassist Douglas Whates. A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD), he is frequently engaged as a producer and recording engineer, with over twenty years of expertise in the studio and on location in varied genres, including classical, jazz, alternative, and folk.
Industry veteran and three-time Grammy winner Bob Katz proclaimed Whates “a superb engineer”, while Gramophone lauded the James Akers album A Soldier’s Return (Resonus Classics, 2016) for having “all the warmth, colour and expressive richness one could hope for.” His recordings have been broadcast worldwide (BBC, ARD, NPR, Classic FM, Resonance FM) and critically acclaimed in traditional press (Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Classical Guitar) and key online publications. He is an advanced audio editor and is a fluent score reader.
From 2004–2011 Whates ran indie record label Natural Studio Records. Specialising in classical and acoustic music, NSR was responsible for debut releases from then-emerging artists, including Matthew McAllister, Aisling Agnew, James Akers, Samantha Whates, Blue Rose Code, Euan Stevenson, Mira Opalińksa, and Feargus Hetherington. The label also released albums from more established acts such as Allan Neave, Amanda Cook, Gordon McPherson, David Ward Maclean, Hebrides Ensemble, and the Scottish Flute Trio.
He has held teaching positions at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Stevenson College Edinburgh, has given masterclasses and lectures in the UK, Europe, and the USA, and currently lectures in Recording Techniques and the Creative Industries at the Academy of Music & Sound in Glasgow.
“I was around 7 years old, and it was a 1980s cherry red Sanyo M-W24K radio/cassette recorder which sparked a lifelong interest in recording. In retrospect, this "red stereo" (as it was know in our household) was a surpisingly sophisticated device for an ostensibly commercial product, offering a mic input with adjustable level, bypassable graphic EQ, and even rudimetary overdubbing. God only knows the number of hours I spent recording random noises on this device, or making "radio shows" with my sister.
Fast-forward 30 years and I'm still recording random noises, but using slightly more advanced equipment. Red Stereo embodies a lifelong curiosity about recorded sound, passion for music, audio reproduction, and all things in between.
Red Stereo MD
Please get in touch to discuss your project. Though based in Scotland, we specialise in location recording and are happy to travel far and wide.