Start To Finish: Snarky Puppy & Nic Hard - Live Recording

Pro Video

01h 43min


Since its inception in the heart of Dallas, Texas, Snarky Puppy has ignited the music world with their genre-defying creativity and masterful musicianship, garnering a list of awards that could fill a book.

In early 2022, four-time Award-Winning artists Snarky Puppy returned to the city where it all began to record the masterpiece "Empire Central." Since the band started releasing singles from the eight days of live performances recorded at Deep Elm Art Company in front of a live audience, the comments sections continue to flood with praise for the quality of the recordings and mixes.

At the helm of the production is Snarky Puppy veteran engineer, Nic Hard, assisted by Snarky Puppy's touring engineers, tasked with recording the nineteen-plus musicians in the one-room music venue with little to no isolation.

We joined the group to document the entire process, from load-in at the venue to the intimate live performances, the stereo mix, and finally, the Dolby Atmos mix with Fab Dupont.

In this exclusive, you'll join Snarky Puppy, Nic Hard, and his team of audio ninjas as they record the performances, travel to Spain for the stereo mixing sessions, and New York City for the Dolby Atmos mixing sessions.

In part one of this series, watch as Nic Hard and the crew:

  • Create a game-plan for the eight days of recorded live shows
  • Walk through the separate stations, including the AVID S6L consoles and drum, keyboard, percussion, horn, and string worlds
  • Discuss the challenges of recording so many musicians in an open room with little to no isolation
  • Mic up the three drum sets, massive percussion stations, horns, and strings, and set up the three guitar players and keyboard stations, featuring some of history's most sought-after synths and electric pianos
  • Explain the microphone choices and placement on each instrument
  • Manage separate headphone mixes for nineteen musicians
  • Ensure that soundcheck goes off without delay when the musicians arrive
  • Capture the live recording

You will also hear from the Snarky Puppy crew, including:

Drum tech Mason Davis, who explains each drum set and the intricacies of their complementary tuning, and relation to the three world percussionists.

Production manager Rosanna Freedman, who discusses the complicated logistical planning necessary to make such a massive project happen

Monitor engineer Matthew Recchia, who explains how he can manage monitor mixes for one of the complex touring bands of its kind, and how his touring experience has set him up for success on the recording of empire central

Touring Front Of House Engineer, Michael Harrison, who ensures that channel management, console organization, and execution goes off without a hitch.

This is your chance to see how the iconic record "Empire Central" was captured, and how the team accomplished a true feat of mastery in audio production, from Start to Finish.

Equipment & Software


  • AEA KU5A
  • Audio Technica AT4081
  • Audio Technica AT4050
  • Audio Technica AT5047
  • Audio Technica ATM350U
  • Avid VENUE S6L
  • Avid VENUE Stage 64
  • Beyerdynamic M88 TG
  • Beyerdynamic M160
  • Beyerdynamic M201 TG
  • DPA 4099
  • Earthworks SR 25
  • Hear Technologies Hear Back PRO
  • Kemper Profiler
  • Lauten Audio Atlantis FC387
  • Lauten Audio LA120
  • Lauten Audio LA220
  • Lauten Audio Clarion
  • Lauten Audio LS208
  • Porter & Davies BC2 Tactile Drum Monitor
  • Sennheiser MD 441U
  • Shure Beta 52
  • 1980’s Shure Beta 57
  • Shure Beta 87A
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Nic Hard

Nic Hard's career in music began in the mid 90's while DJ'ing in clubs and house parties throughout Philadelphia and later, London. On his return to the States, his resume began to take shape as he shifted gears focusing on studio recording and mixing. He quickly earned the position of head engineer at RPM Studios in New York City, a "Noah's Ark" of gear. In 2002 Nic went freelance when given the opportunity to record and co-produce The Church's Forget Yourself album in Sydney Australia.


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Aberdeen City

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The Perfects

What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
Paolo Scarpa
2022 Nov 12
Great great great. Learned and heard a lot of things. Thanks.
2022 Oct 21
awesome production. very entertaining.
2022 Oct 19
it's amazing, all of those details . Great.
2022 Oct 17
Excellent material people! Thank you!!
2022 Oct 15
From an audio engineering perspective - super interesting and informative! Excellent audio/video production.
2022 Oct 04
I think we should live mixing video
2022 Oct 01
Incredible task.
2022 Oct 01
Nic makes the incredible complexity of 130 plus inputs on a live show/recording seem easy!
2022 Oct 01
This is so cool, unbelievable that you did this. Thank you so much!