Tim and Scott Steinman, the father-and-son team at Studiomedia in Evanston. Credit: Wendi Kromash

Recording audio books, websites, television, podcasts and online games need expertise and equipment. Recording a musical album is an entirely different project. Yet, Studiomedia Recording does both.

Studiomedia, 1210 Sherman Ave., is a local recording studio with more than 40 years of working with artists regardless of genre or style of music. Many of their clients are jazz musicians and singer-songwriters. 

Scott Steinman, 67, and Tim Steinman, 34, a father-and-son team at Studiomedia, talked about the impact a studio has on recording and musicians.

Scott, company president and a recording engineer, said he captures the artist’s performances using the studio facility and equipment, managing the studio’s technical capabilities.

Some of the studio’s equipment: music stands and microphones. Credit: Wendi Kromash

Tim, studio manager and the “front-facing contact” who deals with artists throughout the process, explained, “It’s my job to understand each client’s project, and to make sure they have what they need for their session.” He said he also makes sure at the project’s end that the client receives the work in its desired format.

What goes in to recording artistry?

Making this type of art is often influenced by personal chemistry. Other considerations include skills, experience, equipment, space and price.

“Scott and Tim have incredible musicianship,” said Gustavo Cortiñas, a drummer, composer and educator who has worked with Studiomedia since 2012, producing five of his own albums and more than a dozen with other artists there.

Microphones hang on the wall and identify the entrance to the office like modern sculptures at Studiomedia. Credit: Wendi Kromash

“The passion, expertise, and sense of camaraderie that they bring to every musical project is unmatched. Their services are world-class,” he said.

If you ask Scott and Tim, they savor their work.

Said Tim, “There is joy and enjoyment in helping an artist achieve their vision, taking something that was in their imagination and bringing it to life so that it can be played and experienced by others repeatedly.”

Added Scott, “A big setup takes a lot of work and time. It’s running around and moving things in place and finding the right mics. But when it’s there, there comes a moment where it’s like, OK, let’s push open the microphones, turn on the speakers and see what’s gonna come out. When you have players that are always playing and always ready to play, they just get in the room and it can happen. And when it does, it’s wonderful.”

Moving home

For more than 30 years, Studiomedia was located in the space currently occupied by Philz Coffee, 1030 Davis St., on the southeast corner of Davis Street and Oak Avenue. In 2015, they were near two multi-month construction sites, making the Davis Street location inhospitable to recording.

Scott Steinman sits in front of the Trident console Credit: Wendi Kromash

Scott sold the building and moved the business to his backyard after an acoustician and a contractor renovated the top floor of an existing coach house.

Studiomedia’s two grand pianos were relocated to Electrical Audio, a studio space in Chicago owned by Steve Albini. They go there if projects require a larger space.

Scott graduated from Indiana University’s jazz program. He got into studio recording while a student. After college he was part of a rhythm and blues band, but it wasn’t paying the bills. His first recording job was at Chicago Recording Company in Chicago. He joined Studiomedia as a sound engineer in 1980 when they opened in Evanston. Scott also plays bass with The Nightcrawlers, a local jazz band. 

Tim’s musical knowledge is largely self-taught. Between 2004 and 2011, he worked at 2nd Hand Tunes, an Evanston record shop that closed in 2013. He attended Toronto Film College and Columbia College Chicago for photography. He started working at Studiomedia in 2012. He composes music and plays guitar and synthesizers.

Cortinãs said, “Making art is more than just playing notes. There is a community aspect to what we do, an artistic dialogue. Scott and Tim have affected so many lives. I’m glad they are getting some recognition.”

Wendi Kromash

Wendi Kromash is curious about everything and will write about anything. She tends to focus on one-on-one interviews with community leaders, recaps and reviews of cultural events, feature stories about...

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