I do music and performance and stuff

Hello. I am Steve Pretty. This is my website, on which I attempt to explain my confusing 'career' to you. I do mostly performance,  music composition, arranging and production, and sometimes photography and writing.

If you're confused, think how I feel.

Music Production and Mixing

Credits include:

  • Producing and mixing ‘one of the top world music albums of the past 10 years’ Carnatic Connection with Bollywood Brass Band and Jyotsna Srikanth in 2016, and its follow up EP A Day in Bangalore in 2018;

  • Co-producing Common Decency, Sharpener, LIVE! and Collaborations: Volume One (forthcoming) with Hackney Colliery Band (‘clever, and enormous fun’ - Guardian);

  • Recording, producing, mixing and mastering Oompah Brass’ 2018 Christmas EP and forthcoming 2019 release;

  • Recording, producing, mixing and mastering award-winning music education resource for Warwick Music in 2018;

  • Producing and mixing my own composition work for TV, radio and theatre;

  • Producing music and speech for podcasts (including Answer Me This) and live comedy videos.

More info/listen:

I have produced four Hackney Colliery Band albums (Common Decency in 2013, Sharpener in 2016, LIVE! in 2017 and the forthcoming Collaborations: Volume One in 2019), and mixed and produced Carnatic Connections in 2016 (nominated for a Songlines World Music Award for Best Group Album in 2016, and declared one of the best world music albums of the past 10 years) and A Day in Bangalore in 2018 for the Bollywood Brass Band, as well as many other projects over the years.

My speciality area is, inevitably, brass/woodwind-led jazz and world music projects, but I have also recorded a huge diversity of stuff, from punk bands to acoustic guitars, ethnic percussion to comedy.

Much of the solo work on Sharpener was recorded here, and all of the violin and percussion (and some solo trumpet) on BBB's Carnatic Connections and follow up EP A Day In Bangalore, as well as all of the music for my kid's theatre show Annabelle's Skirtingboard Adventure and various radio and podcast bits and pieces for shows like Answer Me This. Much of my solo session work is done from this home studio, which keeps time and costs down for all involved.

Depending on my tour schedule, I can often turn around projects very quickly, and for a reasonable fee, so do get in touch if you'd like to record here, or if you'd like me to mix a project for you. As an extremely experienced musician myself, I am fast and efficient at tracking, and can obviously follow scores or work without depending on the situation and performers. I make a mean coffee, and for longer projects also provide lunch/dinner as appropriate.

If you'd like solo or section horns on your project, do get in touch as I can provide the full package of arrangement, recording and mixing from right here, with a section as large or small as you like.

Below are some examples of the work I've produced in my studio.

Carnatic Connections was recorded at Pretty Good and Snorkel Studios, and mixed at Pretty Good:

In 2018, this album was followed up with an even more virtuosic EP of original music from the band, Jyotsna and Prakash, again produced and mixed by me (and featuring my soloing again).

Here it is:

The electronics/drum machine and production for Sharpener was all done at Pretty Good, as was some of the horn tracking.

For examples of my electronic work with Hackney Colliery Band, check out Jump Then Run, Reawake and Bread and Circuses, and for examples of trumpet tracked here, listen to solos on Heart-Shaped Box, Reawake and Timelapse:

In 2018 I had the pleasure of recording the ridiculously virtuosic Oompah Brass. We managed to record a LOT over the course of one day thanks to their amazing playing and work ethic, and I recorded, mixed and mastered all of the material in my studio. So far, only the Christmas material has been released, but I know there are plans afoot to get the rest out in 2019. Check it out; the whole thing was recorded as live, and was mixed and mastered with a more conventional classical approach than I often use, which was a really nice contrast. Really happy with how it sounds.

I work from my home studio in Hackney, London (Pretty Good Studio - GEDDIT?), where I have an excellent selection of mics (Coles, Townsend Labs, Avantone, Oktava, SE etc), a Neve channel strip, Universal Audio interface/preamp, Pro Tools 2018, Ableton Live 9, Genelec The Ones monitors, a nice upright piano, basic acoustic guitar, tabla, various bits of hand percussion and fun stuff, a Teenage Engineering OP-1, a Moog Slim Phatty, Eventide and Tegeler outboard, some fun niche processing toys and pedals from Critter and Guitari, Polyend, Mod Duo, Landscape and many more, UAD, Waves, Eventide, Sptifire, FabFilter, Soundtoys and Native Instruments plugins and various other odds and sods and musical toys. And, of course, loads of trumpets, flugel horns and associated bits...