RSR402 – Stephen Shirk – Console, Tape, and Ribbons in Chicago - Recording Studio Rockstars

RSR402 – Stephen Shirk – Console, Tape, and Ribbons in Chicago

Gloria Estefan was right! Stephen talked about Sphere and the history of American consoles, Smoky Joe amps, printing fx plugins, recording drums, acoustic, and electric guitars, deconstructing your tape machine alignment, and stereo ribbon mics.

My guest today is Stephen Shirk an Engineer, Co-Producer and Musician. Stephen has been a guest on the podcast back on episode RSR272 when he talked about his background and starting Shirk Studios in Chicago restoring a beautiful Sphere console and building a dedicated space for recording full bands to analog tape. 

“CONSOLE: 1976 Sphere Eclipse A - Discrete Inline Console.  32 Channels - 24 Mic Pres - 16 + 8 busses (24 outputs during recording) - With Eight 920 EQ’s and twenty four 910 EQ’s - Reichenbach input and Jensen output transformers give the console a punchy tone that defines the pinnacle of the 70’s American console design. Balanced Line Input mod features Cinemag Transformers and Discrete GAR6220 Op Amps (SPA62).” 

In 2019 Stephen open up the studio to Recording Studio Rockstars for a weekend mixing clinic with Anthony Gravino which was a blast! We had Rockstars traveling overnight on the bus from Canada and flying in from New York state just to be there and were able to listen to everyones music and offer feedback. Today we will catch up and see whats new at Shirk studio and learn more about how Stephen is recording and mixing such great sounding records. Thanks again to Anthony Gravino for the introduction.

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Website Links:

RSR272 – Stephen Shirk – How to Record a Great Band Performance in the Studio
Instagram: @shirkstudios

Additional podcast editing and production by:
Brayden Stremming
Vlad Vasilcenko
Jon Richardson Learn how to mix using stock and free plugins in Pro Tools. Get a look at how I recorded my song "American Winter" with downloadable multitracks to mix in your own studio and even include in your mixing portfolio. Are you ready to make your best record ever? Then go to to get started for free now!