More About Me
“David Streit was a pleasure to work with. Not only is he very professional, David has a very warm and patient demeanor which makes long studio days much easier to get through. He was also very thorough and engaged in the post-studio mixing sessions. It is clear that he cares about getting the tracks as crisp as possible while also maintaining the raw authentic qualities of the music. I plan on working with him again in future recording projects and would recommend him to any musician fishing for an engineer.”
-Minda Lacy (Bitches in the Beehive)
“NAILED IT. Sounds really good, David. Thanks a bajillion. Truly.”
“David was a pleasure to work with. He brings a peaceful presence into the studio with him, and he puts care into helping you get the sound you want. He is very knowledgeable and has lots of high quality gear. We’ve had the pleasure to work with David several times, both with live venue sound and studio recording, and each time he has been both professional and personable. You’ll be safe in his hands!”
-Kali and Matt (There Is No Mountain)
“David Streit was so wonderful to work with when recording our session. He was kind, patient, and the final recording resulted in the best the band has ever sounded. I look forward to recording with David again!”
-Annie Ostrowski (PDX Pop Now! show on XRAY FM)
“Congratulations on your move, David. I would like to acknowledge and thank you for your many years of devoted high quality work in the Santa Cruz music scene. Your world-class skills, ears, and passion for recording and live music production have been a real asset to this community. Whenever you are involved in a record or a show you bring the quality up a notch, or several notches. Thanks friend, you will be missed. Have fun and best of luck in Portland.”
-Jim Lewin (Edge of the West, Great American Taxi)
Artists I've Worked With
Here's a selected list of artists and clients I've worked with either in the studio or mixing live.
Aan • Adrian Belew • Agalloch • Akron/Family • All Star United • Amy Grant • And And And • Andrew Bird • Animal Eyes • Aspen Music Festival • Avi Buffalo • Ben Folds • Bitches in the Beehive • Bonnie Prince Billy • Built To Spill • C.J. Boyd • Camper Van Beethoven • Cat Power • Ceremony • Charlotte Church • Chris Robinson Brotherhood • Chris Tomlin • Chuck Prophet • Cliff Richard • Coco Rosie • Comedy Central • Connor Oberst • Crooked Fingers • Damien Jurado • Dan Bern • Dan Potthast • Dan P. and the Bricks • Dave Alvin • Dave Brubeck Quartet • Dawes • Dead Meadow • death comesto matteson • Discovery Channel • Doug Stone • Eddie Kamae • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros • Eilen Jewell • Elizabeth Cook • Emily Wells • Folkyeah Productions • fourhundred • G.E. 'Doc' Smith • Gardens & Villa • Gary Louris • Great American Taxi • GZA • Hapa • Harry and the Hitmen • HBO • Henry Rollins • Hey Marseilles • High On Fire • Hillstomp • Hosannas • Hot Club of San Francisco • Howlin Rain • Iska Dhaaf • J. Tillman • Jackie Greene • Jeffertitti's Nile • Jenny Lewis • Jim Dickinson • Jim Lauderdale • Jim Lewin • John Craigie • John Doe • John Jorgenson • John Vanderslice • Johnny Cash • Jolie Holland • Jorma Kaukonen • Josh Rouse • Joshua Lowe and the Juncos • Justin Townes Earle • Kelly Koval • Kelly Stoltz • Kendra McKinley • King Who (formerly known as Us Lights) • Kuumbwa Jazz Center • Lacy J. Dalton • Lambchop • Langhorne Slim • Lincoln Brewster • Little Wings • Loch Lomond • Love Bomb Go-Go • M. Doughty • Magic Trick • Mammatus • Mark Olson • Martin Sexton • Mice Parade • Mighty Mike Schermer • Mike and Ruthy • Minus the Bear • Monterey Jazz Festival • Mudhoney • Negativland • Nicki Bluhm • Nico Vega • Nina Gerber • No Age • North Pacific String Band • Or, the Whale • PBS • Peter Rowan • Pink Martini • Ralph Stanley • Rhett Miller • Ricky Lee Jones • Robin Bacior • Ry Cooder • Sean Hayes • Shakespeare Santa Cruz • SHeDaisy • Sinbad • Sleepy Sun • Slow Gherkin • Social Studies • Sparrows Gate • Steep Ravine • Steve Earle • Sun Angle • Talkative • Terry Reid • The Absynth Quintet • The Album Leaf • The Appleseed Cast • The Blank Tapes • The Breeders • The Brothers Comatose • The Cairo Gang • The Carolyn Sills Combo • The Cave Singers • The Coffis Brothers • The Crooked Jades • The Devil Makes Three • The Dodos • The Entrance Band • The Evangenitals • The Fresh and Onlys • The Fruit Bats • The Growlers • The Horde and The Harem • The Huxtables • The McCoy Tyler Band • The Monterey Jazz Festival • The Mother Hips • The New Trust • The Smoking Popes • The Tallest Man on Earth • The Tumbleweed Wanderers • The Velvet Teen • The Verner Pantons • The Waifs • The White Buffalo • There Is No Mountain • These United States • Tim Kasher • Toby Keith • Todd Snider • Tony Levin • Trampled by Turtles • Transporter • tUnE-yArDs • Turkuaz • Typhoon • Van Dyke Parks • Van Hunt • Vandaveer • Vetiver • Vic Chesnutt • Viva Voce • Water Tower • Wynonna • XRAY FM • Y La Bamba • Yo La Tengo
I was honored to be a guest on the Working Class Audio podcast. Click below to check it out.
I was recently featured in Middle Tennessee State Univesity’s Alumni Spotlight.
MTSU Alumni Spotlight
Spotlight on David Streit
What is your hometown?
I’m from Louisville, KY. Portland, OR is now home.
What year did you graduate and in what area were you?
I graduated in Fall of 1995 with special emphasis in Production and Technology and minors in Music and Mass Communications.
Why did you choose the RIM program?
The program was highly rated, near the center of the music business, and tuition was very reasonable.
Was there a defining moment when you knew you wanted to pursue music as a career?
No. However, as a friend of mine told me, Rock N Roll has a way of claiming its own.
What is your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?
I’m a freelance audio engineer. In the studio, I record, mix, and produce. I also mix concerts (FOH and Monitors). My primary responsibilities include finding clients, making them sound good, and keeping them happy.
What career path did you take to end up in your current position?
I started in live sound while I was in college. I transferred to MTSU when I decided I wanted to learn about recording. I interned at studios, and eventually got a staff assistant position at Quad Studios in Nashville. After a year and a half, I went freelance.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The coolest thing is when an artist tells me that I make their music better, or that I support them in a way that helps them to deliver their best performance.
Was there any advice or key learning during your time in the program that you still find applicable today? Any life lessons?
There were so many valuable things I learned. One day, producer Reed Arvin spoke to our class. He listened to my mix, and told me it wasn’t good enough. He told me it needed to SMACK! The encouragement I got from my professors was extremely valuable in that it gave me confidence that I had good ears, and that I could do the work. Mr. Arvin’s comments reinforced the idea that I needed to constantly work toward a very high standard. I still think about that when I mix.
What advice would you have for students who are preparing to graduate soon?
Internship is valuable for learning skills, and also for exploring different aspects of the industry and potential career paths. Figure out if you love the work. If you don’t, then do something else. Try to structure your life to minimize debt. Financial liquidity means more freedom to pursue your dreams. Finally, gear is important, but it’s not as important as knowing how to produce good work with whatever equipment is at hand. In engineering, as with musicianship, tone is in the fingers.
What words of wisdom do you have for students just coming into the program? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Spend as much hands-on time in the studios as you can. Collaborate with your peers. School is a great place to make mistakes and learn from them. Study the fundamentals. Also realize that there are some things you can only learn off-campus in work situations. Learn about engineering and production, but also study music theory, music business, and entrepreneurship. Play an instrument.
Nate Griffin wrote this article about me. He's a staff writer for Sensored Magazine, and his writing has also been featured in Verbicde Magazine.
Taking it in Streit
The recording philosophy of Nashville engineer David Streit can be summed up quite succinctly in his own words. "You're not going to make a better Radiohead record than Radiohead. It would be doing your band a disservice." This is his explanation of how he manages to make sure each band he records winds up with their own unique sound. Maintaining a band's own authenticity is the key to Streit's own signature sound, and in turn he remains enthusiastic about recording different acts while others become more frustrated searching for the next big money act. While Streit has worked with the Amy Grants and Toby Keiths, he remains faithful to Nashville's overlooked underground movement, and it is often repeated during a performance at the End or Blue Sky Court that it must be a good show if Dave Streit is present.
Streit's engineering strength comes from his ability to capture a band's live energy while recording in a studio. The basis for the ability can be traced back to the late 1980's as he began working with live acts such as Oblong Box in his native Louisville, Kentucky." It was in 1988 at the University of Louisville," says Streit, "and I started mixing live bands and getting into music at a point when I really didn't even know what I wanted to do with my life." Until Streit started earning money for his engineering, it never occurred to him that he could make a living as a recording engineer. When he realized he could earn a degree in engineering, Streit made his way to Middle Tennessee State University, and later landed an internship with the Aspen Music Festival. "It was an area of recording they didn't teach at MTSU," says Streit of the forum for predominantly classical music." MTSU is more about pop music and drum kits, and Aspen was about ensemble recording of a seventy piece orchestra and trying to mic it with ten microphones." While his heart still lies with rock music, his time in Colorado provided the ground work of Streit's own distinctive recording.
The experience at MTSU changed Streit's focus from mixing live acts to studio recording. "I'd learned a lot from live sound that really helped me and put me ahead of a lot of other people," he says. The unique sounds of Streit's recordings are subtle, but his technique began developing in those early classes." It took a friend to point out that I had my own signature sound," says Streit. "[After] he told me about it, I had to tell him he was right." It is a sound that is able to retain the fresh and rare aspects of the artist, as can be heard in Streit's recording of the song "Mercy Kisses Open Mouthed" by death comesto matteson.
Regardless of all the praise Streit receives for his own sound, he still has one goal in mind. Streit explains, "I don't want to be the kind of producer that sounds like me; I want it to sound like the artist." It is this central idea that leads to his general approach to recording, where the technicalities of recording take a back seat to the band's performance. While the gear is important, Streit's focus remains on the band itself, and getting them to perform at their creative peak. "The most important thing in a session is flow," says Streit. "You want to make it sound really good, and within that boundary maybe experiment a little bit."
As home recording equipment becomes more common place, Streit maintains his upbeat attitude. He admits that others gaining the experience of recording makes his job easier. "I don't have to deal with people who are just nervous. A big part of my job is putting the people at ease," says Streit of the innate reactions that artists can have when someone turns on the recording light. "When it's going to be permanent, people get really nervous. It makes it hard for them to play naturally." If the artist has that edge of experience with recording, Streit enjoys when both he and the band can be open to suggestions while in the studio. Establishing trust with the band is very important with Streit. It is a bond that extends into Streit becoming like an additional member of the band. Many artists tend to be tentative when it comes to an outsider handling their music." I don't want to change it so the music is not theirs anymore," says Streit. "I ultimately want to take someone's music and help them present it in such a way listeners can be excited about it." That is the key ingredient to finding what is unique about a band, as opposed to recording a slew of artists that sound identical to each other.
Streit also admits that he attends so many shows in the Nashville area because, in addition to loving to see bands play live, he also enjoys thinking about how he would record them. Streit maintains that it is the music that comes first when recording, and upon discussing bands in Nashville like Forget Cassettes, death comesto matteson, and aireline, he also maintains his enthusiasm about what Nashville's local music scene has to offer. Streit is very humbled when hearing that his attendance is the mark of a good local show, but it is because he has gained respect and a following for his recordings and his work with local bands, even after working with some of the larger names on Music Row. It's because of that modesty that people want to work with him. Bands know that Streit will bring out the best in what they have to offer artistically, and they must have had a great show if David Streit was there.