• Hometown Sweethearts are one of the most sought after wedding bands in the country. This self-titled album is their first release full of original hip-swaying, toe-tapping dance rock.

  • Wake the Conscious,

  • The latest CD from Jimmy Murn and the Heymakers, "Hudson River Rookie", was recorded, mixed and co-produced by Mark Whitcomb at DNA Music Labs this spring.  Jimmy and the Heymakers have just returned from an extensive midwest and East Coast tour supporting this high-energy power pop CD.  

  • What is a music producer? This is a recurring topic of discussion among music creators of different stripes. While there is no official, set in stone, description, I can definitely say the a producer needs a diverse skill set. In my own ongoing quest to improve my production abilities I have been working to explicitly improve and expand my psychological took kit. This essay focusses on one main psychological roles a  producer needs to play: that of advice giver. In it I identify and articulate what I think makes for effective advice.

    Ultimately, the producer is responsible for creating a recording that meets the needs of the client. (For this discussion I will focus on a recording artist as the client, keeping in mind that there are many other types of clients who enlist the services of a music producer.) Recording artists are people first and foremost, and are often complicated people at that. In addition to possessing the requisite technical skills, a producer needs skills of communication, empathy, intuition, and logic to bring forth a recording that powerfully communicates the musical "vision" of the artist.


    Anyone who has ever tried to mix recorded music knows that it can be a confusing process. You think your mix is sounding great, then the next day you play it in the car and it's totally whack. There are a lot of reasons for this, but I want to focus on one in particular that is extremely counter intuitive. 

    The main task of mixing recorded music is to balance the relative volume of the sounds in your mix. We all have the ability to perceive relative volume; it is simply ascertaining whether a given sound is "louder" or "quieter" relative to another. Mixing live music is also about adjusting the relative volume of the sounds or instruments in your mix. But, among others, there is a significant difference in a live mix. A live mix is also greatly concerned with the absolute volume of the mix elements.

  • This CD is the document of the protests in WI in the spring of 2011 which have led to the historic recall challenge against Governor Scott Walker. Features songs by ace local musicians and some special guests along with sound bites and music recorded on location at the protests.

  • In the last 15 years there has been a major change in how popular music is created and therefore how it sounds.  I believe that the core of this change is that the traditional connection between time and music has been radically altered. This change has been driven by the adoption of the digital audio workstation (DAW) as the default platform for music production.

    To illustrate, let's consider the iTunes top 100. The vast majority of songs on this list were never "performed" by musicians in the way that we usually think of a performance. They were cut and pasted together in the computer. Even genres like Country or Metal, which have strong traditions of musicianship, are now created in this way.

    As a further example of how different music production has become, many  of the "sounds" that you hear in contemporary pop music are not only cut and pasted performances. Some are actually never sounds until the moment you hear them! They were created by "virtual instruments" inside the computer, which generate only data, not sound.

  • Ken's new album is dedicated to celebrating and supporting the Wisconsin Uprising through song. Mixed and drum overdubs by Brian Daly. The amazing Dave Adler co-produced with Ken and there is a crew of great players on the album.