Jon Chin - Mixin’ it Down

You just got done listening to your favorite local band’s CD. Open the sleeve to the credits and chances are it will read: “Recorded at Workbook Studio – Columbus, OH.”

Jon Chin, along with partner Neil Schmidt, began Workbook Studio in 1997 in an apartment on the Ohio State University campus. They quickly became “the hot spot” for local recording artists. Because Workbook used the latest digital recording equipment in conjunction with old-school analog tapes, business picked up and the duo moved the studio to a warehouse near downtown.

As well as being a top-notch recording guru, Chin has been the voice and guitar of the well-respected Columbus group, Pretty Mighty Mighty, whom you can hear everywhere from CD101 to Abercrombie & Fitch ads. Musically, Chin has enough melodic sensibility and dynamics to keep you interested in a song from start to finish. His vocals are like the man himself: soft spoken, but always straightforward and honest. “When things are grooving, it’s always fun,” he says of being both behind and in front of the recording console.

Like all successful people in the music industry, Chin is a busy worker bee. “I’m the tour manager and sound engineer for The Sun (a Columbus group who recorded with him and is now signed to Warner Brothers Records),” he says, “but I also just released my own record, I Can’t Believe You Live Like That. I put together a band after recording my album to do a few shows a month. We’re called 1803.”

Though all this is mind boggling, it’s one of Chin’s most recent endeavors that drop jaws. “During our Workbook Studio 25-Hour Grand Prix, we recorded 25 bands in 25 continuous hours,” he says. “Everyone showed up. It was great!” At this rate, Chin will have to clone himself just to keep up with his own schedule.

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