Steve Millikan, Music Producer & Arranger for the Wedding Music Project

Since about 1980 I’ve been a music producer, arranger, songwriter, orchestrator, studio keyboardist, worship leader, consultant, and recording engineer. I’ve developed an arsenal of creative tools, or perhaps weapons, that are at my disposal during creative moments with and for artists and companies locally, around the country and occasionally the world, helping write, arrange, refine, and craft music of all sorts.

My personal website, stevemillikan.com, is currently in it’s infancy – you won’t find any music yet; I’ve just starting blogging and writing articles to get myself on the map and gain credibility with Google and the other search engines. There are a handful of other websites in addition to Wedding Music Project that have been created or planned. You’ll find lullabies I’ve arranged at Baby Lullaby Download Favorites and Baby Lullaby Music. I’m also working toward releasing some Spanish language lullabies with a friend who grew up in Argentina at cancionesdecuna.net

My recording studio resembles what might have been called a “project” studio back in the day, the idea being that it isn’t a typical commercial facility from 25 years ago – no office personnel, manager, or staff engineers, and the space is somewhat limited – no choirs or large ensembles will be recorded, at least not without setting up a mic in our barn or side yard.

I say ‘back in the day’ because over the last 25+ years the line between home or “project” studios and “traditional” studios has virtually disappeared. This is due almost entirely to rapid advances in the technology available to the average person who has even a passing interest in recording his/her music at very affordable prices, putting pressure on the larger commercial studios. It was and still is the case that there are a plethora of smaller studios with inferior recording gear and recording engineers and producers with questionable skills; and as such, reputable commercial studios like Aire Born Studios in Indianapolis, Gaither Studios, and Studio D near Alexandria, Indiana, offer a degree of safety for the uninitiated neophytes, but it was (and is) still quite possible to get ripped off if an artist happens to land at the wrong facility.

My producing and arranging skills have been employed in a wide variety of styles, and by a diverse collection of solo artists, ensembles, bands, and music companies. As of this writing, current projects include a Broadway stage play in the act of creation with an author, attorney, and songwriter from Indianapolis, Dane Starbuck; a second project for John Langford and Rachel Young from Central Indiana, ongoing content creation for the Wedding Music Project, including a solo album for Tobin Wingard, wizard of all instruments flutey, pipey, harmonica-l, and bag-pipish. Add to that a smattering of other creative jobs and playing rhythm sessions and orchestra dates at various central Indiana studios, and I’m keeping out of trouble. I’ve produced and facilitated several recordings for the Belarusian band New Jerusalem, their music ranging from Messianic to seriously energetic band tunes; they won album of the year awhile back in Belarus – not in the “christian” music category – just in “music.” They’re really quite good. Now they’re asking me to return to Belarus to produce a live recording with the band accompanied by the Minsk Philharmonic. That would be seriously tripping….

Song help is one of my strong suits at the producing desk, having developed an instinctive feel for all things songwriting related, and especially what it takes to make a good song better; I have a lot of experience with seasoned songwriters who have helped me learn the craft over the years. As well, I have the tools at my disposal to make top notch recordings – a Pro Tools HD2 Accel studio with a very nice signal chain, Mytek for ADC (A/D conversion). I’ve landed on the Avalon 737 for pre-amp and compressor combo much of the time, though I rarely use the EQ when recording. Also I have a Neve, a good choice when we need a little more warmth. My primary computer is a Mac; I have a land based PC and an additional laptop (i7 quad core, 8GB, 1TB) that was just added for streaming samples into the mothership. I’ve acquired some of the best orchestral samples available (primarily Vienna Instruments Libraries and EastWest Quantum Leap Platinum), and have a high comfort level with a workstation that affords a great deal of flexibility and creative latitude.

A quick confession: the list below started out as a short list of artists I’ve worked with over the years. Jotting down some names, it occurred to me that I’ve never made a comprehensive list of all those artists. So I started to dig a bit deeper, and though this list is probably less than half complete, it’s the first of it’s kind I’ve attempted to compile.

If I’ve produced for you and you don’t find yourself on this list, I want to know about it – there are dozens, probably more than a hundred of you that should also be included; I remember some of you by first name only, or face, or some interesting studio experience…

Over the years I’ve produced songs or albums (or solos) for  Nancy Honeytree Miller, Shannon Wexelberg, Damaris Carbaugh, Joni Earickson Tada, Aaron Wilburn, Rhett Palmer, Ray Boltz, Anabel Andres, Joseph Lamm, Brent Henderson, Brian Felten, Alicia Williamson, David Robertson, Corey Emerson, New Jerusalem from Belarus (Novi Iersualem or Novi J), Elsahd Babakhanov, Igor Kopylov, Igor Sorokin, Sasha Patlis, Troye Kinnett, Sasha Manetski, Vadim Randy J. Bouwer, Amy Rouse, Phil Madeira, Charles Billingsley, Amy and Patrick Fata, Deb Sewell, Eric Anderson, College Park Church praise band and choir, Way of Life Trio and Tony Brown, Jane Johannson Knoedler, Jill Mazellan, Kenny Warthan, Lana Ranahan, Larry Theiss, Mark Hall, Bill Price, Kerwin Kaufman, Olivia Kah, Priscilla Engle, The Family Von Millikan, Sarah Scheiber, Shawn Butz, Larry Dameron, Selah, John Dinwiddie, Rod Robison, David C. Reddick, Phil Keaggy, Rick Swineford, Paul Langford, Sojourn, Raymond Moore, Fred Plassman, Mark Rasko, Randy MacIntosh, Shannon Forsell, Dane Starbuck, Joe Rushton, Nathan Salsbery, Marcia Minton Kloote, Paula Davis Stitt, Debbie Banks, Rick Webb, the Rick Webb Trio, Sara Schieber, Kraig Dodge, Frank and Debbie Hargreaves, The Bob Miller Family, Samuel Lawton, Third Row Boys, Sally Fierce, Rex Byers, The Singing Honeybees, Aaron Baker, Mark Douthit, Dee and Deb Jackson, Eric Darken, Leighton Bittinger, Steve Adams, Steve Keller, Roy Blatz, Waymond Howard, Brandon Page, Terry and Sue Turner, Jim Farrelly, Bret Cook, One, Dan Meyer, Brian McSee, Corey Emerson Niemchick, Chris and Diane Machen, Paul Marino, Cornelius VanderKampenCoopenDunkin, Mike Eldred, Bob Carslisle, Steve Brewster, Joshua, Mark Ivey, Gary Lunn, Guy Penrod, Jerry McPherson, Jackie Street, Rob Hannus, Baptist Joe and the SnakeHandlers, Chris Lieber, Cliff Richey, Deborah Dengler Hargreaves, Geoffrey Walker, John E. Langford, Krystal Peterson, Randy Melson, Jane and Michael Banks, Rachel Young, Heather Lake Bays, Brynne Stebbe, Jackie Barker, Covenant, Jay Rouse, Randy Vader, Judy Snider Pfanz, Kara Day Spurlock, Karen Riegler, Kenny Warthan, D.J. Gage, Jennie Daniel Pitney, Kristen Zimmann, Robyn Zimmann, Sharon Wilson, Fritz Minnick, Nancy Whitesell, Jamie Rankin, Lawrence Chewning, Karen Corlew, Luke Millikan, Marshall Hall, Shelley Leach Harris, Krystal Harris, Melissa Schott, Nancy L. Wood, Wyatt Watkins, Nathan Wainwright, Olivia Vohwinkel, Rob Helton, Vadim Kalatsey, Vernon Piercey, William D. Price, Greg Long, Ron and Carolyn, Michael Patty, Craig Patty, All American Gospel Singing Brotherhood of Quartet Crooners, David Robertson, Dennis McCafferty, John Higgins, Paul Lavender, Colette Abel, Fred Ehnes, Heather Lake Bays, Rusty Vance, Oksana Pankyeyev, Ken Knowles, Tobin Wingard, Eric Linerode, Sandy Williams, Carolyn Rushton, Bob Eichorn, Emily Millikan, Elizabeth Millikan,  Grace Morgan, Vicki Privett, Tony Refeitt, The Beech Grove Benedictines, Marlene Schulteiss, Thomas Harvey, Frank and Dorothy Underwood, Brian MacEachern, Cliff Ritchie, Jeff Conrad, Jon Owens, Debbie Donough, Paul and Leslie Turner, Calvin Hunt, Sue Leonard, Melody Tunney, His Instrument, Indiana Wesleyan University, Melissa Etnyre, Bob Wood, Jerroll Lehman, Sharon and Tom Mindock & His Own, Jeri Mayes, Andrea Pulice, Jodi Harvey, Christian Celebration Center Choir, Midland Michigan, Emily Gosser, Rick Hunt, Emily Crocker, Hal Leonard Publications, Amy Kniffen, Steve Green, Jon Herington, Rex Thomas, Steve Dokken, Bill Gaither Studios, Suzanne Farley, Randy Melson, Dane Clark, Dann Huff, Mark Hammond, Sharon Gentry, Jon Hammond, Lisa Jennings, Sandy Thompson, Shawn Huck, Mark Baldwin, Luke Millikan, Living Truth, Michael Vasey, Committed,  Tom Hemby,  Новый Иерусалим, Joe Hogue, Phyllis Webb, Anne Reynolds, Marty McCall, Bonnie Keen, Sandy Thompson, Jim Thompson, William Dempsey, The Aire Born Group, Bev Darnall, Bob and Becky Brunton, Robyn Sonneveldt, Voices of Victory, Tom Watkins, The Barn, Paula Wentworth, Living Word, Cindy Morgan, Ron and Linda Austin, Joyful Noise, Jeff Conrad, Derek Wilson, Bobby Wood, The Revelations, Barb Kaufman, HisTones, John E. Langford, Marabeth Jordan, Studio D Recordings, Don and Darla Anderson, Cozette Byrd, Screaming Yellow Zonker Girls, Theresa Benge, Bobby Fisher, Kings Kids, The Gospel Tones, Mindy Lerch, Zionsville Voices of Praise, Krystal Peterson, Day of Discovery Singers, Margaret Jones, Melissa Burdett, Frank Glover, Mark Pay, The Carter Family, Mary Courtney, Jane Rivar, Jesse Millikan, Kelli Reisen, Alicia, Anabel Andres, Darla Gray, Philip Palermo, Sherban Lupu, Marjorie Hanna, Josh, Harold Kronemeyer, Cindy Powell, Marsha Powell, the Underwood Family, Linda Underwood, Anne Kellogg Ciepluch.

Short list of people and groups I’d like to produce: The Classics quartet: Lyle Anderson, Steve Lantz, Tim Kaufman, Daniel Bergen, Steve Millikan (yes, I can count). Shelley Harris (perhaps in conjunction with concerts in Ukraine – it could happen soon), Sandy Williams (solo project), and some other great area singers I don’t yet know well enough to put on my list.

Websites to be launched in the next year if all goes as planned, which it won’t: cancionesdecuna.net, musicforsleeping.net, tiredeyeslullabies.com, babylullabymusic.net, zoowest.net, and possibly brahmslullaby.net.
Steve Millikan
Steve Millikan, author of this article, has just added a couple more  gratuitous uses of the name Steve Millikan, if you take the trouble to read this. Lookout facebook and 123 people dot com…victory will be ours.


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