Nick Baumhardt first tried his hand at recording at the age of 14, using a four-track tape recorder in his Springfield, Illinois bedroom. By the age of 16, he’d already recorded several local bands at a studio whose owner taught him the basics of production and engineering. This early experience spurred Baumhardt to study music business with a recording technology emphasis at Belmont University before working at Chicago Recording Company.
Baumhardt’s experience surpasses simply a studio focus; he’s also toured as a guitarist in a variety of bands — Thousand Foot Krutch, Superchick and Class of ‘98 — and written songs with Christian and country artists including Britt Nicole. At the same time, he produced and engineered records for bands Audio Adrenaline and Manic Drive, honing his studio skills.
“That sort of brought me to Plaid Flag...I’ve been here ever since it started, when one of the guys who worked here brought me in to do the demos,” said Baumhardt.
Though he worked mostly with Christian artists prior to his time at Plaid Flag, Baumhardt’s musical taste covers a wide range of genres. He has production credits with huge country acts including Chris Young and the Swon Brothers. But he gets most excited about the bands that influenced him growing up, most notably, Jimmy Eat World.
“They’re my favorite band, without question,” he said of the ‘90s pop punk band.
At Plaid Flag, Baumhardt works as the audio engineer and studio manager. In addition to making sure the recording process goes smoothly for artists, Baumhardt serves as an in-house multi-instrumentalist, using his touring experience to provide a fuller sound for artists in the early stage of production.
“Between me and the songwriter, we can usually play all the instruments and do it all ourselves,” said Baumhardt.
Baumhardt’s skill set makes him a triple-threat in the studio, allowing him to help write, play and produce tracks that are then placed with big name artists.
“My work is like a looking glass that allows me to clearly see what the writer intended,” said Baumhardt. “They should be able to hear something in their head, and it’s my job to make that happen.”