Peter Kirk Hopper is the Chief Operating Engineer at Sprig Studios, and the Depauville Campus Pastor for New Life. He has over 56 years in the professional recording industry with thousands of albums and multiple signature studio designs to his credit—Sprig Studios being his 6th. He is a member of the prestigious Audio Engineering Society, and one of the few remaining engineers who’ve mastered and still operate in both analog and digital recording disciplines.
Email: email Peter
Record producer and recording engineer Peter Kirk Hopper was born and raised in northern New Jersey on the outskirts of New York City. Of native Dutch and English ancestry, the only son of a US Marine Corps father and a musical mother, he learned how to use a microphone and to operate and maintain a small 1/4” reel to reel magnetic tape recorder that his parents gave him when he was a small boy. He loved music, AM radio, 45 RPM records, and playing piano and accordion.
And then, at the age of nine, he played accordion and piano on his first recording session in a professional studio.
The recording wasn’t very good, but that life changing experience was compelling, and caused him to become captivated by the whole process of recording sounds. Every kind of sound. Recording the music he loved, and doing it over and over with other musicians whom he also loved and admired, became a life long passion which led to a career in sound recording industry.
He spent his high school years playing drums and singing for various New York City rock-n-roll, dance, and bar bands, performing countless gigs fighting to “make it big” in the music business. The countless rehearsals helped Peter learn to use the recording arts as a powerful presentation tool.
Self-taught as both a drummer and as an audio engineer, Peter learned the art of professional record production by looking over the shoulders of the greatest practicing recording engineers and producers of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s in Manhattan. It was there in the studio with some of the world’s greatest audio artisans that he felt most at home.
His enthusiasm opened many doors, often working as a session player for hire on scores of demos, commercials, motion picture film scores, and foley soundtracks. Eventually, he was successfully signed to numerous major record labels, tracking his own songs in the most famous Manhattan recording studios, including RCA, Mercury, Epic and Columbia Records, and all this during what we now reverently call “The Golden Age of Recording.”
By the time he had graduated from high school, Peter was engineering professionally in studios, and had become fully knowledgeable of the many disciplines of studio life and etiquette, microphone techniques, equipment operations and maintenance, mastering the modern recording methods of the day. Most importantly, he was learning how to work with many different artists and how to best support and serve their musical creative needs in the studio environment.
During his college years, he practiced diligently to become a more skillful musician and songwriter. He also helped produce records in the downtown New York City studios of the larger record companies, ever mindful of the shadow of the awe inspiring Brill Building, one of the great industry Meccas in the art of song craft and music publishing.
In his twenties and thirties, he also became heavily involved in commercial radio broadcasting, finally producing an award winning three hour talk and music program, syndicated on over 250 radio stations around the world. He also became a member of the prestigious Audio Engineering Society.
From then until now, Peter has devoted himself to becoming a recording industry and communications specialist, whose life’s work has been producing, engineering, and mixing for stage and studio, and mastering albums of nearly every genre. He’s released thousands of commercially successful recordings to a worldwide audience.
As a recording studio designer, owner, and operator, his expertise in the field of sound capturing has taken him far and wide, producing on-location foreign language records, and designing six signature studios from the ground up. He’s worked alongside some of the worlds most gifted singers, musicians, songwriters and audio professionals in studios, concert halls, and large arenas.
Currently, Peter is the Chief Operating Engineer at the new Sprig Studios facility which he designed and constructed with his son, Christopher Hopper, in Watertown, New York. The year 2015 marks Peter’s 56th year working in the recording arts and sciences.