Seeing Sound

The Boy Who Sees Sound

"You changed the way I hear orchestral music."
Emma Dayhuff, Recording Engineer, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra 

"The sound is glorious, and I feel as if you absolutely understood the interpretation I was aiming for. Listening to it really brought me to tears.”
JoAnn Falletta, Music Director, Virginia Symphony Orchestra

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Able to see sound, recording engineer Christian Amonson has initiated a radical shift in the way that music is recorded and mixed. Christian is not synesthestic, but instead has the ability to echolocate sounds. He literally sees what the recording shows: the location of the instruments, the size of the space, the location of the walls, and the location of the mics. By integrating all the sonic cues that our ears want and expect to hear, Christian delivers a new level of realism/idealism and musicality. His first orchestral recording was described as “The best quality yet.” (Fairfax Symphony Orchestra)

He studied music composition before joining the Classical Music Library Online, where he reviewed and cataloged thousands of recordings from orchestras around world. The position transformed his ears and gave him a vision for what is possible, both in life and in music.

Christian won his first full-season recording contract at age 20, selected after Virginia's only fully-professional vocal ensemble auditioned the most experienced classical engineers in the mid-Atlantic. He received his first major label credit at 21 for Bruce Hornsby’s album, Elevate. (Christian snuck into his concert and took photos, which were later included in the album….) At 26, Christian recorded for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with John Williams. At 27, Christian participated in a nation-wide audition and was selected to serve as Recording Engineer for "The President's Own" United States Marine Band in Washington DC.

Now residing in Los Angeles, Christian records film scores and travels frequently for recordings for groups like Chicago, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, National Music Festival, Mostly Modern Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, and others.  His work has been featured by NPR, the BBC, Time Magazine, the Kennedy Center, et al. International clients include the Venice Baroque Orchestra (Italy), Stradivari Quartett (Germany), Jesus College Cambridge (UK), Filharmonia Opolska (Poland), and others.

Christian owns Arts Laureate, a production house specializing in audio, video, and photos for classical artists and ensembles. He actively auditions, recruits, and mentors engineers, and he also serves as a resource to artists and engineers in the classical community. In 2019, he presented “The Fundamentals of Orchestral Recording” at the League of American Orchestra’s national conference.


Surround Sound Recording (incl. Ambisonics and Dolby Atmos)
Recording and Mixing for Broadcast
Live Sound Mixing for Classical Music
Project Management (incl. video direction and production)

Christian Amonson at Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios, London


Disney Hall, Los Angeles


“The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band

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Budapest Scoring Orchestra

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The Bridge, Los Angeles


Recording Sessions
Project Management

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