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The sound of business: Studio 330, a hidden gem

Door County recording studio doubles as musical oasis for GRAMMY nominee

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December 13, 2023

STURGEON BAY – The sound of a bow hitting vintage strings often dances through the recording rooms of Studio 330 in Sturgeon Bay as Hans Christian plays a 200-year-old restored cello he calls “Gypsy.”

The GRAMMY® nominee and acclaimed musician, who has showcased his works as a cellist and multi-instrumentalist for decades, merged his love of music into a passion for business with the opening of Studio 330.

Tucked in along 3rd Avenue in Sturgeon Bay, Christian’s recording studio is housed in a historic home built in the late 1860s.

The building – which is now filled with multiple recording booths and practice areas, as well as a giant soundboard that takes up the width of the room and a collection of electric guitars lining the walls – is where Christian produces his work and helps others to craft theirs.

The large recording room is about 550 square feet??, while the smaller recording room is approximately 180 square feet.

Studio 330 also has a guest lounge and a loading ramp.

Music meets business 
Christian, who immigrated to the United States from Germany as a young adult, said he was inspired to open Studio 330 – which is named after its address – in Sturgeon Bay after moving to Door County in 2008.

Before moving to Wisconsin, however, he had owned his first studio in San Francisco, California, a venture he nurtured since 1989.

“I always had a studio for my own musical works and musical clients,” he said. “The current building on 3rd Avenue provided all the space that I needed to build a good facility.”

Christian said friends inspired him to make his cross-country move to the peninsula after visiting the area many times.

Quickly finding a home that could double as studio space, complete with views of Lake Michigan, Christian made the leap.

Within the studio, Christian said not only does he produce and record his string music, but he assists other artists with mastering, editing and music composition, and is also set up for voiceover work that is used for commercials, radio, TV and streaming.

A strongly rooted foundation
Christian, who has spent years perfecting his work, said his passion for business and strong work ethic has worked hand-in-hand with his music career.

“To be a musician is to be a business entity,” he said. “Thankfully, I have a skill set that allows me to be an engineer, producer, editor, bookkeeper and musician.”

Musician Hans Christian – a recent GRAMMY nominee and native of Germany – opened Studio 330 in 2008 after moving to Door County. Jennifer Much Photo

These skills, Christian said, are needed to function in the business world as a musician. He said he also credits his upbringing as a backbone to his success – noting that it filters through to his music.

“I grew up in Germany and was instilled with a sense of accountability and responsibility,” he said. “If I say I do something, then I will do it, on time and on or under budget.”

Christian said he has worked with many well-known individuals in the music industry, including members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gene Clarke, Billy Idol, Daniel Lanois and Peter Case.

“I am classically trained on cello, have rocked the stages as a bassist with bigwigs and dove deeply into Indian and electronic music,” he said. 

Christian said he believes “loving it all” helps him to maintain a positive balance between ownership and recording music. 

“I’m fairly well-diversified in musical styles, which is important for the roles that I play,” he said.

Hitting all the right notes
On any typical day, Christian said he juggles multiple endeavors at all times.

“Besides running sessions and corresponding with other musicians, I also do all the promotional work around the studio,” he said, “I also take time to think, to reflect on what’s next and continue to make good choices.”

Such business decisions, Christian said, have also led to advancements around Studio 330.

“I decided to make a big investment in a technical upgrade by installing a high-end mixing board in the studio to establish Studio 330 as a top-level recording facility,” he said.

Christian said the changes took several years of research, and though it was a gradual process, he feels the decision was a smart business move.

“Studio 330 is the best recording facility in Northeast Wisconsin, and it serves as a hub for independent musicians and also as a learning facility,” he said.

Christian said he also enjoys enlisting his time and talents to work with a variety of clients.

The walls of Studio 330’s recording space are lined with electric guitars. Jennifer Much Photo

“I have been recording more and more long-distance voice-over projects for commercial clients,” he said. “We have a good amount of quality voice actors in the county, and they are glad to use our studio to do a voiceover job without having to travel.”

For more information on Studio 330, visit

An incredible honor
On a personal level, Christian’s musical talents have recently been on display, earning him a GRAMMY nomination for Best Album in the New Age/Ambient/Chant category. 

Christian said his album, “Ocean Dreaming Ocean” – which features naturally flowing soundscapes intended for deep reflection – was done in collaboration with fellow cellist, David Darling.

The collaboration, he said, was done in a rather unique way, considering Darling – a GRAMMY Award-winning cellist and composer – passed away in 2021.

Christian said Darling’s long-time producer Mickey Houlihan offered him the opportunity to work on some of Darling’s unfinished pieces. 

“We had never met in person before, but I said yes immediately,” Christian said.

He said the nomination was “pretty fantastic,” and is looking forward to flying out to California for the award show in February.

In addition to the GRAMMY award-winning project, Christian said he is also working on a variety of other projects. 

“I am teaching Audio Engineering at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, doing front-of-house sound at the Community Auditorium in Fish Creek and I’m working on my 23rd album of original music. All in all, I have probably worked on about 200 projects.”

And Christian said he’s still not done yet and has even more projects in the works.

“I am thinking of offering new courses in audio recording at my studio,” he said. 

Classes, Christian said, will be offered at different levels so beginning home studio owners can learn the basics and others can further continue to improve their music.

“More advanced musicians can augment their skills and bring their projects here to finish, or to track while advancing their skills,” he said.

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