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How did you get into this business
Old 3rd July 2002
mwagener's Avatar
🎧 15 years
How did you get into this business

Let's have a little history lesson: How did you get into this business?

At some point in my life I realised that I my two favorite things were music and electronics and that it would be wonderful to make a living by putting those two together. I took a job in a small (3 people) equipment manufacturing company, building tube guitar amps and 4x12 cabinets and later mixing boards and studio equipment. We had a little studio where we could demo our equipment and I realised that working with the stuff was way cooler than building it. So I opened my first studio in Hamburg Gemany, oddly enough, called Tennessee Studio, with a Soundworkshop console, Studer 2" 16 track and Altec 604 speakers. Luckily, with all that unbooked time on my hands (and with the help of a band that was rehearsing next door), I had a lot of opportunity to learn about studio equipment and recording. After engineering a few projects I got to work as an engineer with Dokken on their first album. They "elevated" me form engineer to producer after a few days of total chaos. They had brought their US strobe tuners, which ran on 60 HZ, but in Germany we have 50 Hz mains power, so everything was horridly out of tune. Guess I got lucky that way.heh

What's your story?
Old 3rd July 2002
Gear Maniac
stedel's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Two words - Ronnie Spector.

I come from a UK "working class" background. My Aunt Doris was fairly typical of the people I grew up with. In her "Coronation Street" terrace house, the front room was where she kept all her "good" furniture.
Every bit of furniture in the room was covered with sheets of protective plastic - even the carpet. The room was to be used only for "special occasions".
When I was 5 years old her husband, (my Uncle Len) died. All the family went to her house after the funeral..but we were all put in the kitchen. Nobody was allowed in the "special" room. Not even the death of her husband was "special" enough to warrent taking the plastic off the "bought new" never been sat on lounge.

I was sitting under the table drawing. The radio was on and Please Please Me by the Beatles came on.
I was totally hooked. Then I saw "The Ronnettes" on BBC's Top Of The Pops. I was..what, 6 years old?
But the sight of Ronnie Spector in a silver sequined dress...heaven on a stick (as they say). Because my family was Catholic the idea of heaven was a very positive one for me. That and Phil Spector's production - sounding like a "wall of sound" - even on our crappy Black and White TV.

Finally, when I got older, I had the Eric Burdon experience - "We've gotta get out of this place".
To do that meant either Football/Soccer or playing the guitar.

My school report card for sport (I still remember it) said "shows occasional flashes of brilliance, but on the whole does not seem interested"...they were right. My father did not like the idea of long haired musicians, so at 16, stranded in Australia on a migrant hostel, I grabbed my cheap nylon accoustic that I'd bought in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands on the way over to Australia, and I hit the road......
still travellin'........
"Life is a highway, I'm gonna ride it...."

Kind regards

BTW it's 7.00am here, I hope you're all sleeping well..pleasant dreams... heh
Old 3rd July 2002
I entered a phase as an a ex punk guitarist / wannabe rock star in the early 80's where I had a strangely relaxed opinion of my guitar gathering dust under a bed, unplayed for a year or two. At that time I used to visit a friend doing an internship at a studio.

Sitting in on one of my friends early engineering sessions, (a loose, in house project) I saw the light!

My friend sang / hummed a melody to a session keyboard player who after first checking the notes, recorded the part. My engineer chum played it back..

I thought, now... THAT - is - COOL!

Age 22 I suddenly knew what "I wanted to do for a living"

Record producer.

I realized that while enjoying music I often focused in on counterpoint melody, percussion, all the extras around a straight 'band only' recording. Along with my Fathers varied musical taste that influenced me, I have to attribute Jimmy Miller's production around the Stones as a key factor or 'hook' to get into the business. I was obsessed with the Stones records he did.

So after a lot of begging, I got a job as a teaboy / gopher at the same studio and stayed there for 5-6 years untill going freelance. Just as I was about to leave one time, they bought an old second hand SSL. So I stuck around to learn it. It was an SSL B series, the "Phill Collins drum sound desk", bought from the Townhouse Studio.
Old 3rd July 2002
Gear Head
ddavid's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan...that was it...
bought a guitar and a real small reel to reel recorder (kind with the small reels) and a little round microphone and away we went.
Old 5th July 2002
Gear Maniac
stedel's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by Jules

I realized that while enjoying music I often focused in on counterpoint melody, percussion, all the extras around a straight 'band only' recording. Along with my Fathers varied musical taste that influenced me, I have to attribute Jimmy Miller's production around the Stones as a key factor or 'hook' to get into the business. I was obsessed with the Stones records he did.

Hey! Shake Your Hips Sweet Virginia Let it Loose Julian you Soul Survivor!!! Tumbling Dice? The world's most underated song. Yep me too...started a bit earlier...

The Beatles.
Ronnie Spector
And just under 3 minutes of adrenelin the Rolling Stones "Not Fade Away"
Old 6th July 2002
Lives for gear
e-cue's Avatar
🎧 15 years
My story: Played drums since age of 7. Did first session musican gig at 13. Started engineering (if you can call it that) by bouncing back and forth between 2 boomboxes. Played in every kind of band you could imagine (Indie rock, ska, punk, rockabilly, reggae, surf rock, industrial, hiphop, bluegrass, etc) Went to b.s. audio school to learn the basics. Moved to L.A. and got a runner gig at a 'big time' studio. Learned everything I could while polishing the hell out of toliets. Moved up to assisting in about half a year. Began tracking, and eventually moved into only mixing. Now, I usually split tracking & mixing 50/50.
Old 6th July 2002
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
always wanted to write

at 27, realised, i wanted to write songs more than anything else

at 28, realised, i could produce the songs myself, if i tried

at 35 (now), produced first record (5 song ep) from start to finish at home

from now, will work on a long player

then, we'll see
Old 7th July 2002
Lives for gear
Steve Smith's Avatar
🎧 15 years
In High School, I was way to ****ty a giutar player, so I became bassist.. then I realized i sucked at that too, so i started running live sound.. first show i did, I was like WOW this is a blast!

Recording came later when A good buddy ( producer) of mine had me do some recording work for him ( a gig I was way not ready for, but hey learning in hyper speed is cool too....).. what sealed the deal actually was his son, Dylan, who is mentally handicapped. He wouldn't come when you said his name, and for intensive purposes there was no way to "reach" him 90% of the time. Watching him walk over to the stereo and put his hands on the speaker cones and stand there still for an hour totally into the music was one of the most intense experences of my life.
Old 7th July 2002
BevvyB's Avatar
🎧 15 years
We only had two records in the house and my mother hated pop music, so I got to know West Side Story and Stravinsky's The Rite Of Spring very well before I was 6, as well as bashing out notes on a small fan-driven organ.

I didn't really hear a huge amount of pop until a change of schools at age 9 introduced me to the likes of Blondie and ELO. (ha ha) At this point I started wondering what an engineer was, and what did a Mellotron look like?

Another change of schools age 14 and I discovered computers (Tandy TRS-80) Started programming, fell in love with the whole idea.

Age 15 discovered that guitars were really good loud. Bought one.

At A (16-17)level college they had a 4 track, a digital delay and a modular ancient synth. Made wierd electronic ramblings. Also as I was also doing computers along with music I started making computers make beeps and music they weren't intended for.

Went to Royal Academy age 19 thinking I was going to be a full-on classical music kind of guy. (doing a degree in classcial composition)

Got kicked out for not going within one year. It sucked and so did everyone there. Started playing more jazz.

Stayed in London, bought a D-50 and joined 3 bands as keyboard player. 'Unlearnt' everything and realised that people who couldn't read notes could play pretty good too (well, often)

THAT was the beginning of realising that there was more to making a demo than meets the eye...then my cousin got a job with a major London music hire company and we spent a whole year going through every piece of equipment there was.

Computers had really started influencing everything by this point and that computer knowhow really came off when sequencing was just getting serious.

That bit was 12 years ago.

I always knew I was going to do music, but if you'd have told me what and how exactly when I was younger i would never have believed it.
Old 9th July 2002
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I've been a player since I was three. My Dad's uncle was a drummer and he started me with stick and a practice pad and after that there was no looking back!

My brother borrowed a friends 4-track and we mad a record over Thanksgiving break of my Freshman year of College (I was a music major). After that I was really hooked on recording, though I didn't have much time to do it and the studio at the school never worked right.

I continued to play and goof on the 4-track. I recorded as a player with some bands I was in and just "absorbed" what went down.

A band I was in was recording and the studio owner mentioned he was looking for somebody to run the (very part-time) studio. I jumped at the chance.

Almost six years later I just bought, renamed and moved the studio and am embarking on the "next step..."
Old 9th July 2002
Lives for gear
Kris's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
My story (the extremely condensed version)

Been an aspiring musician since the trombone at 4th grade... My Grandpa always inspired me by his harmonica playing... Somehow he could play a little one with no hands, just lips!

Picked up the guitar in Hi Schl jazz band and been giging ever since...

At my first studio session to mix down a live festival show, the engineer flew a few tracks from ADATs into ProTools III to do some quick edits... I was amazed and hooked...

Got my degree in Computer Science from FSU and what better way to apply my degree to my love of music than to max out 10 credit cards and get a ProTools rig and a bunch of gear...

I have continuously upgraded my gear and interned on forums like these, mainly DUC and Musicplayer. 4 yrs later, I've done a bunch of local projects, worked on a big label project (gospel), did some work in some "big" studios, and am FINALLY weeks away from finishing my OWN project...

I'm hoping that this will take me to the next level in my engineering career as it is my best work to date!

Soon to be moving to the big city to work with the Big Dogs...
Old 10th July 2002
Lives for gear
sonic dogg's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Started loving the textures and arrangements of music very early due to my Dads huge classical collection and also huge Frank Sinatra collection...played clarinet in jr. high but switched to tuba cause there was only two of em...got a bass guitar when i was 12...wanked out stuff with the kids in the neighborhood....went to college and quit when i joined a working band...we played cream, mountain, zep, the "heavy" band in the area...got into a couple of recording sessions doing radio commercials and learned that bass players dont need to play like jack bruce on every song...got a partt-time job working for a medium sized p.a. company and did a lot of monitor mixes...when roy clark tells you as hes coming off stage after knockin down the house that the monitors were as good as hes heard you start to think theres something happening...did sessions for a while..nothing major..demos for singers..radio spots...small independant studio stuff...played in a LOT of original bands and made some demos here and there...always thought that i could make it 'sound' better...had a partner in a 16 trk and did lots of young band demos...now its just me and my soundcraft at home in the basement knocking out mixes for my band and our tunes....maybe theresa good one in there! we'll see....
Old 11th July 2002
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I was determined to become a performing musician / percussionist .... at some point added a sampler (akai S900 and an atari with pro 24 sequencer to my live setup and a roland octapad to trigger sequences and samples.

from there on it has gone realy fast .... started recording my own samples ....

next thing I found my self sitting behind a mixing desk in a small demo studio and then one day the engineer asked me if I wanted to try to do a mix ........ I said sure ... the mix sucked but I wanted to know why .... so I watched him do the mix .... and another and kept going back to that same small demo studio in my free time ...

became an addiction ..... started selling my percussion stuff to buy my first multitrack .... an akai DR4 .... held on to it for 3 days and traded it in for a second hand tascam 16 track ....

my first "real" mixer was a sountracks 8 bus

got hooked on digidesign through session 8 (for PC btw because I couldn't afford a mac) and that's it realy ..... reached the point of no return and became a proud gearslut
Old 8th July 2006 | Show parent
Gear Addict
Chris G's Avatar
🎧 15 years
my dad was in radio since he was 16, and a studio engineer in his late teens and early 20s for people like James Brown, Tina Turner, Alicia Bridges, Lynyrd Skynyrd, to name a few. He started Crawford Communications in Atlanta with Jessy Crawford when i was a little kid, and i spent most if my days running around with my GI Joe toys finding battle gounds under giant Neve consoles and behind rackbays.

By the time i put together that i was watching famous bands record and taking naps in control room couches next to famous bands and producers, i thought this is what all kids did. I didn't know any different. I lived with my mom and hung out with my dad.

when i first heard a Roland TR 808... i was in love. So at around 6 or 7 I was tinkering around making beats and syncing them up with keys. I've loved the electronic side of music ever since.

I tried to take my life in other directions other than music, but God had a different plan. I started DJ'ng around the country at about 21 years old, collecting gear for my personal studio, put out and indie alblum, did some remixes..... now..... my wife and I just bought an already existing pro studio and we are having a PT HD rig installed and the patchbays wired and pulling together all the expert advice my dad can give to open up a commercial post and music studio.... once you get bit by that studio and music bug, you will never never get rid of it. heh
Old 8th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
I don't even think I could draw a map. I was on my way to some sort of normal life and something went terribly, terribly wrong.
Old 8th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
heyman's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
1)Self taught guitar at age 14- picked up dad's 1955 Gibson L50 guitar he had lying away in its case. Grew up on steady diet of Kiss. Went back and litenened to Sabbath and all the greats.

2)Signed 3 album record deal with my original band in 1996 and got to tour around the country. Opened for bands like Sevendust, Dinosaur Jr, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Public Enemy....etc

3) Had horrible recording experiences- Rushed in and out of studios and never had a final say in what we wanted the albums to sound like.

4)Even worse experience with Record Label (spent 3 months working with a Entertainment lawyer, so we didnt get screwed) - Guess what - still got screwed.

5) Band ego's.... Finding out that your "friend" that you spent 6 years in a band with tries to get you kicked out of the band for standing up to the recording company who was bending us over royally. Apparently, he liked being their bitch..

6) Learning that I cant live without music and I love to work with people without dealing with all the other bull**** that comes with it..

Thats what got me here...
Old 8th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
adrianex's Avatar
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Always played with bands at high school, and we cut demos everytime we can and I loved being in the studio

After graduating from High school, I came to the states as a Exchange student and met an Audio engineer from CBS NYC that also had his own Recording studio, so everytime I had I would go with him to CBS and to his studio to learn as much as possible.

When I went back to Venezuela I started going to a recording school there and also working as a intern on any company that would take me. I did everything. worked as a stage manager for a P.A company. I worked in a voice over studio where we did transalation for WB cartoon (Pinky and teh Brain, Superman, Batman). At the same time worked as a freelance for a jungle studio.

Then landed my current job, I started as engineer for the recording studio in Venezuela, but then my boss open a small Audiovisual company here in the States and because I already was speaking english and done some video work they send me here, now I work composing music for 2D and 3D animation, plus I Engineer a good deal of band and artists comig in. I'm also working on adding producing to my resume.

to be continue.......
Old 8th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Mark Warren's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Have been a musician all my life, always making records at someone else's studio, then got some decent gear for a home/project studio.

I read up on Gearslutz for a while, then went to a workshop hosted by some guy named Michael Wagener, and realized that while making good sounding records can be hard, it can also be quite easy by following some fundamental sound principles.

Then I found a building for rent that used to house a recording studio of all things, managed to pull the funding together for some awesomely slutty gear, and here I am.
Old 8th July 2006 | Show parent
Gear Guru
drBill's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Originally Posted by Jan Folkson
I don't even think I could draw a map. I was on my way to some sort of normal life and something went terribly, terribly wrong.
Jan - ROTHLMAO!!! I think that's how it happened for so many of us. I went from Trombone in grade school to Keys and the first available Synths in high school to college, where I couldn't figure out what to major in - so I took music composition since it was the only thing that I was even slightly interested in. My goal - to be an arranger! LOL By the time my 6 years were over..... the job pretty much didn't exist anymore. I did some time music copying in LA, doing some arrangements and sessions for TV, out on the road for awhile as a MD (hence my username "dr"), then I got involved with a "jingle" company that had a studio. They had an old Ampex 16 track that reminded me of the robot in "lost in space" and a DeMedio console I think - and later an old API. Great consoles. At least the API. It was a great time to learn and cut your teeth on recording. That's where I got the bug.

After that I ended up on the road again until I realised I wanted to stay in town since I was now married and had a family. Started with a Tascam 8 track and Panasonic board, went thru various soundcraft consoles until I found the D&R consoles and 2" machines and ended up with a 120 input OrionX and a small Vision with a couple PT HD3 systems. I've gone from composing/producing to engineering to producing to music editing to composing to engineering to.....blah, blah, blah. When they ask "what do you do?" I ask what day of the week is it? These days most of my work focuses on the Film world. Like the song says, it's a long and winding road. And had I known, I probably would have gone to law school.
Old 9th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
seaneldon's Avatar
🎧 15 years
i've been in independant/diy-ethics bands for half my life. we put out our own records. however, we were paying for recordings. and when you have no money, you can't really pay for recordings so much. we bought recording equipment. no one else wanted to learn to use it. i really wanted to learn to use it.

we were getting good sounds, but not great sounds. i decided we'd need to upgrade.

don't have money for that either.

i started working at studios when i got into high school around long island and manhattan. hanging mics and wiring patchbays, fixing the computers and tape machines, that kind of stuff. within 6 months i was bringing clients into these same rooms.

i did this in NY for about a year straight with no breaks. not even weekends.

then i flew around the country recording my favorite bands in great studios, and remote locations (their houses, churches, bars, whatever we could find and afford). did that for 2 years.

i realized i'd made enough money to open my own place. i got together with two great friends and we did just that. i opened a studio on Long Island in the basement of a strip mall. we had work 4-5 days a week, typically. last year i left that room (sold them all of my equipment, too. Ouch.) it's still operating and doing quite well.

i built up a nice little "portfolio", you might say. now i can freely work at a number of rooms around the country but choose to work out of one in Long Island City.

and that's why i'm here.
Old 9th July 2006 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
This is such a beautiful, honest thread, very heartwarming, and funny as hell

Took piano at about 15. Hated it like I was supposed to. Didn't want to practice, never learned theory...and still regret it.

Same teacher, gave me a year of guitar before I quit...but he left the love of playing in me, and that's the only reason I came back. I kept my old Yamaha classical and it is still the one that calls when an idea comes around.

1 stop along the way: my first 'sale': $150 for a grandiose "2001" style opening done on my floor-sample Casio back in the 80es at around 3 in the morning on an 8-track Scully 1-inch at the place where I worked with me layering until the cows came home at 15 and 30 ips. Still have a cassette copy of that masterpiece...

Then a big gap, but always the desire. I work in broadcast video, so I am surrrounded by musicians past/present/frustrated...and in 2001 I hopped back on the wagon. I now record from my home, I am still just an amateur, but between keys/guitar/bass and recording, I am enjoying it very much.

Old 9th July 2006 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
This is a along one......

I was born in Iran. My father is a musician, plays many instruments professionally. When I was 1 years old he was sent to prison for harbouring a university friend who was against the iranian government. (His friend was executed)

He was tortured, and kept in prison for 3 years. For 11 months he was subjected to what they call 'the coffin and the cage'. Basically they put you in a coffin during the days and in a cage at nights, many people die in these.

When he was released, I was a little scared of him because I didn't know him well. He obviously had some physicolgical issues to deal with. The day he came home, the guards had beat his feat so bad that he had to crawl on the ground for the first few days. Even at the age of 4, i had alot of anger in me. Those images never leave my mind.

My fathers passion for music has had a great influence on me. I still remember him listening to the song 'nights in white satin' by the moody blues. He loved the flute part and played along with it.

Iran is a beautiful country but it's ruthless government has ruined it for the people. After being in prison my father couldn't get a job. Even though he had no passport and wasn't allowed to leave the country, we knew we had to get out.

He escaped the border with people smugglers to pakistan. My mother and I flew to Karachi (capital of pakistan) in the hope that he had made it through. After some time we found him alive and well. We lived a very hard life in Pakistan for 9 months. We lived in a unit in a bad part of town with only one mattress, no fridge, furniture, hot water.... nothing.

After 9 months, we were granted immigration to Australia (the tv show 'skippy' had some influence here). Landing in Sydney was such a great feeling. We had made it!

I started playing keyboards at the age of 8. i played along with my dad, he played the flute or accordian or sang usually. Somehow i could play whatever i heard. I continued playing and was granted a scholorship to the Conservatorium of Music when I was 15.

I have just set up my own studio (spent 100k). Thinking back to were I've come from, it's hard to take what I have now for granted. Whether it be luck or faith, something has helped us in our life.

Music is a beautiful thing. I think living a hard life makes you a better musician. This is because music is about emotions and there is no stronger emotion than sadness.

For those who are lucky enough to live in such a great country like Australia, it's important to know that this is as good as it gets, don't take it for granted!
Old 10th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
I started playing piano by ear when I was 3 or 4, but alas I never really did learn to play well. My parents were classical music facists, so I was pretty well steeped in that genre. In 1965, when I was 7, my grandmother bought a transistor radio for each of my siblings and I. I turned it on and the Byrds were doing "Mr. Tambourine Man" and it was the most wonderful thing I'd ever heard. My life truly changed at that moment.

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, I listened to lots of WKNR and CKLW and WRIF and WABX and WWWW back in the days before things got too heavily programmed. Lots of rock, lots of Motown (thanks, Bob!)

I took up classical string bass in the 6th grade and played in youth orchestras for a few years. My parents, in a moment of weakness, bought me a cheap P-Bass copy when I was in 7th grade. I played along with records for the next ten years or so.

In college I bought a real P-Bass and started playing in bands, and started renting out our PA and doing live sound for other bands. Eventually we ended up in a studio, an environment I fell in love with. I ended up co-producing our demo that went nowhere, of course, but gave me a chance to start to learn the craft.

I had hot and cold periods in bands, gigging and recording, while doing computer and networking stuff. In 1991 my band did a tour of the Soviet Union (everything from a Moscow State University coffee shop to an arena in Yerevan, Armenia) and got signed to Melodiya. We recorded an album in an old church near Red Square, on a Studer 24 track with a Soviet mixing board and Czech amplifiers, but the country (and thus the state record label) ceased to exist, probably before it ever got pressed.

The Internet racket paid off, so a couple of years ago I decided to start building a studio in my barn here in NM. Nine days one-on-one with Michael Wagener (I definitely got the good part of that deal--and Michael's accountant probably wanted to kill him) helped me decide to go forward with it. I know my limitations as a musician; it's time to learn my limitations as an engineer/producer, before I'm too old to hear anything! I'm really glad I wore earplugs all those years standing next to ham-fisted drummers...
Old 10th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Chicks and beer.
Old 10th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
uptheoctave's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I started playing guitar later than all my mates- age 16.
I was determined to become better than them- within 3 months of practicing 2 hours a day I was.
I just didn't really stop there. Now I'm the only one who plays at all, let alone working professionally.

I realised fairly early that just being a guitar player was only going to get me so far and previous to being into guitars I was into computers- not just using them, but opening them up, looking inside, hacking the Eproms and such.

By the late 80's computers were just starting to make their way into studios I could afford to record in.
A band I was in had a keyboard player with a Yamaha SY99- a top of the line synth at the time- but she had a classical background and just couldn't wrap her head around programming it- so I took on the programming duties.
I guess I just continued the 'tinkering' side of things until it started to make sense and then could eventually forget about the tinkering and go about 'making' music.
That is a transition I think is crucial.

From there I worked in an IT job for a few years to get enough gear to be able to call myself an independant producer and musician and stuggled away for a few years before working with anyone of note.
Now I have a couple of charted releases under my belt and just trying to plug away at it.
I am VERY lucky to have a wife with a good job and a lot of patience for the music industry.
Without her assistance in building up my career I would still be in my microserf IT job struggling to get by.
All you need is a year or two to get established- but in that year food and rent need to be paid. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to her.
Old 10th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for Jesus
stevep's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I started with a Teac 4 track cassette, DR rhythm, a 1/4 track used for tape delay and mix, a few synyhs and a desire to record.... That was 1980 something......

Soon Me and some friends were building a "real studio" and the drive was to record our own music and sell records, after over 15 years of running a commercial studio in Tucson I decided that it was to hot , not enough water and no real music scene and moved to Montana ,,,, fished , skied and more fishing......

(The old studio is still being used as a studio)

Then God put it on my heart to build another studio here in Orange county CA ...
This would be a major step in faith as most studios are closing.... and here i am opening with a Nice Live room , Large format console, 2" Studer , and of coarse Ptools......

In building the new room i tried to fix all the problems from the old studio and so far its working !

So here i am after a year of construction ,, open and recording music again.heh

This is all i really know how to do , I tried many other things and it just never felt right.

Its great when you can do something you love to do and get paid for it..
Its no longer work..

My desire is to record Gospel / Christian music and spread the Good News through music


Old 10th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Bassmec's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I started at age nine

A good friend of my family had a barge down at pin mill on the river Orwell, he was a producer for Anglia TV. I was a choir boy at the prep school to Kings Canterbury
Choir School. The barge sprang a leak and John Bassett the producer was forced to ask my father for assistance in dry storage of his equipment. Thus a large quantity of pro quality audio equipment was delivered to the cellar of our house. This stuff fascinated me and asked permission to have a go with some of it. I was quite surprised when John said that as long as I was very very careful I could use the amplifier and speakers to listen to records on and helped me rig them up.
After about a month I asked if I could make a recording on the ferrograph tape machine and microphones so I recorded my sister playing clarinet with the old reslo ribbon mic and I made her play it again and again and again until she hated me. That’s how I became a producer. Venture the poor old Thames barge was never water tight enough again and due to John having a lot of other gear at his disposal never came after his old kit and just left me with it. I have built on it a bit in the last forty two years.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
Old 11th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
T_R_S's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I soon found out going to gigs and coming home at 8.00 in the morning was no life for me. I bought a bankrupt local recording studio from a liquidator, I bought the gear cheaper than you buy it hot no ebay in 1985. Then bought out the gear from 2 more bankrupt studios, gave up my day, 21 years later here I am.
Old 11th July 2006 | Show parent
Gear Nut
the-oger's Avatar
🎧 15 years
How’d I get into recording...? Same reason a mountain climber does his thing… just something that can’t be denied.
  • In my mid teens had strong urges to “build” musical blurbs bouncing guitar parts between two boomboxes. Worked my ass off to eventually earn enough for a good guitar/amp, beginner drums, small Traynor PA then a Yammy 4-track cassette/mixer combo.

  • At 20 was fortunate to join established touring metal band (on guitar) – not much financial success (well, NONE to be exact), but was introduced to high end recording world, which conclusively confirmed what I suspected all along – just as much (perhaps even more) fun to be had on the equipment side of the glass. On the brink of a European record deal/tour, our Canadian label, shall we say, “interpreted our contract differently than we did” so my musical career was stalled.

  • In my mid 20’s left the band and entered the family business (definitely NOT music related) & established a good day job so as to take care of my new familial needs… kept on playing/recording on the side. Voraciously consumed recording books/magazines, sat in on several high-end tracking/mixing sessions with acquaintances from the “old band days”, kept recording/learning by trial & error.

  • Over the years local musicians liked my writing/recording results & started to offer me money to record their songs/albums… I soon realized THAT was the way to achieve my own dream setup so I could go back to assuaging my initial primal urges to re-create the sounds in my head.

  • In my early 30’s while still keeping my day job I started my own project studio, re-investing every penny of studio profit (and then some) into expansion. This was the beginning of a positive cycle; “more/better gear = more learning = better results = more business = more/better gear…(etc). For almost 10 years have been running a ridiculous almost daily schedule of 8-9 hrs day-job, 2-3 hrs family & 6-7 hrs studio. The studio is in my home making it possible to still have a great family life.

  • Now at 39 I’m ALMOST to the point where I will close the studio to the public and use it exclusively for myself and get back to making & documenting the sounds in my head the way *I* want to, without any commercial aspirations whatsoever. Very soon now it will be time to reap the fruits of my labour.
Hell, might even buy a couple vintage boomboxes & ping-pong a few takes for old times sake.

Life is good.

Old 12th July 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
hociman's Avatar
🎧 15 years
A to B

My grandfather was a drummer (maybe other instruments too, don't really know), and my father is a musician (teaches instrumental music in a middle school, bless his soul) primarily trained in percussion (studied with Alexander Lepak).

When I was young, I figured out how to program a VCR. I'm only 27, but I am talking about your father's Panasonic VCR - the two unit model where the tape recorder was separate from the tuner. Apparently, being as young as I was, I had no idea that I had recorded over baby videos. All I knew, and was quite proud of, was that my mother was going to miss her favorite soap opera so I figured out how to tape it.

I started piano lessons in 1st grade (age 6). When it came time to play for placement at college (every student in the music production and technology program at Hartt has to take a year of piano), I placed in the top class. I was the only one in that class whose major was not music education. I got singled out often for that (which felt good, but the social side of that had a negative edge at times).

I wanted to play the violin at elementary school, and my father taught in a district that had an orchestra program. We lived in a district that didn't have an orchestra program, so I played Alto Saxophone instead. This started in 3rd grade (but not in earnest until 4th) at age 9. When I had to audition for colleges, I auditioned on the saxophone (I thought it was pointless to memorize four piano pieces for auditions, and I still feel this way).

While growing up, having just started the saxophone and piano lessons, I listened to a good deal of top 40 radio. By the time I was in middle school, a common thread emerged - Hugh Padgham. I was a fan of The Police, Genesis, Phil Collins, Sting, etc. This was around 1993-4. The first CD I ever bought was Synchronicity. At this time, I had thought about being a computer programmer. My father bought the family's first computer around 1988, a Mac SE, and was working with MIDI (Performer v3 and Finale). I thought this was cool, though I did not fully wrap my head around it then.

Back to 1994-5. I started getting more involved in our then crusty SE (it still runs, its now ancient). I began to pickup knowledge on how the Mac worked, how disks work, etc. Coupled with that, and having studied music for a while, the two began to meet. The first time I really used Finale, I copied a line of music from a piece we were playing in High School band (had to change some notes, thought it look better printed). A good friend of mine, a French Horn player, needed similar work done to a part in Handel's Water Music. I recall this being about 3 pages, but I did it (can't remember how long it took).

In 1996, I found out through my High School band instructor that a music technology summer program (1 week duration) was being held at Lebanon Valley College. I applied, and was accepted. When we were all getting acquainted on day 1, the instructor said, "You're the one that did that impressive work with Finale." I was on my way. Spent some time with Digital Performer (v1?) and tracking on an analog console to tape (didn't really know enough to appreciate tape or hate it).

I then had to apply to and audition at colleges that fall. My father said "Why not be a doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc.?" When I said, "This is what I want to do", he didn't disown me or lecture me. He said, "OK" and supported me. That's great.

In the Spring of 1997, the first school I heard from was Ithaca - denied for music, accepted for anything else. This hurt quite a bit, as I had gotten off on the wrong foot. The next school I heard from was NYU - denied outright (I think my SAT was too low regardless). Then my guidance counselor heard from Hartt. Hartt was wondering what was taking so long to get them a transcript! Well, we fixed that quick. I then was accepted. This was the same institution my father graduated from (trust me, that had no impact on being accepted). I finally had a destination.

Through college, I worked at the studio. For free as a freshman, then on its small payroll the next three years. I was also involved in the student radio station. This is where I really built up my skills for soldering, wiring, schematics, signal flow, etc. Having to rebuild the air studio from the ground up on your free time over the summer will do that. The recording studio made me their computer technician as a junior, which meant I was responsible for the functioning of 5 Audiomedia III systems, two MIX Plus systems, and a PT III system on a Quadra. I also found some recordings of G*d, er, I mean Don Sinta playing the saxophone (he teaches at U of Michigan - anyone who wants to be a sax performance major tries to go there) and had my first encounters with 1/4" tape from the 70's.

While at college, I interned with a gent who is registered on this board as chap. A great person, and quite helpful. He taught me when to keep quiet, and when to banter. Those were good times. After that, I interened at a studio in Woodstock (Nevessa), where I was bitten by the live recording bug (they have a great remote truck). Unfortunately, I don't get to do that stuff now, but that was a decision I made in 2001.

2001 - a graduation odyssey. I applied for the M.M. program at NYU and McGill. I was accepted to NYU, and managed to score a job that has evolved into being the chief engineer of a post facility (day 1 was the day after graduation). Because of those two occurrences, I decided to not go to McGill (I would've been accepted, according to someone who taught at the college and was a McGill alum). I've been in post ever since, and have a M.M. from NYU - the same school that denied me a B.M. (kind of ironic, and gratifying).
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