Episode 51 Barak Shpiez

Happy New Year to you all!

Today I’m pleased to welcome audio engineer and composer Barak Shpiez into the Sonic Garage!

Having received his Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music and Master’s degree in composition from Duquesne University, Barak moved to Los Angeles, California and has been in demand for his technical and musical composition skills ever since.

A true audiophile, Barak constantly seeks to satisfy both his technical side as well as his musical side, and loves the interplay of each in his life and career.

Barak has over 5 years of experience as an electrical engineer and enjoys playing a part in developing, supporting and testing audio IP for professional and consumer markets.

Barak’s love for all kinds of musical styles and genres lends greatly to his ability to work on a wide variety of projects.  His music has been prominently featured on television channels such as MTV, The History Channel, E!, Bravo and many more.  Barak has also had the pleasure of working as a composer for independent films and this is something he hopes to do much more of in the future.

I hope you enjoy Barak’s interview and please feel free to leave any questions or comments about this week’s episode below.  Thanks for listening!

Barak Shpiez on Linked In

Spearhead Audio

Inheritance – The Film

Episode 50 Geoff Gray, Part 3

This week I continue my conversation with head engineer and owner of Far and Away Studios in Boulder, Colorado, Geoff Gray!

In this installment, Geoff talks about his ultimate pieces of gear, must-have gems that he uses regularly and would not want to be without.  Geoff gives us some insight into how he likes to use these favorites and reveals a studio trick or two in the process!

A couple of weeks ago, the Sonic Garage team (Troy and Nichole), took a nice drive from Lakewood, Colorado up to Boulder, Colorado to meet Geoff in person and tour Far and Away Studios.  Geoff graciously spent an entire afternoon playing us some great music recorded and mixed at his studio and gave us a detailed run-down of all of his gear!  It was a very fun day and we learned a lot as well!  I’ll be sharing some photos we took that day on the Sonic Garage Facebook page this week, so stop by and check them out!

Thanks for listening and please leave any questions or comments about this episode below!

Far and Away Studios

Episode 49 Jeremy Thomas, Part 2

Today I’m happy to be welcoming seasoned drummer and audio engineer Jeremy Thomas back onto the show!

For new listeners, Jeremy, also known as Big Jerm, is the owner and founder of Music Mania Enterprises in Burlington, North Carolina where he stays very busy recording, producing and developing new and talented artists.  In addition to his recording and mixing work, he is a drummer for Matt Boswell, Jonny Alright and the Hot Rod Mamas and his latest drumming and producing project has him working with the super talented new artist Jason Springs, whom we will be discussing in today’s interview!

Not only does Jeremy love playing drums, he also loves teaching drums and has taught over 18,000 lessons since 1998!  He believes in the power of drumming for peace of mind, body and spirit and he has a great number of long-time students who have experienced amazingly positive changes in their lives after undertaking regular drum practice.

When we last heard from Jeremy, he was going through quite a bit of upheaval and in the year since I last spoke with him, he has made great strides both personally and professionally and I think his perseverance in his own life can inspire us all to continue to follow our dreams, no matter what stands in our way!

I hope you enjoy Jeremy’s interview!  Thanks for listening and Happy Holidays!

Jeremy Thomas on Facebook

Episode 48 Rikki Watson

My guest on the show this week is drummer Rikki Watson!

Rikki, aka Rikki Styxx, is a very hard working punk rocker who currently resides in Los Angeles, California and is a member of 4(!) incredible bands.  She is in the punk pop band The Dollyrots, the ’60’s inspired beat band The Outta Sites, The Two Tens, a killer two-member garage punk band which she founded with the super talented Adam Bones, and her latest project, the all-girl garage-psych super group, The Darts!

What I love about doing these interviews is not only hearing all about the exciting things everybody is doing but hearing everybody’s interesting and inspiring stories of how they got to where they’re at.  Rikki’s story is no exception and after speaking with her I was super impressed by her unstoppable can-do spirit!  It’s clear to me how Rikki has been able to accomplish all that she has and I see a very bright future for this incredibly gifted and remarkable person!

Rikki is currently having the time of her life rocking Europe with The Two Tens, a tour which started on December 6th in Italy and this week they start a string of shows in Spain!  So as you can see, Rikki is ending the year on a high note and as you’ll hear from her interview she has a big 2017 ahead of her with more touring and album releases!

In honor of Rikki, be sure to check out some of her music this week!  The Two Tens debut album ‘Volume’, as well as the recently released self-titled debut EP from The Darts have been in heavy rotation around here, as I’m sure they will be at your place very soon!  So give them a listen, you’ll be glad you did!

I really hope you enjoy Rikki’s interview and thank you very much for listening to the show!

The Official Website of Rikki Styxx

The Darts

The Two Tens

The Outta Sites

The Dollyrots

Episode 47 Geoff Gray, Part 2

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This week I am continuing my conversation with head engineer and owner of Far and Away Studios in Boulder, Colorado, Geoff Gray!

In this installment, Geoff takes us through how he became inspired to create Far and Away Studios and how his studio has evolved over the years, including being relocated from Goshen, New York to Boulder Colorado.  Geoff also talks about a couple of legendary studios that are dear to him that definitely influenced many of the special features of his studio.

We also get an overview of Geoff’s unique hybrid recording setup and the methodology behind how he set it up and why he likes it so much.  A lot can be learned by understanding exactly what prompted Geoff to make such drastic changes to how he approaches the recording process.  There is certainly a lot more to it than just longing for the “good ol’ days” when all that was available was analog recording.  For over a decade now, Geoff has been refining his hybrid process and although it’s second nature to him, it might not be to everyone.  It certainly takes a seasoned professional with decades of experience to truly comprehend the benefits of a true analog/digital hybrid system but I think engineers of all ages and skill levels could benefit from understanding how Geoff works his magic at Far and Away.

Geoff told me that the only thing he loves more than being in the studio recording is talking about recording and I want to thank him once again for taking a bit of time away from the studio to speak with me and to allow all of you listening to benefit from his many years of experience.  There will be more coming from Geoff in future weeks, so stay tuned for that!

In this episode, Geoff mentions Airshow Mastering, which as most of you are probably aware, is a world-class mastering facility located in Boulder, Colorado.  I had the pleasure of speaking with Airshow founder and mastering wizard David Glasser earlier this year, so if you haven’t heard that episode yet, be sure to check it out!  Another special guest from a past episode, Jeffrey Norman was also mentioned by Geoff, as Jeffrey works closely with David Glasser in remastering the Grateful Dead catalog and can occasionally be spotted at Airshow.  And lastly, Plangent came up in our conversation as well, so if you’re unfamiliar with the fascinating and incredible Plangent Process, be sure to look into it and also listen to my interview with Plangent creator, Jamie Howarth where he tells us the backstory of how he came up with the idea for Plangent.

Thanks once again for listening and supporting the show!

Far and Away Studios

Episode 46 F. Reid Shippen

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I am very pleased to welcome F. Reid Shippen onto the show this week!

Making his home in the legendary music city of Nashville, Tennessee, Reid has established himself as one of music’s preeminent and most talented mixers.  Not everybody can be as successful as Reid has been across numerous musical genres, but he finds working with radically different kinds of music and artists to be quite exhilarating and he loves the challenge that each new project brings.

Reid’s enthusiasm and passion for his craft has led him to mix a myriad of platinum and gold records, a large multitude of charting singles and albums and if that’s not enough, he’s proud to have mixed 10 Grammy-winning projects to date as well!

As you might expect from someone of his caliber, Reid stays consistently busy mixing from his own personal SSL hybrid studio, uniquely named Robot Lemon, so this is where he spends a  great majority of his working hours.  As a father of two, Reid values the quality time he gets to spend with his family, but when he does have a lighter mix schedule, he loves to produce, co-produce and develop gifted new artists as well!

I found my conversation with Reid to be quite inspirational, so I really hope you enjoy Reid’s interview and the opportunity to get a glimpse inside the mind of a guy who is absolutely killing it right now!

Thanks everybody for listening!

The Website of F. Reid Shippen

Robot Lemon

Episode 45 Geoff Gray, Part 1

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When I first started this podcast, I did not realize I would meet so many gifted and talented engineers and studio owners right in my own backyard, so to speak, in my beautiful home state of Colorado and this week’s special guest is no exception!

Geoff Gray is the head engineer and studio owner of Far and Away Studios in Boulder, Colorado, a studio he originally started in New York.  Geoff is a true sage in the studio and has mastered the art of hybrid recording with his unique blend of vintage and contemporary studio gear.  Over the last 30 plus years, Geoff has worked with a multitude of incredible musicians and producers and has put his creative stamp on literally hundreds of albums across many different genres and styles of music.

Equally as integral to Geoff’s success as seeking out and learning how to best utilize the ultimate pieces of classic gear is his building special and long lasting relationships with the musicians that he has the honor of getting to work with.  Nothing is more satisfying to Geoff than collarborating with both new acts and seasoned professionals and working hard to help them achieve the exact sounds that they are looking for.

In part one of Geoff’s interview, we will hear about how he came to meet and become great friends with the one and only Les Paul and we will also hear about the history and origins of some of Geoff’s favorite pieces of vintage gear.

Geoff’s passion for the history of music and the fine art of achieving the best recordings possible came through loud and clear as we spoke and it was a true pleasure and honor to get to speak with someone of Geoff’s caliber!  Please stay tuned for much more from Geoff in the coming weeks and we also have plans to do additional interviews in the future as well!

Far and Away Studios

Episode 44 Ryan Tucker

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Joining me on the show this week is audio engineer and music and audio product development expert Ryan Tucker!

Since graduating from Berklee’s Music Production and Engineering program Ryan has had the opportunity to work in a variety of different areas within the music industry.  He has gained a vast amount of knowledge in music production, post production sound, studio technical, and product development. This knowledge has granted Ryan a wide range of experience from advanced music mixing and production techniques, recording studio setup, editing, and sound for TV and film, to computer software/hardware quality assurance for product development.

MUSIC PRODUCTION
Through his home-based TuckerMix, Ryan provides customized music mixing services and technical support to independent artists, producers, studios, and labels online as well as in the Los Angeles area. Notable clients include: Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars, the hit TV show “The Bachelorette”, (the band Chicago), Henson Recording Studios (A&M), and Imperative Records (Immediate Music). TuckerMix was designed to help independent artists, musicians, and composers bridge the technology gap, allowing any project to reap the full benefits of the most advanced audio production tools and techniques available today.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
In addition to mixing music, Ryan also helps some of the most innovative companies in the world create software and hardware tools for music creators. Ryan has served various music / audio companies in software and hardware quality assurance, product design, user experience, artist support, and technical support. Of the more then two dozen companies serviced a few notable companies include: Universal Audio, Line 6, DTS (Digital Theater Systems), Sound Machine, Artiphon Inc, Blue Microphones, AEA, CB Electronics, Minnetonka, Propellerhead, X2 Wireless, Sonoma Wire Works and more!

Ryan lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife April Tucker whom I had the pleasure of interviewing a few months back.  Ryan & April are also expecting the birth of their first child!

TuckerMix

Episode 43 David Bottrill

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This week I’m excited to welcome 3-time Grammy Award winning producer, engineer and mixer David Bottrill onto the show!

David started his illustrious and highly successful career in the mid-80’s and over that time has worked with many legendary artists across many different genres.  David gained priceless knowledge early on when he had the opportunity to work with Peter Gabriel at his own Real World Studios located in Box, Wiltshire, in the west of England.  David, originally from Canada, ultimately lived in England for 20 years, but has been back in his home country since 2005.  Upon returning home to Canada, David opened up Mainstation Music, his music production company where he offers production, mixing and band development.

Not one to rest on his laurels, David is always on the go and spends around 6 months or so of the year on the road working in some of the greatest studios in the world.  Unlike some people, David loves working from home and when he is at home, he is consistently busy mixing from his home based studio.

David always keeps an eye out for new, talented artists to work with and is most excited when he is working on a new project, developing a new artist.

David has worked with some of my favorite artists including Tool, Rush, Smashing Pumpkins, Godsmack, Coheed and Cambria and many, many more!

I hope you enjoy my interview with David!  I’m very happy to be back to work on the show and I am looking forward to a great end to 2016!

A quick programming note:  As  I get caught back up and get ahead on completed interviews, I’m going to temporarily go to a bi-weekly episode release schedule.  So, for the next 2 – 3 months, I’ll be premiering a new episode every other Monday.

As always, thanks for listening to and supporting the show, I appreciate it!

The Website of David Bottrill

Sonic Garage Update

SonicGaragePodcast

Hello!

I hope everybody is doing well!  I just wanted to take a few minutes of your time to give you all a quick update on the Sonic Garage and where I see the show headed in the future.

First, I want to once again thank everybody who has been listening regularly to the show!  I would also like to give another big thanks to all of the great people who have been kind enough to take the time to be interviewed on the podcast, it’s been a great honor and privilege to meet and speak with each and every one of you!

It’s hard for me to believe, but I’ve been seriously working on this podcast for over a year and a half now and for a couple of years prior to that, I had the desire to get into podcasting, but just wasn’t sure how to start or what exactly to do a show about.  But, given my love of music and my fascination of what goes on behind the scenes to create sonic masterpieces, I knew that a show based around audio engineering, producing and music history was the direction I should head in.

A year ago at this time, I was starting to do my very first interviews for the show, a task I was pretty nervous and hesitant about.  You see, I tend to be a bit shy, so stepping into the spotlight, so to speak and interviewing people was not something I had ever done before, but I’m glad that I took the plunge and did it!  Before starting this podcast I also had not used Garage Band, or any other DAW’s for that matter, since I went to school for audio engineering back in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s before digital recording made it’s debut to the world.  I’ve really enjoyed learning all of the in’s and out’s of digital recording and I’ve really taken a keen interest in editing and really enjoy that aspect of digital recording.

Although running this podcast has taken up an immense amount of time, I ‘ve enjoyed every minute of it.  Also, since this show is first and foremost a labor of love, I don’t get paid to do it.  I do believe making a good living as a full-time podcaster is certainly possible and is something I am striving towards, but currently I do other jobs to keep income coming in.  So, in light of how busy I’ve become not only with the podcast, but life in general, I’ve decided that now would be the perfect time to take a short hiatus from the show.  The purpose of this break will be two-fold:  It will allow me to take care of pressing matters in other areas of my life which are in need of my attention and it will also allow me to focus on creating episodes without the stress of a weekly deadline temporarily while I get ahead on content for the show again.

I have some great new ideas for future episodes of the show which I am working on right now and I intend to keep evolving the show and crafting it into an amazing resource for all who come across it!

If you have any questions for me, or feedback regarding the show, or topics of discussion or guests who you would love for me to have on in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I will work very hard to get some new episodes out very soon!

For anybody who is just discovering the podcast, please feel free to delve into the 42 episodes I’ve premiered to date and for anybody who is curious, here are my top 3 most popular single episodes to date:  Chris ShawTim Palmer and Bruce Botnick.  Another favorite recent interviewee has been John Haeny, so if you haven’t heard all three parts of my conversation with John, please do so when you get a chance!  I’ve personally gotten something out of every conversation I’ve had for the show, so you can’t go wrong listening to any of the past episodes you might have not heard yet.

Thanks again and talk to you soon!