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!

Episode 42 April Tucker

April Tucker Photo

Joining me on the show this week is Re-recording Mixer, Editor, and Engineer April Tucker!

Originally from northern Colorado, April has worked in Los Angeles for over a decade now, taking on many different post-production audio assignments.  When April originally landed in Los Angeles, her goal was to obtain a job on a scoring stage, but was advised by many audio veterans to follow a different path to success in the music industry.  She heeded that advice and went into post-production instead, a move she is very happy about!

April has successfully worked as a re-recording mixer, sound editor, music editor, music/scoring mixer, ADR engineer, and Foley engineer, and is currently a mixer for Yahoo and 20th Century Fox.  She has worked on television series for all of the major US networks and over a dozen cable networks, and some of the shows she’s worked on have in excess of 10 million viewers per episode!

In addition to her audio work, April loves educating and helping others to achieve success and balance in both career and in life.   As a part of that, April writes a monthly blog for Soundgirls.org, writes regular articles for her own website, Pro Audio Girl, and also enjoys doing lectures and presentations.

I hope you enjoy April’s interview!  For more information about April, to contact her, or to read her insightful articles, please visit her website, proaudiogirl.com.

I hope you have a great week and thanks again to everybody who has been listening to the show!

Episode 41 Billy Perez

Billy Perez at IIWII

This week I am very happy to have Billy Perez from IIWII in Weehawken, New Jersey!

Billy is an audio engineer, studio manager, and systems technician.  Although relatively new to the industry, Billy has had experience in recording, engineering, and audio production from an early age.  Billy’s career as a recording engineer has involved him working with such artists as: Will Calhoun, Dolores O’Riordan, St Vincent, Christian McBride, The Rolling Stones, Anderson East, Tony Trischka, John Batiste, and others as well as many indie artists. As a studio manager and technical liaison of the prominent sound stage at SST Billy has worked with dozens of major artists including Black Sabbath, John Mayer, Jeff Beck, The Kills, The War on Drugs, Rachel Platten, Edward Sharpe and many more.

Billy is well known for his work in the restoration of a rare Focusrite studio console which was destroyed by a flood along with the studio that housed it.  The restoration involved pairing two custom built studio consoles out of the necessity for difficult or impossible to find parts. The story behind the work that was done has been featured in Focusrite’s popular  documentary released in 2014.

Within his professional career, Billy has had the opportunity to be involved with building four unique recording studios and aiding in the design of one.

When not in the studio, Billy enjoys exploring modular synthesis and hanging out with Heather and their two cats Lupe and White Baby.

I was introduced to Billy by Sam Berkow, whom I spoke with in episode 16, and who has also introduced me to David Morgan and Bruce Botnick.  Thanks again Sam!

I hope you enjoy Billy’s interview, and thanks to everyone who has been listening to and spreading the word about the Sonic Garage!  Have a fun and inspirational week!

IIWII Sound

Episode 40 John Haeny, Part 3

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Today I am very pleased to present the third installment of my interview with producer and engineer John Haeny.  And, although this is the final part of my current conversation with John, we will be talking more in the future, so you can look forward to more from John down the road sometime!  Also, if you haven’t done so yet, please be sure to listen to parts one and two of John’s interview as well!

In this segment, John and I take a look at his vast discography and he allows me ask him about some of the many amazing artists that he’s had the pleasure of working with.  I didn’t have time to ask him about everybody that I wanted to, but perhaps in the future I’ll get the opportunity to do so, we will just have to wait and see!

I initially learned about John when I came across his story regarding the making of Jim Morrison’s poetry album, “An American Prayer”.  Although I’ve been a lifelong fan of the Doors, my fascination with this band was reignited a few years ago and I started listening to all of the Doors albums almost non-stop for several months.   For some reason, I had never listened to “An American Prayer”, so I finally did, and after listening I wanted to learn more about how it came about, and that’s when I came across John’s website, which he had recently created at the time.  If you have not yet read John’s story of the making of “An American Prayer”, I highly recommend it and you can find it here.

While John’s association with Jim Morrison is very important, and he no doubt treasures the time he got to spend with this special artist,  he has worked with and become friends with lots of legendary musicians, while working in the very fruitful music scene of the 60’s, and 70’s.  John was present during many special moments in musical as well as world history and I’ve really enjoyed all of his insights into these times in his life, and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future!

When I set out to do this podcast, my goal was to be able to speak to as many talented individuals as possible, whether fairly early in their careers or seasoned professionals, and I have been overwhelmed by the positive response from the listening audience as well as the eagerness of so many amazing people to agree to be interviewed!  So, thanks to all of you who have been a part of this show so far, and thanks to all of you regular listeners, I am very grateful for you all!

Please enjoy this weeks episode, and have an amazing and productive week!

The Website of Producer and Engineer John Haeny

Episode 39 Ross Hogarth

Ross Hogarth Photo

My guest on the show this week is Grammy Award winning producer, engineer, and mixer, Ross Hogarth!

Ross’s path to success has been a long and fruitful one.  As a teenage musician, Ross was fortunate enough to be able to witness and be a part of the golden age of punk rock in 1970’s New York City, which ultimately inspired him  to move to California, where he was able to make important connections which lead to him touring as a very successful live sound engineer with some of the biggest musical acts of the 70’s.

During his time as a live sound engineer, Ross not only acquired many new skills that would further his career, but also fully developed skills that were first instilled in him as a child, like the importance of service and learning what makes creative people tick.

Once Ross was given the opportunity to make the move into the recording studio, he knew he was just where he was meant to be.  Through hard work and determination, Ross worked non-stop through most of the 80’s, and in 1986, he founded his own production company, Hoax Productions, and to this day he is still doing what he set out to do when he started his company:   Promote and produce top name talent as well as discover and nurture the new and promising superstars of tomorrow.

Thanks again to all of you out there listening to and supporting the Sonic Garage podcast!

If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment to subscribe to the show via iTunes or Stitcher and please leave a rating and a review as well, I would really appreciate it!

Have a great week, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or feedback about the show, I always look forward to hearing from you!

Hoax Productions

Episode 38 Hillary Johnson

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Joining me as my special guest on the show this week is producer and audio engineer Hillary Johnson, from New York, New York.

Hillary has been actively recording since the early 90’s, and above everything else, she relishes every opportunity she gets to be in the studio doing what she loves most: making records with talented musicians.

Over the course of her career, Hillary has broadened her skills immensely and puts just as much emphasis on having great people skills as having great audio engineering chops.  These days, Hillary does just about everything as it relates to working in the music industry, from engineering, producing, and mastering,  to live sound, and even working as a tech.  If that wasn’t enough, Hillary is also a talented web and graphic designer, and has created some very nice websites for artists, bands, and even recording studios.  And if you’re in the New York City area, you might even catch Hillary DJ’ing someplace!

After speaking with Hillary, it’s apparent how passionate she is about what she does and I hope she gets to continue making records with bands she loves for many more years to come!

Thanks again to everybody who has been listening to and spreading the word about the show, I appreciate it very much!

Please enjoy Hillary’s interview, and have a great week!

The Website of Hi-Fi Hillary Johnson

Episode 37 Becky Pell

Becky Pell Photo

My special guest on the show this week is Becky Pell, a freelance live sound engineer, yoga teacher, and writer, who lives in Surrey, England.

Becky started her journey in the world of live sound 21 years ago, and over that time she has mixed sound for many top artists on major worldwide tours.  She is very proud of the fact that she has cherished and long-standing work relationships with most of the artists she mixes for, and has gotten to do multiple tours with many of them.

Some of Becky’s favorite artists to work with include Kylie, Scottish rock band Travis, Westlife, and Shane Filan.

Back in 2007, Becky discovered a real knack and passion for yoga, and has since been able to not only greatly improve her own health and well-being, but the health and well-being of others as well, as she now gets to teach yoga to the artists, bands, and crews she tours with.  Becky has delved extremely deeply into the practice of yoga and has even been to Bali to train as a teacher and further strengthen her ability to teach and help others to live healthier and happier lives.

Becky also loves to write and she has an excellent blog where she writes about life on the road, music, yoga, and how to live a more fulfilling and purposeful life, among other things, so definitely check it out!

I hope you enjoy Becky’s interview, she is a true inspiration, and a real testament to all of us who are trying to live the happiest and most enjoyable lives possible while doing what we love doing.

Thanks again to everybody who has been listening to and spreading the word about the show!

If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment to subscribe to the show via iTunes or Stitcher and while you’re at it, please leave a rating and a review as well, I would really appreciate it!

Have a great week!

The Website of Rock n Roll Yogi, Becky Pell

Soundgirls.org

Episode 36 John Haeny, Part 2

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Greetings everybody!  I’m happy to be presenting part 2 of my continued conversation with internationally acclaimed engineer, producer, and mixer John Haeny this week.

When John mentioned that he wanted our next segment to be about why “the good ole days, were not the good ole days”, I thought what a great topic of discussion!  And who better than John to have that conversation with?  Having started his career in the late 50’s, John has witnessed every major technological advancement that has occurred in music recording and production over the last 50 plus years, and he’s a true pioneer and expert on all things audio, that’s for sure!

Before we started our discussion, John recounted the time in his childhood when, after much hassle on his part, his mother bought him his very first record player, grey and pink as John remembers it, and with that his lifelong obsession with music started in earnest.  Working under the belief that more was better, John started finding shoeboxes and old car speakers, and each time he collected a new speaker, he would hot-wire it into his hi-fi.  John told me he must have had at least 15 speakers set up in his bedroom at one point!

Eventually, John’s parents bought him a tape machine, and almost immediately, John could be found in his closet for hours at a time, with a microphone taped to a music stand, reading things into his tape recorder.  This is how he learned how to best record his own voice, and planted the seed for his future career as an in-demand audio engineer!

John’s countless hours of experimentation and studying paid off when he got his first job at United and Western under Bill Putnam.  Bill has been described as “the father of modern recording”, and he had a test that he would give all of his engineers to see if they were on top of their game in terms of knowledge, types of microphones, patterns of microphones, etc.  In his early 20’s at the time, John knocked out all of the big engineers working for Bill at the time in terms of his grade on the test.

John attributes this to everything he did back home as a teenager back in Minnesota.  For many years, John would collect every audio related article he could find – read and study all of the technical information contain within, and study all of the pictures, absorb microphone placements, and memorize any other information he could pick out.

To this day John has a photographic memory for studio setups.  On countless occasions, John has walked into a studio, rather innocently wandered around from one end to the other, and then sat down with pencil and paper and drawn out the setup he saw, including what kinds of microphones, and which way the microphones should be pointing, etc.

John truly believes that his early obsession with learning everything he possibly could about audio engineering, microphones, and mic placements, and his endless hours in his room playing with his hi-fi and tape machine gave him a leg up on everyone else and is a big part of why he went on to have the amazing career he is having.

John continues to be very passionate about music, and working with talented artists to bring their creative vision to fruition.  After decades of honing his skills as an engineer and producer, John feels he is better now than he’s ever been and he is always open to taking on new engineering, recording, and mixing projects.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to John at his website to find out more about the possibility of working with him on your next project!

As always, I want to give a big thank you to everyone for listening and for supporting the show!  I really appreciate it!

The Website of John Haeny

Episode 35 Billy Anderson

BA by Ryan Fleming

I am happy to be welcoming acclaimed musician, audio engineer, and producer, Billy Anderson into the Sonic Garage this week!

A musician first and foremost, Billy got his start as an engineer because he wanted to record his own band’s music, not realizing until later on that he had a real knack for helping bands other than his own to create career defining albums, something which he has personally done on many occasions.

While Billy made quite a splash early on working with bands like the Melvins, Sleep, and Mr. Bungle, he has continued to break new ground in recent years working with Loss, Agalloch, Pallbearer, Acid King, and Witch Mountain, just to name a few of the many bands that Billy has had the pleasure of working with recently.

Through trial and error and immersing himself in as many challenging recording projects as possible, Billy has become a master at achieving the best results in the studio, sonically speaking, and also at inspiring all of the talented artists he works with to push themselves to their creative limits.

If one thing was made clear during my conversation with Billy it’s that having a positive, can-do attitude is a priceless trait to have, and starting with the environment in which you currently find yourself, and the tools you have at hand, great things can be achieved.

These days, Billy can be found most often mixing at “Everything Hz”, which is his home-based mixing studio located in beautiful Portland, Oregon.  When not busily mixing from home, Billy can usually be found tracking at his new favorite studio in Portland, “The Hallowed Halls”.  In fact, he’s there this week recording the band Eye of Nix from Seattle!

I hope you both enjoy and get inspired from listening to Billy’s interview this week, and thanks to everyone who has been listening to and spreading the word about the show, I am very grateful for you all!

If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment to subscribe to the Sonic Garage Podcast via iTunes or Stitcher and while you’re there, I would also appreciate it if you could also leave a rating and a review as well.  Thanks again, and have a great week!

The Website of Billy Anderson

Episode 34 John Haeny, Part 1

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I am very pleased to announce that I have internationally renowned audio engineer, producer, and mixer John Haeny on the show this week!

John has graciously given me the opportunity to do a very in-depth and wide ranging interview with him, and today I have the first of what is going to be a 3 part interview.

John’s various careers began during his high school days as a Photographer, which culminated in his receiving a degree in Portraiture from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.  Following that, and for the next 20 years, John worked as a Recording Engineer, Mixer, and Producer in the US Music Industry.  This was followed by a 16 year career as a Sound Designer and Sound Editor in the Hollywood Motion Picture and Television industry, and in addition to all of that, he has been an Academic at a number of US and Australian institutions.

John’s sound career began during the early days of hi-fi and mono analog audio.  Working through the advent of stereo and the early days of multi-track recording, he made the transition into digital audio very early on while working in film and television at Hollywood’s Todd-AO Studios.  In the US exclusively, John has been awarded more than 20 Gold and Platinum records, and worldwide, his projects have sold well in excess of 40,000,000 units.

Over the course of John’s studio career, he has recorded, mixed, and produced hundreds of albums.  Working across a remarkably wide array of musical genres that includes artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Jim Morrison, Tom Jones, Warren Zevon and Linda Ronstadt to Weather Report, John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard and Duke Ellington.  In addition to this he worked with Cher, Delaney and Bonnie, Arthur Lee and Love, Kris Kristofferson, Little Feat, Judy Collins, Paul Butterfield, Nico and John Cale, Bobby Darin, The Righteous Brothers, and The Everly Brothers, to name just a few.

While working as a Sound Designer for in the motion picture and TV industry, John’s credits include working on many hit films and series including Scent of a Woman, Twin Peaks, While You Were Sleeping, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Beauty and the Beast, The Firm, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Dallas, Benny and Joon, Major League, Max Headroom, and much more.

John’s impressive body of work has amassed six Golden Reel nominations, five Emmy nominations, an Edison Award, and a Grammy nomination as well!

John’s career as an Academic included Adjunct Professor of Motion Picture Sound at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia and Head of Sound at the Australian Film Televison and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney, Australia.

John currently lives on a 10-acre property high in the hills of the Huon Valley outside of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.  He has a comprehensive 5.1 Pro Tools mixing facility in his home studio where he still mixes for select artists, and he especially enjoys working with developing artists, and he is also very passionate about supporting the Australian arts and artists.  In addition, John is the co-developer of the Kramer Master Tape plugin and he is also a Waves beta tester.  When given the opportunity, John still occasionally lectures and is still active in mixing musical scores for Australian feature films and documentaries.

I really hope you enjoy part 1 of John’s interview!  Stay tuned for the next two parts of this interview, I think you are all going to not only really enjoy and be inspired by our full conversation, but there will definitely be lots of great information and nuggets of wisdom that can be applied to your daily life as well!

As always, I want to give a big thanks to everyone who has been listening and spreading the word, I really appreciate it and I am not only having a great time doing this show, I’m enjoying all of the new friendships I’m making and I’m also very excited about all of the new knowledge I have as a result of talking to and listening to all of my amazing guests!

If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment to subscribe to the show via iTunes or Stitcher and while you’re there, please take a moment to leave a rating and a review!  Thanks again!

The Website of John Haeny