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

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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

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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

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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

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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