Tag Archives: microphones

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 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 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

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

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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 31 Jack Miele

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Joining me in the Sonic Garage this week is audio engineer, producer, composer, and musician, Jack Miele!

Jack lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, and his studio is located inside the world famous Music Shed recording facility.  Jack’s love of music goes all of the way back to when he was a child, as he started listening to all kinds of music at a very young age, which inspired him to start learning how to play all of the songs he loved so much.

To this day, Jack is an accomplished and very busy musician, and he’s the guitarist and vocalist for two bands, The Molly Ringwalds, which is a superb 80’s music band, and the critically acclaimed original band The Morning Life, who have a new album coming out very soon!

Jack has produced and/or engineered a great number of albums for a wide range of talented and well known musicians, like the Zac Brown Band, Blues Traveler, Rickie Lee Jones, and Ani Difranco.

As a composer, Jack’s work has been featured on top television shows such as Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover”, and on cable channels like ESPN, Sundance Channel, and IFC.  He worked as a music producer on “American Horror Story: Freakshow”, and he has also worked on several major motion pictures as well!

After speaking with Jack, it’s clear that he’s extremely passionate about music, and about making sure everything he works on is the very best that it can be!  Jack shared some very important insights into how and why he’s been so successful in his career, and I think that everyone who listens is going to learn something from Jack as well as be inspired by what he had to say.

Please enjoy Jack’s interview, and please be sure to subscribe to the show via iTunes or Stitcher, (top right), and please also take a moment to leave a rating and a review as well, I would really appreciate it, and it will help to grow the show!

Jack Miele

Episode 22 Karen Kane

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Stopping by the Sonic Garage this week is producer and engineer Karen Kane from Wilmington, North Carolina.

Inspired by the music of the late 60’s and early 70’s, Karen first started working in recording studios in 1970.  Initially, she found success as a studio manager and later, as a pioneering female engineer paving the way for other women to follow in her footsteps.

Karen stays very busy in Wilmington running her own studio, and over the course of her career she has produced and/or engineered over 200 full-length album projects and has also engineered hundreds of live concerts as well.

In recent years she has started teaching, and in 2012 she joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as an instructor for the Recording Technology program.

Karen has a great wealth of producing and engineering knowledge and it was great getting to speak with her!

If you enjoy the show and gain inspiration from the amazing guests I get to interview, I would be very grateful if you would take a moment to subscribe (top right), and leave a rating and a review on iTunes.

Karen Kane Music Productions

Soundgirls.org

Episode 21 David Morgan

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Stopping by the Sonic Garage this week is concert sound engineer David Morgan.

As his good friend Sam Berkow pointed out – “quite simply put, there are different live sound engineers than David Morgan, but not better live sound engineers”, and after getting a chance to speak with David for almost two and a half hours, it’s easy to see why Sam thinks so highly of him.  Not only is David highly knowledgeable about all things audio, he’s fun to speak with and has plenty of great stories to tell.

Since the late 70’s, David has had the opportunity to not only tour with, but become friends with some of the most iconic musicians of the last 5 decades.  He has gotten to mix some of the most legendary concerts of our time, and masterfully transmit to the listening audience the very best representation of what’s being played on the stage.

For the last 5 years, David has been a contributing journalist for FOH Magazine and FOH Online, including his popular monthly column, “On the Digital Edge”.

In addition, David is a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California, and also at Blackbird Academy located at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.  Here is a great article that David wrote about Blackbird for FOH Magazine recently.

If you enjoy the show and gain inspiration from the amazing guests I get to interview, I would be very grateful if you would take a moment to subscribe (top right), and leave a rating and a review on iTunes.

Episode 11 Melissa Britton

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This week I have an interview with audio engineer Melissa Britton, from Madison, Wisconsin.

Melissa has been a hard working independent engineer for over ten years and is currently the Front of House Engineer for Dave Koz.

If you enjoy the show and gain inspiration from the amazing guests I get to interview, I would be very grateful if you would take a moment to subscribe (top right), and leave a rating and a review on iTunes.

Soundgirls.org