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
Podcast: Play in new window | Download