Tag Archives: music

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 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

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 37 Becky Pell

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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 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

Episode 33 War Drum, Part 1

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This week, I’m very excited to be welcoming Ehren and Peter from one of my absolute favorite bands into the Sonic Garage,  War Drum!

It’s not very often that a new band can really capture my attention, but War Drum has done just that.  I often find myself listening to their first 2 albums on repeat for hours at a time while I work, and I find myself being drawn deeper and deeper into their music with every listen.

War Drum originates from the deserts of Palm Springs, California, and because of that, they are considered to be a part of the ‘desert rock’ or ‘stoner rock’ genre, but they’ve got a unique sound that’s all their own.   They’re a bit bluesy,  a little psychedelic at times, and if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if surf rock got it’s start not on the sandy beaches of Southern California, but in the arid, dry deserts of California instead, than you’re in for a real treat when you listen to War Drum!

The trio of amazing vocalist and keyboardist Jack Kohler, guitar wizard Ehren Groban, and killer drummer Peter Leighton have combined all of their own personal influences and experiences into a cohesive whole that rewards their growing audience with a very mystical, haunting, and emotional listening experience that should not be missed by anyone.

With a new album coming out soon, it looks as though the sky is the limit for this gifted and talented band, and they will no doubt continue to be a groundbreaking force to be reckoned with for many years to come!

I will definitely be having War Drum back on the show in the near future, probably sometime shortly after the release of their highly anticipated third album, as there is still much I want to talk with them about!

Please visit the Sonic Garage Facebook page all week as I’ll be doing a lot of War Drum related posts, it should be a lot of fun!

If you’re enjoying the show and haven’t done so yet, please head on over to iTunes or Stitcher and subscribe to the Sonic Garage Podcast!  While you’re there I would also greatly appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating and a review as well!

I want to give a big thanks to everyone who has been listening to the show, I really appreciate it and I’ve really been overwhelmed by the positive response and feedback I’ve received to date!

Please enjoy my interview with War Drum, and head on over to Apple Music, Spotify,  Soundcloud, or Bandcamp to listen to and support War Drum now!

War Drum on Facebook

Episode 32 Charles Hansen

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Stopping by the Sonic Garage this week is Charles Hansen, founder and lead designer of Ayre Acoustics.

Charles discovered his love of music at a very young age, and because his father was an electrical engineer, he also realized he had a fascination for electronics, and by melding those two interests, Charles has been able to design and build very high quality, award-winning audio and video equipment since 1993, the year he founded Ayre.

Fueled by a desire to always continue to learn and grow, Charles has been able to become a leader in his field, and through Ayre’s exclusive fully-balanced, zero-feedback circuitry, listeners can now easily become immersed in the music they love like never before!

Charles Hansen and Ayre Acoustics had the honor recently of being personally chosen by Neil Young himself to provide the circuit design for his breakthrough product, the Pono Player!

I hope you enjoy my interview with Charles, he is a very interesting guy, and he had a lot of fascinating things to say!

If you’re enjoying the show, please be sure to subscribe via iTunes, and take a moment to leave a rating and a review as well!  Thanks to everyone who has been listening!

Ayre Acoustics

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