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Author Topic: Heroes of Tech  (Read 9735 times)

arconaut

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Heroes of Tech
« on: February 27, 2007, 09:08:38 am »

Hi All,

I was looking at an LA3 with the resistor mod that I know as the "Ed Evans mod". I realized that I never met Mr. Evans and don't know much about him. This got me to thinking about all the techs who work in the field who perhaps do not ever get mentioned or get any due. We all know about the Rupert Neves and Bill Putnams, but who are the people who work (or worked) in the trenches whom you admire?

Just for fun!

Noah
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amorris

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2007, 09:55:02 am »

got to work with guitar tech cesar diaz. he built his own line of amps for the stars (the one he brought was bob dylans personal amp) cesar teched for stevie ray vaughn and eric clapton. he had jimi hendrixs personal fuzzface and told me bout the germanium issue. he had a marshall plexi that he had fashoined several resistor networks to recreate all the cool marshalls from over the years. you would just unsolder the last one and solder in the next one. change gtr amp topology in less than 5 minutes. he told me about the 5 seperate sounds from a tube amp... note, the swirling skirts, the "a" that naturally comes from the amp, the speaker, and i forget the last one. literally worked me into the ground for a week. but i learned a lot.
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sodderboy

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2007, 08:12:17 pm »

Ed is a totally cool guy.  I went to a meeting regarding a private studio install circa 1990 and he was there as well.  I realized that I would be bidding against HIM, and knew it was over.  He had a different idea and offered to design the install and have me do the wiring work with my crew so that we both got the gigs that we wanted.  Great idea!
He has a unique mixture of talent, experience, humor, and humility.  He had quite the well-oiled machine going in the whole of the Power Station.
Carl Feruggia and Tim Casey were the first techs I worked with and they both helped me from the beginning.
As well, all of the SSL techs I have known over the past 20 years are great techs.
Mike Ohura, Glen Coleman,Fran Manzella, Joe Finelli, Eddie Ciletti. . . dang, I am lucky to have worked with some great people in NY!

Whenever I get to the end of my chosen troubleshooting mental flow-chart and have bupkiss of a fix, I think of what one of the aforementioned would ask me about the problem and what they would do.  Invariably I identify the problem having channeled someone better than me!

And not to omit our moderator!  We overlapped a little at the M*A*S*H unit known as the Unique Recording shop.  He had, and I hope still has, the best ascerbic sense of humor.  He always had a killer crack ready: when I got back from a summer holiday in Russia Dave's comment was "mike is so hard-up he had to go to effin' Russia to get laid!"  I still crack-up when I think of that line.
Cheers dude!
Mike
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Dave Hecht

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 03:27:03 am »

sodderboy wrote on Tue, 27 February 2007 17:12

Ed is a totally cool guy.  I went to a meeting regarding a private studio install circa 1990 and he was there as well.  I realized that I would be bidding against HIM, and knew it was over.  He had a different idea and offered to design the install and have me do the wiring work with my crew so that we both got the gigs that we wanted.  Great idea!
He has a unique mixture of talent, experience, humor, and humility.  He had quite the well-oiled machine going in the whole of the Power Station.
Carl Feruggia and Tim Casey were the first techs I worked with and they both helped me from the beginning.
As well, all of the SSL techs I have known over the past 20 years are great techs.
Mike Ohura, Glen Coleman,Fran Manzella, Joe Finelli, Eddie Ciletti. . . dang, I am lucky to have worked with some great people in NY!

Whenever I get to the end of my chosen troubleshooting mental flow-chart and have bupkiss of a fix, I think of what one of the aforementioned would ask me about the problem and what they would do.  Invariably I identify the problem having channeled someone better than me!

And not to omit our moderator!  We overlapped a little at the M*A*S*H unit known as the Unique Recording shop.  He had, and I hope still has, the best ascerbic sense of humor.  He always had a killer crack ready: when I got back from a summer holiday in Russia Dave's comment was "mike is so hard-up he had to go to effin' Russia to get laid!"  I still crack-up when I think of that line.
Cheers dude!
Mike


Sarcasm is just one more service we offer. Mike, I remember your trip to Russia, but I only remember some bad jokes about Russian soldering irons.  As for the Unique shop, yeah, those were some interesting times. Three rooms, three sessions a day in each, no maintenance days. And I wonder why I have grey hair and an ulcer.  Somebody stop the music business, I want to get off.

Dave Hecht
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Larrchild

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 04:47:45 am »

Quote:

Somebody stop the music business, I want to get off.

Wish Granted.



We had Ross Alexander at Criteria. He was durn smart.
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arconaut

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 01:43:25 pm »

Another person I never had a chance to meet, but is legend - the late Dave Smith.

There's our former moderator, John Klett, whose shop is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen in my life (check it out: http://www.coralsound.com/exileshop.html), and also Dan Zellman and Chris Muth are interesting minds to pick.

Noah
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Fig

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2007, 01:33:05 am »

<in a Willie Neson-like voice> To all the techs I've loved before...

The first person who ever showed me the inside of a 2" 24-track (after I let the smoke out of it) - John Peluso.

The first person who ever showed me how to align one - George Warner.

The man who can fix anything "Amek" (among other talents) - Dave Rochester.

And the man around Chicago that fixes and modifies everything - Bruce Breckenfeld.  I'll never forget how he forged a hex-wrench out of a chopstick to adjust our MCI's bias cards.

Also, the fella that "matched" our U67 pair - Mr. Korby (I dunno his first name).

Lastly, the guy who fixes all of my live sound gear - James Link from Musician's Custom Electronics.

Personal heros sure, but heros nonetheless.

Osci-later,

Fig
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dcollins

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2007, 01:09:20 am »

John Sands  - Capitol
Scott Stogel - Record Plant 3rd St.
Thomas "Beno" May - A&M
Danny Buchanan - "Henson"
And many more......................

DC

Nyquist

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2007, 06:53:45 am »

Ditto on Stogel.  Scott was absolutely top shelf.

Ross Alexander, now there's a name I haven't heard in awhile.  Is he still around?

Fig, I just realized it when you mentioned MCI bias cards...you are now the new inheritor of the JH-24 Logic Annunciator card I just found in my garage!

Hey Dave, who was that hotshot Mits guy back in the 80's.  Now HE was something else...

Wink

 -- Robbie

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paulkatz

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2007, 10:11:32 pm »

Yeah, I was very fortunate to have worked in that era with many tech heroes, too, who were always into mentoring the "young" and the rookies. Even now, I'm still learning (and earning) from the best in the biz. I worked with Dave H at Hit Factory and Sigma...

My first tech mentor was one Jeff MacBride (great Audio tech who had been tinkering with stuff since childhood), who I went to IAR with.

After that I worked w Ed Krupski at Soundworks (he would later become one of the Studer guys along with Nick Balsamo and Thor Thorensen. He also did work for Mitsu in the 90's as did Kevin Anderson who I believe Nyquist may have been referring to as the hot Mits guy, Kevin was based out of Nashville and I believe he may have passed away a couple of years ago?).

I worked at Unique with a great crew of guys: Marty Strauss (a MIDI master), Jack Kennedy (great wiring guy who taught me never give a tech a dry sponge among other things), Tony Mafucci (another great wiring guy and probably the first Mac tech I met), and later smilin' Dave Jensen (who taught me if the problem follows the swap then the problem is before the swap). I actually may have met Mike D there thru Jeff MacB, I believe, and the John Klett and Greg Hanks (these 2 guys are like the tech's tech, who the guys would call in when all else failed).

Next I went to the Factory where there was a great crew including at different times Jack K, Chris Muth (a mad scientist who later went over to Sterling who also had a great tech Bob Tis), Frank Commentale (one of the best old school techs around), Roger Deller (he's been at Clnton forever and is the goods), David Bock (now building mic's), the "Don" Cuminale, John Hechtman (aka Dr Pickehead) and, of course, Dave H!

After that it was on to Sigma where I worked with Jeff MacB, Timo Tsaris (super bench guy), Nat Priest (excellent tube and electronics guy), and Dave H again. It was at that time I met Richie Boisits, Carl Farruggia, and John Holt, who are all super techs and had all worked at Sigma, too.

Post-Sigma, I went on to Battery Studios and worked under Jack K and later Bob Schwall (an encyclopedia of studio tech knowledge). It was thru Bob I met David Smith who not only was an amazing tech but a class A guy, too.

I moved over to Dreamhire for 8 years (the longest I ever worked at one place). This was great because I got to work with my predecessor, the original Rental tech Brian Macaluso, and many other excellent tech heroes like Pete Lanzilotta at Doubletake (the Service tech), Terry Murphy and Bobby Manella of Sony, Joe "the Mic guru" Leung at Gotham, Tracy Korby (another mic guru I believe you mentioned, Fig), Mike Spitz of ATR Services, Dom Costanza at Right Track, Dan Zelman and Ron Allair at Chung King, Burt Price (Mercenary), John Caine of Toy Specialists, Digital Dan Shimiyaya (Enterprise), and countless others, not to mention other Dreamhire techs like Eric Schnorr (who although he was an assistant when we started out at hire he was instrumental in bringing Pro Tools to the studios), Roni Yehezkel, Steve Greco, and Paul Olivera.

After working freelance in Home Theater installations and doing AV events, I ended up at Sound One with an amazing crew of tech engineers who have been there a long time and some of who I knew already: Avi Laniado, Bob Troeller (Avi and Bob have been there for years and are 2 amazing and helpful guys), Mike Holmstrom (another vet with serious chops, too), Al Hale (an all around whiz from Video to networking), Phil Fuller (formerly of Power Station), Dave Lanik (great shop guy), Pat Smith (excellent bench guy), and Kenny Chung (excellent at repairing you mean they still use those projectors?). When it comes to Audio Post, these guys are golden!

Currently I'm working in broadcast where all my fellow engineers are heroes to me since it's somewhat new for me. It's great, my boss is an engineer named Rick DeWald who's been with the company for 27 years and is a real class guy, too. His boss Bill Whitton also is a broadcast veteran who worked at Atlantic Satellite for like 15 years. The cool thing as with all the techs above is that they never hesitate to help out another tech!

Last but not least many excellent techs from manufacturer from AMS-Neve, Dolby, SSL, and others.

For me, I think the trick is something Schwall once told me, that every day you keep your mind open to learn something new cos the day you stop learning; then you might as well stay home.

Also it's a small enough industry where one good turn deserves another...

Actually I always knew I'd go postal or into Broadcast someday and the way the Recording industry changed, it sorta pushed me in that direction. And that's a good thing. There is plenty of tech work, it's just in different places then one would expect.

Currently, I'm helping a friend who's building his own recording studio in Brooklyn so I guess you can never completely get out of the biz even if you wanted to but that may be a good thing when you love gear, technology, and tools... and have been at it for years.

For example, if a guy like Dave H left the biz, it would be a great loss to the industry, the industry would suffer. But you gotta do what you do.

Selling tofu pups on the beach is where I want to end up.
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Fig

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2007, 12:11:23 am »

Yikes!  How could I forget?  Geoff Tanner.

He really went the extra mile getting our Neve broadcast board in tip top shape after it came over from Russia.

He even built a rackmount for the two extra channel strips we had.

I visited his shop once - amazing.

Oh... and Robbie - send the JH-24 Logic Annunciator to Mouse.  You know the address. Cool Good to see you here!

Warm analog regards,

Fig
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David Glasser

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2007, 08:09:48 pm »

and Jack Crymes, LA Record Plant Remote. Paul 'Presto' Prestopino, NY Record Plant & RPR. Both opened my then young eyes about how a remote studio - any studio really - should be constructed and maintained.
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sodderboy

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2007, 09:16:40 pm »

Paul!
You were the only dude to survive The Purge at Unique!  Under the radar. . .

I'll take 2 pups with some TVP chili.

Mike
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paulkatz

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2007, 02:29:25 am »

that is true, Mike; i did survive the Unique purge but shortly thereafter i showed myself the door... funny thing is before i worked at Battery/Dreamhire i was "released" from every other facility i worked at!

recently i was able to dodge the bullet at Sound One; i was working the late shift at the Sound One 54th st facility (the old Todd-AO, a couple of doors down from the Hit Factory 237 where believe it or not my friend trains in ken-do!) and the building got sold from under us. i knew as the "last man in", most likely I'd be the first one out so i got proactive and started looking for work right after they announced the sale and found a very cool gig (although, in broadcast, for the most part, audio is considered that annoying stuff that goes with video).

hey, speaking of tech heroes, i have to add, i have learned a hecht of a lot (and I'm sure everybody else in the biz has, too)  from the killer engineers, producers, and assistant engineers that i've worked with over the years, too.

people like Joe Blaney, Bob Rosa, George Karras, the Lord Alge's, Roey & Angela, Acar Key, Roy Halee, Phil Ramone, Bob Clearmountain, Gary Lyons, Joe Perriera, Paul Logus, Rich Travali, Chris Trevett, Nigel Green, Eric Gast, Stephen George, Bob Powers, Tim Latham, Martin Czembor, Frank Fillepeti, Kooster, Dave Hewitt and Phil Gitomer, Al Schmitt, Bill Laswell, Eddie Kramer, Andy Wallace, Alan Silverman, Shane Stoneback... and so many more.

you know if it wasn't for them, we'd have nothing to build, modify or fix!

plus if it wasn't for the manufacturers, designers and their techs past and present we'd have no gear at all.

folks like Rupert Neve, Roger Linn, John Hardy, George Massenberg, David Royer, Dave Bock at Soundelux, Chris Muth at Dangerous Music, Hutch and Paul Fargo at Manley, Neal and Jackson at Tascam, Mihow Jurewicz at Mytek, Dan Lavry, Paul Wolf, Dave Hill, Haggai Gefen, Dan O'Grady formerly at Studer now with Nady, Wayne formerly at TC now at Aphex, Ed Simone and  Brian at TC to name a few... industry heroes who will chat with you at the trade show or in the studio.
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arconaut

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Re: Heroes of Tech
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2007, 08:47:55 am »


I'm really enjoying reading everyone's responses, and I'd like to add another name to the list: Boston's Lexicon guru, Jim Fabiano.

Also, I learned a heck of a lot watching my old boss, Steve Addabbo. Nothing stays broken in that man's studio for very long and he can fix most anything.

Noah
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