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Author Topic: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?  (Read 20950 times)

Curve Dominant

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2005, 10:29:58 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Thu, 17 March 2005 11:37

Very well said Eric.  Nice story.


Terry,

Thanks, and...

I was tempted to mention this, and refrained from fear of appearing syncophantic, but...

A LOT of the records Bobby and I learned to play guitar by jamming to, were ones you worked on.

Which means that it's partly YOUR FAULT that we're in this mess!!!

THANKS!

Curve Dominant

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2005, 10:43:39 pm »

djui5 wrote on Thu, 17 March 2005 18:21

Eric Vincent wrote on Wed, 16 March 2005 21:52

Quote:

HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?


When my mom got pregnant with her first child (my older brother Bobby).............Music is my mistress,
And she plays second fiddle to no one.


Eric,
Great story Smile

What happened to your brother? Is he Bono or something?


Randy,

Bobby is currently Greenday's guitar tech. Look here:

http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_green_day_2/

Prior to that, he was guitar tech for Audioslave, Weezer, Eddy Money, and a bunch of other rock greats.

Prior to that, Bobby was the rhythm guitarist in Slash's Blues Ball, and played guitar for a bunch of near-miss rock bands which were "almost famous."

His son (my nephew) is an AMAZING drummer, and has played on some of my productions for my younger brother Kurt Guitars:

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze8annv/id16.html

...Click on "Righteous Fury" and that's "lil' Bobby" playing drums...13 years old. THAT kid is going to be famous one day.

It's a family affair...

Leo

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2005, 12:43:20 am »

My dad is a Bass Player and I have been going to sessions with him for a while. Grew up across the street from the singer of Survivor & Target. He had a studio at his house. I could hook up a mic to a console and insert a pitch shifter and prank call you at the age of 6. Slept with a boom box in my top bunk. His wife babysat me and she would take her son and I up to Kiva while she did O/D's. Got a four track. Made alot of stupid commericals then alot of punk rock. Figured out how to use headphones as mics and mics as little speakers and then blow the diaphram. In high school went to school for 3 hours then lunch then a 24 track analog studio everyday for 3 years. They had a Korg X3. New hot shit at the time. Learned how to make rap music and sync up stuff correctly. After high school joined the Stagehand Union. Did a few large concerts ALOT of broadway shows and 1 Jewely Convention. I quit after that. It's was horrible. All those jewel cases. Went to work for a corporate A/V company for @ 2 years. Too corporate. Then went to work for Ardent Studios. Was there for @ 3 years. Went independent, got picked up by a band to run F.O.H. for then 4 nights a week in a different city every day. Got tired of the road and was getting alot of studio work so decided to quit touring. Been in doing it since about 30 minutes before this post.
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fclayton

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2005, 02:02:12 am »

Yes, you have--me. The Recording Workshop, Chillicothe OH

I went there to the first class they had.... wound up teaching microphone placement and the sort.... and sleeping in the basement.
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fclayton

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2005, 02:11:41 am »

Started out recording church choirs and high school bands and the like in the mid 70's or so... used Magnacord tube type mono and later stereo recorders.... had some old tube Neuman u87s.

I've got a pretty heavy electronics background so I learned to align and repair the stuff along the way.

moved through various semi-pro multi track formats and finally to big consoles and big 2 inch 24 tracks recorders. Worked in the studio where the original Tiny Bubbles was recorded.

now have a laptop with Nuendo and do little recording here and there. More of a hobby than a job. And not much of a mess at that.
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compasspnt

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2005, 07:00:14 am »

fclayton wrote on Fri, 18 March 2005 02:11

... had some old tube Neuman u87s...



???
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fclayton

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2005, 07:36:36 am »

compasspnt wrote on Fri, 18 March 2005 12:00

fclayton wrote on Fri, 18 March 2005 02:11

... had some old tube Neuman u87s...



???


Well... it has been 30 years. They were Neumanns and they looked like u87's. They had tubes and the external power supplys. Reckon it might have been a pair of U67's.

Whatever they were we used them for everything so I must have handled them a zillion times...... sheesh my memory must be worse than I thought[grin].
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McAllister

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2005, 09:11:09 am »

Musical family; mom pianist w/ perfect pitch (all classical), dad sing with choirs - even now and he's nearly 73. I am the youngest of 3 boys. We all had piano lessons and lots of musical involvelment as kids - my eldest brother is a pretty damned good self-taught guitar player; my other brother likely could've made a great life as a session drummer - but chose to be an orthopedic surgeon instead. He still plays, though, and is solid.

My folks got me a bass for my 14th birthday on the advice of my brothers. I didn't even know what one was, but it was love at first play. Went to college, studied music, ended up at Berklee.

I remember reading in Mickey Hart's "Drumming at the Edge of Magic" that until he knew how to record music, he'd always be at the mercy of engineers. I didn't believe him.

For a time I practiced bass a lot, got pretty good, and was a sideman for some people you may have heard of. But I've concentrated on writing for a long, long time now. It's what matters to me the most. I've written jazz, reggae, contemporary Christian, western swing, rock, and big band stuff; and had some amazing lessons in orchestration not too long ago. I love all of it. There's so much there to love.

Started tracking with 4-track in '87 or so. Got a Tascam 388 in '97. 5 years or so later I got an Otari 1/2" 8-track and that's what I still use. Some good mics and a few good pieces of outboard gear.

I usually hire someone else to come and mix my stuff, cause frankly, I suck at it. I thought I'd be better at it by now, but that's sadly not the case.

As I've said before in the R/E/P, I'm not in the same league as most of y'all, but it's nice to be here.

M
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thedoc

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2005, 11:20:55 am »

I'm looking forward to trying tube KM84's....    Smile
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2005, 11:31:51 am »

The NuVistor U-64 they sold here was a great sounding mike and I understand the KM-64 that was sold in Europe was even better.

WhyKooper

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2005, 05:48:45 pm »

1955....THIS is what I always see sitting there at home.  Our trusty, brand new Voice Of Music mono reel to reel.  Not a musician in my family.  But it was always there.  Holidays..non-holidays.  Just always sitting there.  Reels spinning for anything my parents wanted to capture, usually along side the silent 8mm movie camera I'm sure.  This thing's almost bigger than me.  No vu meter..just that orange light that gets lighter and dimmer with the intensity of the sound..just like the robot's face in Lost In Space.  This thing r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r-s every sound we make.  Playing our sounds back in big fat mono through it's own big fat front speaker.  I watched it do what it did and was in constant awe.  I'm absolutely sure that's when it was all over for me.
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compasspnt

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2005, 10:55:40 pm »

WhyKooper wrote on Fri, 18 March 2005 17:48

... Voice Of Music mono reel to reel...


Ah, a good old friend...loved that glowing light-meter!
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Bill Mueller

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2005, 09:14:49 pm »

I'm late to this thread because I have been in Austin for a week, but given the stories I've told here, it might not surprise you that I risked my life to be in this business.

Before that happened I sang in the choir. I was so good that the teacher had me try to teach the 8th graders when I was in the 6th grade. Big mistake, they beat the bejesus out of me after school, so I learned to take care of myself. At 13 I was forced into piano lessons that I hated, but taught me a little about chord structure. At 15 I switched to guitar and built a guitar amp from a portable stereo. It was a miracle that I did not electrocute myself.

I was a better singer than guitar player so I sang in a band until I was 19 and just starting college. We had a great band and was offered a gig in Pretoria South Africa. We had a Shure Vocal Master PA with TWO sets of speakers. Damn right.

Then my little sister was killed on a motorcycle and I took some time off from the world.

After a while, I decided I wanted back in the world so I went to Heil Sound, a remarkable, local company that was building equipment and touring with major acts out of offices in the middle of a corn field in western Illinois.

Here is where the life risking stuff comes in. Bob Heil tells me he does not have a gig for a sound man but he does have a gig for a tractor trailer driver. I was just 21, with blond hair down to my belt and I say to Bob. "Oh yea, I can drive a tractor trailer.  I don't have my license just now, but if you give me a truck for a week I will brush up and get it." I had never been in a tractor trailer, but it was not a lie. I knew I could do it. So Bob, (what was he thinking?) rented a tractor for me. I drove it around the corn fields and in a week went over and got my license. Just like that.

Next thing I know I am driving a loaded tractor around New York City, getting a Humble Pie show on the road. For the next six months, instead of resting like the other drivers did, every afternoon I would assist the crew setting up the PA and forced every one on the tour to teach me their gig. I got no sleep but I learned alot.

During my touring career, I jack knifed a tractor in Ottowa, almost slid into icy ravines in Oklohoma and Washington state, was nearly dragged off a stage by an angry crowd in Detroit, almost slipped from a 30' wet PA scaffold in Kansas and danced the Can Can on stage at Maple Leaf Gardens on New Years Eve. I  was threatened death by Leslie West's crew, (not my fault) made close friends under stages, back stage and in the sleeper, took part in some of the stuff that was in Almost Famous and unknowingly smuggled a large quantity of cocain into Canada. There's other stuff but I can't talk about it. All in all I toured with about thirty good acts.

When I was not touring or sleeping, (on off-weeks we slept sometimes for four days or more) I would borrow equipment from Bob and go out to clubs and record the local bands. I had a friend who was a high school teacher and he had me record his jazz bands as well. I just set the mics up like we did with the big bands and fed a Crown 1/4" machine the two mix. I monitored with headphones from the Crown.

In my spare time (!) I started a company building fiberglass cabinets for Bob, (Oh, yes I know how to do that!) and toured for a while with ZZ Top. A year into that I decided that I wanted to become a studio engineer so I visited a Recording Institute of America class in St Louis. After about two classes it was clear that I knew as much about recording as the teacher, who was VP of a studio in Baltimore. He hired me to immediately take over teaching the RIA course there. I was then 24.

I sold my house to my neighbor, packed my van and drove across the country. When I arrived at the studio, there was a full trash can sitting upside down on the new API console with wine dripping on the floor. Apparently the outgoing engineer had a difference of opinion with the VP over my job. I had thee days to dismantle, wash and resassemble the console, learn how to use it and the MCI 24 track that I had never seen before and be prepared to record an eight piece band. No sweat, I know how to do that!

Best Regards,

Bill



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David Kulka

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2005, 12:37:11 am »

One of my first memories is staring at wires on telephone poles from the back of the family car.  I became obsessed with electronics while very young, dismantling radios and TV's from the dump, building kits and projects, fiddling with circuits.  Mom was a music teacher and dad was a structural engineer with a firm in San Francisco, doing projects all over the world.  Occasional run-ins with the authorities -- an FCC visit to shut down my bootleg transmitter, Pacific Telephone showing up to confiscate my "phone freak" gear (they called it Interstate Toll Fraud) alarmed my father, but he was secretly tickled -- I guess it made for good stories at cocktail parties.

The real influence was my uncle, Leo Kulka.  Leo's audio career went way back to the U.S. Army Signal Corps and then Radio Recorders and Gold Star, he later built International Sound at Sunset & Western.  I remember watching Leo cut records on the Neumann lathe, he'd always show up at family get togethers with classical or sound effects albums that he'd done.

In my early 20's I was installing burglar alarm systems, which I really enjoyed.  Leo, who had no kids then, often invited me to come work for him at his studio in San Francisco, Golden State.  I resisted at first because it seemed nepotistic but finally decided to give it a try, then wondered why I'd waited so long.  I repaired and installed gear and Leo taught me disc mastering, which I loved.  There were all sorts of great sessions and projects-- classical, comedy, direct to disk, jazz, you name it.  Working at a San Francisco studio in the mid 70's was great fun.

I was anxious to try my luck in the big city and landed a job at Bill Putnam's United/Western in '77.  I moved to L.A. and became the lead night maintenance guy.  At the time, Western had 5 24-track studios, and just about everyone recorded there at one time or another.  There were more brilliant musicians, singers, composers, producers, and engineers than I could begin to list here.  The number and variety of big sessions there was just unbelievable -- I stayed for 4 years, every day was exciting and special.

By '81 I wanted to earn more and do some freelance work.  I wound up working for Steve Guy at Location Recording Service.  LRS had 3 mastering rooms, I found myself cutting disks again and helping with maintenance.  Steve was an industry veteran and like Leo, an alumnus of Radio Recorders.  He was a highly respected perfectionist and a wonderful influence.  Though LRS was lower key than United/Western, it was still a pretty happening place.   Deanne Jensen and Wally Heider were associates of Steve's and would drop by to shoot the bull, Michael Verdick did album projects with Madonna and Ted Nugent in the back studio.

Within a few years my studio installation and repair business had taken off and I moved on from LRS.  There were a lot of fun jobs building and maintaining L.A. studios, and working for composers, session players, singer-songwriters, and radio people.  For the last few years our work has turned more to video.  This seemed to happen by itself and I'm glad it did -- shrinkage in the audio industry would have made survival awfully hard and besides, video has provided a plenty of new challenges, learning experiences, and wonderful clients.  But we get plenty of tube gear and vintage work too, so it's not all frame rates, HD, and MPEG.

I never thought of it as a "mess", though.  It's been a privilege and I've enjoyed almost every single day!
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jasonf

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Re: HOW Did You Get Yourself Into This MESS?
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2005, 10:20:35 am »


My story, for the most part, is a pretty familiar one. I lived about 25 minutes from the city as  kid. At 17 as soon as I could drive on my own I became the Saturday apprentice at the best studio in town (Neve room at the time) which was owned by 3 of the best engineers in town.

Soon I discovered they'd let me come in late at night to fool around on the equipment. So I ditched drinking with my friends friday nights to hang out at the studio trying to hear the difference between the compressors and trying to re-create sounds I'd heard the engineers getting the week before.

I figured out the patching and basic operation of all the gear pretty quickly. Because I was the saturday guy and saturday is a great day to golf I would often come in and set-up a session with an engineer, he would convince the client that I knew enough to record them, then the engineer would go golfing, I'd handle the sessions.  

After doing well with fill-in stuff for a while, the engineers started assigning me the projects they didn't want anything to do with. This was fine by me.

Fast forward 7 years, 2 original partners have left and the last partner has sold the studio to myself and another employee who started about the same time I did. We've owned the  studio for 1 month and 2 days now, I haven't stepped inside the doors since we took possession because I'm frantically finishing off the final weeks of an EE degree. It's eating me up inside.

At 22 years old (almost 23), I wouldn't of imagined owning a shop, especially this one, in my wildest dreams but the opportunity was there and what did I have to lose!
Wish me luck! (I'll need it!!)
cheers,
jason

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