WCA #162 with John Karr

Working Class Audio #162 with John Karr!!!

John Karr is  well regarded as one of the top sound engineers in San Francisco, with a professional career spanning over 30 years, engineering shows and albums for over 20,000 bands, in every genres you can imagine.  From recording studio’s to local house gigs to national tours of theaters and large music festivals, across the United States, Japan and Europe.

John has worn the hats of F.O.H. and monitor engineer, studio producer, session musician, composer, and live sound mentor @ at S.F. City College and Expressions School for Music in Emeryville Ca, He has over 60 album recording credits, including the theme songs for KALW Rose Agular’s Your Call Radio and KSAN Steven Weed’s Weed in the morning. Other notable accomplishment’s include 7 years tenure as head sound engineer/manager and sound system designer of The Independent – which has won international praise as “The Best Sounding Live Music Venue in San Francisco”.   

About this Interview:

John Karr joins me for a great chat covering his approach to working in multiple genres, accepting gigs of all shapes and sizes, bringing humor and humanity to the audio work environment and how he dealt with an accident that left him without the use of his legs for 6 months. John has been working his ass off since arriving in San Francisco 1988 and it’s a pleasure to have him as my guest. Enjoy!

Matt


Show notes and links:

WCA #161 with Matt Donner

Working Class Audio #161 with Matt Donner!!!

Matt Donner holds a Bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Business Analysis (Penn State) and a Masters in Music Technology (NYU). While developing his Producer and Engineering chops in NYC, he went on to perform for various TV studios and John Cale (Velvet Underground) that included 3 feature film scores. After signing his band to an indy record deal, his cross-country tour brought him to SF where the drummer exploded – how typical.

Matt quickly found himself as Regional Technical Director for Guitar Center and the Pro Tools Support Lead for the Cutting Edge Audio Group.  There, he served as studio designer, installer and trainer for the likes of Joe Satriani, Metallica, Spearhead, Santana and the SF Jazz Fest as well as many private studios including Wally World (Walter A., N’Sync, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion).

In January 2000, he and Greg Gordon began working together exclusively at Pyramind where they began running the hybrid Production/ Training businesses. Matt has served the company as Chief Engineer, Senior Producer/ Composer, Chief Technical Officer, Vice- President and now as CAO and COO. He helped grow the Pyramind Training program from a single 24 hour class to the highly-touted 900 hour 12-month Complete Producer. He has trained thousands of students, mixed/ mastered dozens of records and has published several magazine articles. Matt has also written two texts on Pro Tools (Thomson Press) as well as the Pyramind Training three-book series published (Alfred Publishing). He’s best known now for his YouTube series “The Breakdown” on the channel “Pyratube”.

Matt currently lives in San Francisco and Davis, CA with his wife, two children and three dogs. He has trained in Mixed Martial Arts and Bak Mei Kung Fu for years and on good days, surfs the Pacific Ocean on his Al Merrick 6’ 2” fish.

The Pacific usually wins.

About this Interview:

Matt talks with me about Pyramind and the three prong approach to preparing students for the real world of audio. We also discuss survival, failure, gear lust and work life balance amongst a few other key topics. I’ve known Matt Donner for 20 years and have great respect for him so it’s an honor to have him on.

Matt


Show notes and links:

WCA Studio Before and After Zaor Makeover

WCA #160 with Joe Costable

WCA #160 with Joe Costable

Working Class Audio #160 with Joe Costable!!!

Joe Costable started his  career in Houston, TX, at Studio 7303; the largest studio in the area, and at that time the hub of Hip-Hop. Starting as an intern, Joe eventually moved up the ranks as an engineer working with many prominent artists and producers, such as Mike Jones, Scarface, Mannie Fresh,  Gerald Levert, and many others.

A few years later he moved back to his native New York for a short stint at the Island Def Jam Music Group, where he learned the other side of the industry in the A&R department while building his clientele as a freelance engineer. Joe landed his first mixing gig with a few Good Charlotte songs, some of which landed on the Cardiology record.

In the years since, Joe has worked with many more artists in genres from hip-hop to shoe gaze. His work has been everywhere from top 10 at radio, selling millions of copies worldwide, national ad campaigns, to being featured on the most underground of music blogs. While the majority of his work is with Alternative, Rock, and Pop records, Joe loves getting an opportunity to expand his abilities and paint a new picture. Joe is  a member of the Audio Engineering Society and a voting member of The Recording Academy as well as  an average home brewer and an avid hiker. 

About this Interview:

Matt speaks with Joe about his early days in Houston making Hip Hop records, hustling in New York, mixing in the quite and remote town of Patterson, NY, making a living and photography as well as many other topics. -Enjoy!

Matt

Show notes and links:

 

WCA #159 with Matt Allison

WCA #159 with Matt Allison

Working Class Audio #159 with Matt Allison!!!

Matt Allison started Atlas in 1996 with a vision to fill a void in Chicago’s Punk Rock scene, offering bands a refuge to bring their music to life. 21 years later, Atlas has become a Chicago staple. Matt has worked with an extensive list of artists including Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms, and The Menzingers, to highlight a few. Matt continues to record at Atlas but focuses most of his time on mixing and producing artists.  Enjoy!

About this Interview:

Matt speaks with me about running a studio in Chicago, landlords, leases, recording on black face ADATS, mixing at home, working with punk rock bands and much more! Eric Arway must be thanked for suggesting Matt as a guest!

Happy New Year!
Matt

Show notes and links:

 

WCA #158 with Eddie Kramer

Working Class Audio #158 with Eddie Kramer!!!

After moving to London from South Africa, Eddie Kramer began his recording career working at three of the most legendary studios in rock, Pye Studios, Regent Sound and Olympic Studios, where he recorded Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Traffic and a myriad of other major recording stars.
In 1968 Kramer came to work at the Record Plant in NYC, engineering Hendrix’s “Electric Lady Land” LP, and also worked with The Vanilla Fudge, Joe Cocker and NRBQ. In 1969 Kramer went independent, producing Johnny Winter’s first LP and engineering “Led Zeppelin II,” acknowledged by fans and critics alike as perhaps that bands most influential work. In 1969 Jimi Hendrix hired Eddie and architect John Storyk to build a state of the art studio. After 13 months Electric Lady Studios was complete, and Kramer served as its Director of Engineering from 1970 -1974. Electric Lady became one of the world’s most popular recording studios and still rocks the world today with it’s great sounds.
Eddie continued to man the boards for other projects, including the best-selling Woodstock soundtrack, which made Kramer one of the most pre-eminent producer/engineers of live albums by rock artists of the era. He worked on live recordings by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, John Mayall, the Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker, Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie and Derek & the Dominoes. Add to it 6 of Led Zeppelin’s most enduring albums (Led Zeppelin II, Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti, The Song Remains the Same, Coda, How the West was Won, as well as Hendrix collections throughout the remainder of the decade (Cry of Love, Hendrix in the West, War Heroes, among others), and you’d think Kramer’s plate was full. But this proved not to be the case.
In 1973, two unknown musicians  (Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley) asked Eddie if  he would be interested in producing their new group’s demo tape. He accepted, touching off a relationship with theatrical heavy metallist’s Kiss that would last throughout the ’70s — resulting in such hard rock classics as their breakthrough Alive, plus Rock and Roll Over, Love Gun, Alive II, Double Platinum.
Kramer spent the ’80s producing and engineering primarily heavy metal acts- Fastway, Anthrax, Alcatrazz, Raven, Loudness, Triumph, Whitesnake, Ace Frehley’s solo outfit, Frehley’s Comet. But the ’90s saw him once again getting involved with Kiss for their Alive III set, as well as numerous Hendrix projects (once Hendrix’s family got the rights back to his music, Kramer was put back in control of overseeing all subsequent releases). During this time, he also co-authored two Hendrix-related books Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight and Jimi Hendrix Sessions. In 1999 he won a Grammy Award for his audio production of the video Jimi Hendrix live album The Band of Gypsys.
In recent years, Kramer has received several more Grammy awards including engineering a single entitled “The Game of Love”, with Carlos Santana and vocals by Michelle Branch, Martin Scorcese presents- Jimi Hendrix –“The Blues” which Eddie produced and engineered, Jimi Hendrix –“Live at Berkley,” Led Zeppelin- “How the West was Won”. Other Best selling albums include “Stone Free:” A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix, featuring tracks by Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, The Cure, Buddy Guy, Spin Doctors and others, which Kramer produced and engineered. He produced and engineered “Our Country” John Mellancamp’s single for the Chevy Silverado campaign, worked with The Pixies Joey Santiago, Wolfmother’s cover of Cheap Sunglasses for a ZZ top tribute album, produced steel blues guitarist Robert Randolph, Buddy Guy and the Family Band.
He is currently working on Acoustic Experience- a contemporary acoustic remake of Hendrix’s songs with artists Jason Mraz/Crosby and Nash, Mike Mc Cready and Brandi Clarlisle, Grace Potter, Rafael Saadiq, Heart, Shinedown, etc.
In addition to his legendary music career, he has been one of the key photographers of the rock world. His unique access and life long friendships with rock’s luminaries have given him access to a world others rarely see. Eddie’s photographs have been exhibited in some of the world’s most prestigious galleries and museums and have become prized possession of international collectors.
He likes to educate the next generation of producer/engineers by sharing his years of experience in the studio. Kramer is a frequent lecturer at La Fabrique Studios in St. Remy de Provence conducting weeklong seminars and workshops at Mix with the Masters.
Eddie continues to engineer and produce new artists. He is constantly pushing the envelope by developing recording software for WAVES, DTS surround sound, designing Jimi Hendrix and Brian May Guitar Pedals for Digitech, he partnered with F-Pedals to create the “Eddie Kramer” signature guitar pedals, worked on the Disney interactive game “Fantasia- Music Evolved”. He is currently working on the “Eddie Kramer Tutorial Recording App” and has a company with his partner AJ Newton called Lunafinery which sells men’s and women’s luxury accessories.
The most recent highlight in Kramer’s career was an Emmy award for best sound in The American Masters Hendrix documentary “Hear My Train A Comin’.
Kramer is currently working on his memoir, From the Other Side of the Glass.

About this Interview:

One day I received an email with the subject line Guest suggestion/Eddie Kramer from Clifton David Broadbridge. The email read “I work with Eddie in Toronto. I’m his studio partner and assistant,, was wondering if you would like to interview him for your podcast? He would be totally into it!” I almost fell out of the chair! Long story short, I replied back, spoke with Clifton, then spoke with Eddie and next thing I know I’m wrapping up an interview with someone who is responsible for some of the most incredible records in music history. I was a little stunned afterwards. Sincere, funny, and full of energy is how I would describe Eddie Kramer. We talk about his photography, Jimi Hendrix and the new record coming out, Led Zeppelin, business, diversification, leaving South Africa for England, the famous Troggs tape, music today vs. the past, rebuilding the El Mocambo club with a studio inside and much more. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays!
Matt

Show notes and links:

 

WCA #157 with Dana Jae

Working Class Audio #157 with Dana Jae!!!

Dana Jae’s career as an audio engineer spans 34 years since the first day she began to record and mix songs on her Tascam PortaStudio in the early 80’s while attending college at UC Berkeley. She formed several of her own bands performing and recording until 1988 when she discovered that the “behind-the-scenes” tech realm was much more to her liking. Dana then began a career as a live sound engineer and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as front-of-house sound engineer for a multitude of bands on various record labels and have been a staff engineer at the venerable Bottom of the Hill nightclub since their inception in 1991.

Dana has  owned and maintained a live sound production company since 1989 under the moniker dcj Productions, that has provided sound to the Bay Area community (mostly in the non-profit sector) in both large-scale, outdoor sound events as well as nightclubs and music halls. In 1991, she started recording bands on an 8-track Tascam TSR-8 analog tape recorder and moved into the digital realm in 1993 to 16-tracks of Alesis ADAT in her home studio. In 1995, Dana advanced to using Pro Tools and has been recording exclusively digital ever since, combining audio skills in sound for film as a location recordist as well as in post-production sound design and mixing. Dana says she  still prefers the sonic rapture of “strictly analog” in live sound mixing, however.

Dana co-owned and was the President of APG Records & APG Studios, a record label and recording studio from 1999 – 2004 which had a distribution deal through EMI.

In 2001, Dana was hired to the part-time faculty at City College of San Francisco in the Broadcast Electronics Media Arts department where she has taught Digital Media Skills , Basic Audio Production, Digital Audio Production , Sound Recording Studio, Sound For Visual Media , Advanced Sound Recording, Sound Reinforcement, Audio for the Web , Video for the Web ,Field Video Production,  classes in sound design, audio for animation and games, music video, and computer applications at Laney College in Oakland, CA, Art Institute of California-San Francisco, and Globe Recording Institute in San Francisco.

About this Interview:

I’ve known Dana Jae since the late 90’s. We crossed paths working at local San Francisco pro audio dealers  Audio Images and Cutting Edge  Audio  and also worked briefly together at a small record company.  Since then we have stayed in touch over the years and recently ran into each other at an audio event where we planned this interview. We discuss how Dana got into audio and her journey through live sound, studio sound, film sound, pro audio retail and her current gig at City College of San Francisco. Enjoy!


Show notes and links:

 

 

WCA #156 with Justin Perkins

WCA #156 with Justin Perkins

Working Class Audio #156 with Justin Perkins!!!

Justin Perkins has been recording music since his mid-teens. It all started  in his father’s basement then progressed to recording studios around the state of Wisconsin including the renowned Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin before relocating to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he now has his own mastering studio called Mystery Room Mastering. Justin’s  clients include Tommy Stinson, The Replacements, The Figgs, The Gaslight Anthem, Daryl Stuermer, Screeching Weasel, The Mr. T Experience, The Smoking Popes, Limbeck, Miles Nielsen, and Tenement. Justin also recently mixed a new documentary about the legendary 90’s band Jawbreaker called “Don’t Break Down”. Outside of the studioJustin has  played bass in some of his own bands as well as with the newly reformed Bash & Pop, Tommy Stinson, Paul Collins Beat, Cory Chisel and a few others.

About this Interview:

Every time I post  about a new WCA show on Twitter there was always one guy who liked it, shared it or commented on it and that was Justin. Naturally I wanted to know who Justin Perkins was and why he was always liking the show so one day I visited his website Mystery Room Mastering and it was then I fully understood just how bad ass this guy was plus I was just blown away at the thorough nature of his website. Justin had reached out before to invite me to a Bash and Pop show  he was playing in San Francisco (I was unable to go) so I wasn’t completely unaware of of his background but I had to talk to him! So after reaching out, scheduling and conducting my interview I had a whole new appreciation for Justin. We chat about his journey and his website and the usual WCA topics (clients, business, work/life balance, etc…).  -Enjoy!

Matt


Show notes and links:

 

 

WCA #155 with Andrew Maury

WCA #155 with Andrew Maury

Working Class Audio #155 with Andrew Maury!!!

Andrew Maury is an American record producer, audio engineer, and mixing engineer based in Brooklyn, New York. Maury has worked with artists such as Lewis Del Mar, Ra Ra Riot, Shawn Mendes, Grace Mitchell, Strange Names, Post Malone, RAC, Panama Wedding, Atlas Genius, Kimbra, Delicate Steve, Milagres, High Highs, Penguin Prison, Kisses, Satchmode, COIN, The Kooks, and CRUISR. In the summer of 2009, he worked on Tegan and Sara’s Sainthood alongside producer and Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla at the world-famous Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. Maury also spent years mixing front of house on tour for artists such as Ra Ra Riot and Givers, and has mixed shows for bands such as Delicate Steve, Surfer Blood, and Chairlift.

About this Interview:

Andrew talks to me from his home in Brooklyn, NY about  management, health, working in the pop world as a rock guy, gear lust, Sound City, and much more.  Many thanks to listener Chad Wahlbrink for suggesting Andrew.


Show notes and links:

The Patchbay I mention in the monologue: https://www.flocktechnologies.com/

WCA #154 with James Tuttle

WCA #154 with James Tuttle

Working Class Audio #154 with James Tuttle!!!

James Tuttle is an recording/mixing engineer and producer with 40 years in the trenches. After growing up playing in local bands in the midwest and Colorado he traded his place on stage for a place behind the console and never looked back. He has worked with everyone from Carole King and Dan Fogelberg to Joe Ely and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. He is a 2 time Grammy nominee for his mixing work with singer/songwriter Eliza Gilkyson and Jungle Jazz For Kids creator Mark Oblinger. He currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado where he returned to after a stay in the fertile music mecca of Austin TX. He continues to be actively involved in making records with local and national artists. After a long affiliation with Airshow Mastering where he had a mix room, he now works from his home studio and from the Studio at eTown Hall.
His ongoing affiliation with the eTown syndicated radio show/podcast spans 20+ years where he is the chief recording engineer. Working on the eTown show has afforded him the opportunity to record and mix hundreds of  artists including:  James Taylor, Mumford and Son, Los Lobos, Michael Franti, Lyle Lovett, Imogen Heap, Rickie Lee Jones, Randy Newman, Ben Folds, Atmosphere, Emmy Lou Harris, Brother Ali and many, many more.

About this Interview:

WCA #154 features US recording/mixing engineer and producer James Tuttle. James originally emailed me knowing I would be in Colorado to see if I wanted to sit down for coffee. Once I saw that James had a serious background I countered his coffee offer with a an interview in a local coffee shop. With my portable rig in tow we got caffeinated and talked money, E-Town  (https://www.etown.org/ ) where  James has been at the last 20 years, his connection to David Glasser , recording in Austin and being in Carol King’s backup band. Enjoy! -Matt


Show notes and links:

  • E Town: https://www.etown.org/
  • The Documentary we mention: http://www.shopkeepermovie.com/
  • The studio in the above documentary: http://congresshouse.com/
  • Arguments for FCC Net Neutrality: https://goo.gl/NpHxWW
  • Arguments against FCC Net Neutrality:  https://goo.gl/DCjA1V

WCA #153 with Katie Tavini

WCA #153 with Katie Tavini

Working Class Audio #153 with Katie Tavini!!!

Katie Tavini began working as a producer and engineer before a piece of advice changed everything for her. “I was looking to improve my mixes,” she recalls. “Someone told me that if I wanted to do that I should learn to master. Whether it was good advice or not I took it. I loved what I discovered and never looked back.”

With a fine balance of curiosity and experience, Tavini is now a mastering engineer with a rich and diverse client-list far bigger than any sound or scene.

“I like things with a lot of influences,” she adds. “I like not being able to place a piece of music immediately and I love working with bands and artists who push their boundaries. I’ve found that a willingness to try and explore something new has often led to amazing results for my clients.”

Katie is a mastering engineer who encourages, refines, expands and finishes. She loves to amplify the emotion and energy of an artist while bringing clarity and consistency to their art. People do not hear her best work, they feel it.

“Most people don’t think about how music moves them,” admits Tavini. “They are just moved. My job is to bring all the hard work of artists, producers and engineers together and create a platform for songs to shine. It’s the perfect job for me.”

About this Interview:

WCA #153 features UK Mastering engineer Katie Tavini ( https://www.katietavini.co.uk/ ). Katie recently wrote a what I think is a great opinion piece for Audio Media International ( https://goo.gl/XaovbN) about supporting your fellow engineers, your peers etc.. Instead of casting judgement over the gear they use and instead judge them based on the work they do. After reading that article I had a look at Katie’s website sent an email and invited her on the show. We chatted a couple of days ago about mastering of course, clients, money, health and marketing. Enjoy! -Matt


Show notes and links: