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WCA #052 with Robert Preston

WCA #052  with Robert Preston

After 10 years working as a sales rep for a pro audio and recording equipment distributer, Robert Preston  made the plunge into recording full-time by opening a recording studio (GetReel) and locating it inside a rehearsal facility (Secret Studios) surrounded by bands! As one would imagine  Robert gets a lot of business directly from the many bands rehearsing in the building, since it’s  easy for them to take their gear down the hall to GetReel. After 10 years in the first incarnation of the studio then 13 years in the “new” studio, Robert continues a steady stream of work.  As Robert says, “I still love working with and recording bands and singer-songwriters and helping them with their projects and visions of their music. I come at the recording process from a player’s perspective. I’ve built the studio with the players in mind, and I think it shows.”

Matt and Robert dissect Robert’s recording situation and talk gear, money, location and the pros and cons of growing.

WCA #051 with Peter Doell

WCA #051 with Peter Doell

Peter Doell is a senior mastering engineer at Universal Mastering.

Growing up in a house filled with music Peter studied the ʻclassicsʼ by day, but escaped to play – way underaged – at night in bars & clubs to gain the requisite “chops” – playing rock, blues, and jazz throughout high school. Although entering college in a pre-med program, he quickly re-found his musical bearings, and graduated with a degree in Electronic Music Composition! Upon completion of his degree, he went on to be a journeyman musician and engineer, and after several years working in recording studios in Boston, relocated to LA in 1980. His entrance into the recording scene there was facilitated by his technical background, and got a staff position at Capitol Studios as a studio tech. But he quickly got “in the trenches” – in sessions there, recording everyone from Prince, Frank Sinatra, David Lee Roth, the Stray Cats and Miles Davis along the way.

The lure of films took him away from Capitol after 15 years, and he took a staff position at Sony Pictures Entertainment doing scoring. While there, his efforts were heard in films like “Black Hawk Down”, “The Patriot” and “Road To Perdition”.

Then he felt a desire to return to sound-only media – and has been a part of Universal Mastering Studios in Hollywood for the last 10 years. While there, Peter has mastered hundreds of projects for the likes of Robin Thicke, Fergie, Steve Lukather, WARMarilyn Manson, John Waite and many more. While just a few years ago, much of Peterʼs schedule was filled with mixing the music for Rock Band  and Guitar Hero video games where artists from the Universal roster were being featured. Nowadays, he still mixes a few projects, recently for artists such as Toby Keith, Rachel MacFarlane, Rhiannon and Otmaro Ruiz.

The recording scene nowadays has changed so much in the last decade. Peter has seen many of the old-guard first-call studios – AND engineers – fall by the boards as the new wave of record-making takes hold. But sitting at the “finish-line”, or Mastering, gives him a very valuable insight into what has become paramount in the making of modern recordings. He is here to share some of that with you.

Matt and Pete discuss age, what makes Universal Mastering special, working at facility versus working as a freelancer, low-end management, Pete’s new video series The Star Chamber, and the brilliance of Al Schmitt.

WCA #050 with Larry Crane

WCA #050 with Larry Crane

Larry Crane has been involved in music since the late seventies, when he self-released home recordings of his own music. Since then he’s been a musician, record producer/engineer/mixer, Tape Op Magazine founder and editor, book editor, studio owner, archivist, disc jockey, small label owner and even a record distributor employee.

From 1994 to 1997, Crane ran Laundry Rules Recording, a home studio in his basement in Portland, where he recorded artists that include Versus, Stephen Malkmus and Cat Power. Since 1997, Crane has owned and run Jackpot! Recording Studio, Inc., a busy mid-sized studio in Portland, where he has worked with artists such as Sleater-Kinney, The Joggers, The Decemberists, Jenny Lewis, M. Ward, The Go-Betweens, Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, The Thermals, Stephen Malkmus, Quasi, The Portland Cello Project, Jason Lytle and Richmond Fontaine.

Crane has spoken on and moderated panels about recording for TapeOpCon, South by Southwest, North by Northwest, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Potluck Audio Conference, Indie Music Forum and College Music Journal. He has worked in the past as a record label owner, radio station music director, disc jockey, record distributor employee, freelance music journalist and band manager. Starting in 1984, he has been a bass player in several bands, including Elephant Factory, Vomit Launch, Sunbirds, Foggy Notion and Flaming Box of Ants.

Larry and Matt talk about almost 20 years of Tape Op Magazine, his experience running Jackpot! Recording, the symbiotic relationship with pro audio manufacturers, working at other studios and a little business advice.

WCA #049 with F. Reid Shippen

WCA #049 with F. Reid Shippen

You gotta love this guy. I asked him for a bio and I got this…..

“I hate bios. Bios suck. For more information about me you can visit my website at

So in an effort to have a little bit more info here’s this….  F. Reid Shippen is a New Jersey-born, Nashville-based, highly motivated, completely caffeinated multiple Grammy® award-winning producer/engineer/mixer.

Matt and Reid talk family, work/life balance, his power supply to his SSL, interns and much more. Listen in and enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American audience! -Matt

WCA #048 with Bill Simpkins

WCA #048 with Bill Simpkins

Bill Simpkins started in a music career by teaching guitar at the age of 16. In the early 1990s, he started recording his own projects and other bands mostly in the local hardcore punk or straight-edge metal scene with some ADATs and a Mackie mixer. He then worked for several years at Binary Recording Studio with regional bands, eclectic audio projects, orchestras and films. 

In 2001, Bill graduated with a degree in Mathematics and became a software engineer but still did audio part-time. In 2011 he created Alpenglow Sound Studios in the downstairs of his house and has been mostly mixing and recording local/remote artists and doing part-time software engineering.

Bill may be best known for his blog titled “aediaries” that aims to present highly-filtered information and useful philosophies for those who don’t want to sift through endless forum posts and opinions.

He enjoys climbing, snowboarding and surfing. He sings and plays guitar in the heavy metal band “Slavemason”.

Some of the artists Bill has worked with are over the years are: AeTopus, Spindle, Jae Apollo, Dig the Particulars, Regan Mckinnon (Little Kingfisher), Amy Hindman, Kastle King, Clambake, Celestrial Navigation, Medici, Skeptoid Podcast, Mcknarley’s Rant, Phil Kelly, Jayhawker, Andy O, Hakon Sveinsson, G8a, Dana Lyons, Big Sur …

Bill and Matt talk about having a day job and still running a recording studio, Martin Birch (Producer Iron Maiden), how engineers can do better by there clients, and the role of quality equipment.

WCA #047 with John Vanderslice

WCA #047 with John Vanderslice

John Vanderslice (born in Gainesville, Florida) is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and recording engineer.

He is the owner and founder of Tiny Telephone, and Tiny Telephone Oakland, Bay Area analog recording studios.

In 10 full-length albums, and 5 remix records and EPs, Vanderslice’s songwriting is characterized by deeply personal and political lyrics and the use of experimental analog recording techniques. His declared musical influences are diverse, ranging from Neutral Milk Hotel and Radiohead to Public Enemy and Henry Cowell. He has collaborated with renowned musicians such as Mark Kozelek, St. Vincent, and John Darnielle.

He is currently a full-time producer and has worked with The Mountain Goats, Teen Daze, Spoon, Strand Of Oaks and Sophie Hunger.

Matt and John sit down for a chat in Tiny Telephone studio A where they discuss borrowing money, the opening of Tiny Telephone Oakland, smoking pot & climate change. After all that…they go out for amazing Mexican food in the Mission District of San Francisco.

WCA #046 with Matt Wallace

WCA #046 with Matt Wallace

Matt Wallace is an American record producer. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and has been producing professionally since the early 1980s. He is best known for his work with Faith No More, Maroon 5, O.A.R., The Replacements, and Train.

Wallace has produced some of Faith No More’s most iconic recordings, including We Care a Lot, their debut album on Mordam Records. He produced and mixed their breakthrough album, The Real Thingwhich featured the hit song, “Epic.” He produced Angel Dust, named the #1 most influential album of all time by Kerrang!. In 2015, he joined the band again to co-mix their album, Sol Invictus. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hard Rock Album chart.

He produced albums for The Replacements (Don’t Tell A Soul), Paul Westerberg (14 Songs) and John Hiatt (Perfectly Good Guitar). He co-produced the debut Juno-nominated album for Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk. The album was certified double platinum in Canada.

Wallace produced and mixed Songs About Jane, the debut album for Maroon 5, including the Top 40 hit singles “Harder To Breathe,” “This Love,” “Sunday Morning,” and “She Will Be Loved.” The album has sold over 10 million copies worldwide, and won a Grammy Award for “Best New Artist” in 2005.

Since then, Wallace has co-written songs and produced two albums for O.A.R. He has also co-written and produced several songs for Andy Grammer, an album for Pepper, and mixed Blackberry Smoke’s album The Whippoorwill.

In 2013, Wallace started a live music project with Will Kennedy (whose credits include Michael Franti, Thirsty Merc, Andy Grammer, and Pepper) called ‘Live at Studio Delux’. The goal is to help music fans discover the joy of authentic live performances. With over 30 years of combined experience professionally recording and producing music, Wallace and Kennedy capture the artist at their best in a live studio environment. Each artist session is recorded in one day at Wallace’s own studio, Studio Delux. The mastered recordings are made available on iTunes while video content can be watched on the project’s Youtube channel.

Matt talks with Matt about almost giving up, the reality of vintage instruments, as well as getting back into having his own studio and being a one man production house.

WCA #045 with Piper Payne

WCA #045 with Piper Payne

Piper Payne is a Mastering Engineer at Coast Mastering (formerly Michael Romanowski Mastering) in San Francisco. Piper is the Vice President of the SF Chapter of the Recording Academy and she Co-Chairs the SF Producers and Engineers Wing. She also serves on the Education Committee. In addition she is an active member of the AES and the Women’s Audio Mission, as well as being the CEO of Giving Stage. Piper is an audio educator and lectures often about mastering and recording. She is also a first-call for large venue concert and classical recordings.

Piper began her career with a BFA in Audio from the University of Michigan, continuing her Graduate education in Audio at the University of Stavanger in Norway. Piper has apprenticed under some of the best Mastering and audio mentors in the world, including Bob Katz in Orlando and Michael Romanowski in San Francisco. Piper moved to San Francisco after working at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada as the Senior Audio Associate in a work-study program that had her climbing glaciers for film sound design and recording jazz orchestras in the same day! Piper’s focus is Mastering and she lives for quality and equality in audio.

Piper and Matt talk with each other at her new location at Coast Mastering in Berkeley, CA. They two chat about moving to a new facility, room tuning, parking, coffee and audiophiles.

Coast Mastering on Facebook

WCA #044 with Eli Crews

WCA #044 with Eli Crews

Eli Crews has been recording since the early-’90s, when he started making weirdo fractured music on 4-track machines, hugely inspired by The Residents and early Devo. At the time he was also a very active musician, playing guitar and bass in a zillion and a half San Francisco bands. Over the course of making a few albums at small studios owned by Myles Boisen and Kyle Statham, he became inspired to pursue recording himself. Already being part of a vibrant music community, it was easy to find musicians and bands to practice his skills on.

Things have luckily come a long way since then. Artists Eli has had the enormous fortune to work with, either in the studio or onstage, include tUnE-yArDs, ?uestlove, Yoko Ono, Kathleen Hanna/The Julie Ruin, Yuka Honda/Cibo Matto, Sean Ono Lennon/The GOASTT, Yo La Tengo, Laurie Anderson, Marc Ribot, Deerhoof, WHY?, Son Lux, Colin Stetson, Mike Watt, Erase Errata, Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker (Tortoise), Fred Frith, Ben Goldberg, Nels Cline (Wilco), Greg Cohen (Masada/Tom Waits), and Maria Muldaur. He has also assisted legendary engineers Roger Moutenout, Oz Fritz, and Ron St. Germain.

Eli spends most of his days working at Figure 8 Recording in Brooklyn, NY, although he still co-owns New, Improved Recording in Oakland, CA, which he co-founded in 2003. He has also made albums at Tiny Telephone (SF), Fantasy Studios (Berkeley), Electric Lady Studios (NYC), Oscilloscope (NYC), the Bunker (Brooklyn), High Bias Recording (Detroit) and Broken Radio Studios (RIP!).

Eli and Matt talk about moving out of the Bay Area to New York, Family, interns and much more.

You can find more information at

WCA #043 with Eric Valentine


WCA #043 with Eric Valentine

Eric Valentine, is a record producer, who began his career as drummer and producer in the heavy metal band T-Ride. He subsequently produced albums for artists such as Good CharlotteTaking Back SundayNickel CreekQueens of the Stone AgeThird Eye BlindSmash MouthThe All-American RejectsPersephone’s Bees, and Slash, among others.

Eric chats with Matt about Undertone Audio, DIY acoustics, recording Dave Grohl & Dennis Chambers plus working his ass off and the importance of bringing your A-game. Moto the Bulldog makes an appearance by snoring during the interview.

Barefoot Recording (Eric’s Studio)

Undertone Audio 

WCA #042 with Greg Wurth

WCA #042 with Greg Wurth

Greg Wurth is a Grammy Nominated, Gold & Platinum award-winning producer, working as Manager and Chief Engineer at L.A.’s Mothership Studio and Patagonia Studio. His credits range from Steve Vai and Tony MacAlpine to Tracii Guns to Jim Florentine & Don Jamieson2Cellos and Mary J Blige. Greg has been Steve Vai’s Engineer for 10 years and spends much his time  in the “Harmony Hut” studio in Encino, CA where Greg and Steve currently do all of Vai’s projects.

“I grew up in southern San Diego. My parents were big fans of music and introduced me to The Beatles and Led Zeppelin early on. I used to collect cassettes & CD’s in the early ’90s and eventually I became interested enough to play an instrument, so I bought a guitar. I took lessons for a few years and had some bands but I realized that it wasn’t a natural thing for me. I eventually figured out that I was meant to produce and engineer music.”

Matt and Greg chat about working for Steve Vai and what he’s learned from working with Vai over the years, work/life balance, buying gear, and what Greg finds important in purchasing decisions.

Greg’s website. 

WCA #041 with Kim Rosen

WCA #041 with Kim Rosen

Kim Rosen grew up in the western Massachusetts town of Northampton. Known for its amazing college music scene, the town and surrounding area is infamous for spawning such ground-breaking acts as Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr. and Buffalo Tom…just to name a few.

Kim realized early-on that music was a driving force in her life. She poured herself into the local music scene while searching out a way to carve a path for herself. It was in the summer of 2001 that a friend turned her on to a mastering studio in NJ that was looking for an intern. Kim jumped at the opportunity, moved to NJ and began her journey with West West Side Music.

After a couple of years in production, training and assisting in sessions, Kim was given the opportunity to take on her own mastering projects. While engineering at West West Side Kim racked up a few hundred mastering credits including notable projects from Jeremy Enigk, Franz Ferdinand, Dashboard Confessional and La Dispute.

In 2009 Kim dove in head-first and made the decision to go out on her own. She started Knack Mastering out of her home in Ringwood, NJ; building a proper room with the help of world-renowned acoustician Chris Pelonis, choosing the gear that would live in her racks, and growing a client list from around the world that now includes producers and engineers such as Joe Henry, Paul Bryan, Ryan Freeland and Will Yip. 

Over the last five years, Kim’s mastered albums from Bettye Lavette, Wynonna Judd, Jeff Bridges and the Abiders, The Barr Brothers, Sarah Jaffe, Title Fight and Anthony Green. She was fortunate enough to master the remake of the Johnny Cash album “Bitter Tears” for Sony Masterworks which featured artists such as Emmylou Harris, Steve Earl, Kris Kristofferson, Gillian Welch and the Milk Carton Kids. Another recent project was the beautiful Rhiannon Giddens and Iron & Wine rendition of “Forever Young” for the Series Finale of NBC’s blockbuster television series “Parenthood”.

Kim continues to build a client base of artists, producers, labels and engineers who trust her ears, her experience and, above all, her respect for their mixes.

Matt and Kim discuss parenting, clients, retirement and partnering up with Nashville based studio Welcome to 1979.

WCA #040 with Nino Moschella

WCA #040 with Nino Moschella

Bird and Egg studio owner Nino Moschella is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, and producer, who has been professionally engineering and producing for 15 years (though his interest in record-making started nearly 25 years ago). Born into a musical family, Nino began playing drums at the age of 6 when his father asked him to keep time on the snare drum at a band rehearsal after the band’s drummer failed to show. At that point, Nino was hooked and in time added vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboard to his repertoire.

Moschella opened Bird and Egg in 2009. The studio has thrived and become a favorite of many of the Bay Area’s top musicians and singers. Moschella has had the opportunity to have supported the creation of a vastly diverse range of music for artists including, The late Skip Pitts (Issac Hayes Guitar player), Dennis Coffey, Chief Xcel of Blackalicious, Ledisi, Bernard Purdie, Laurie Lewis, Galactic, Ladybug Mecca (Digable Planets), Ashling Cole (of Larry Graham and Graham central station), Bilal, Maria Muldaur, Tiffany Austin, Strange Vine, !!!, and Shawn Lee among many others.
Nino has released 5 records of his own, all of which he recorded/produced and played most of the instruments, including three solo records out on the Ubiquity record label. His music has been featured on television and film including The Monuments men, Damages, Facing Ali, Eastbound and Down, Lincoln Heights among others. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and kids and loves to fish.
Matt turned a coffee meeting and gear sale into an interview with Nino. Matt and Nino discuss kids, studio ownership, mixing with clients or without as well as open communication with those you work with.
Bonus Content. 

WCA #039 with John Greenham

WCA #039 with John Greenham

John Greenham has had a love affair with mastering for over 20 years, starting in San Francisco at Rocket Lab in the mid-90s, and currently in Los Angeles where he re-located to in 2012 to work at Infrasonic Sound in Echo Park alongside Pete Lyman and Jeffrey Ehrenberg. John has earned several awards over the course of his career including Los Tigres Del NorteHistorias Que Contar – Grammy Winner 2006 (Mastering), Detalles Y Emociones – Grammy Winner 2007 (Mastering), Tu Noche Con…Los Tigres Del Norte – Grammy Winner 2009 (Mastering) Omar SosaCeremony – Echo Jazz Award Big Band Album of the Year 2011 (Mixing, Mastering)

John’s nominations include Sistema BombElectro-Jarocho – Nominated for a Latin Grammy 2013 (Mastering), Los CojolitesSembrando Flores – Nominated for a Latin Grammy 2013 (Mixing, Mastering), Omar SosaCalma – Nominated for a Latin Grammy 2011 (Mixing, Mastering), Pamela RodriguezPeru Blue – Nominated for Best New Artist, Latin Grammys 2006 (Mixing, Mastering)

John and Matt have been friends for several years and turn one of their recent calls into an interview to discuss mastering, mixing, working in a facility vs. being a freelancer as well as the anticipation of waiting for a client’s approval of a master or mix. Enjoy.

Photo by Kyle Davis


WCA #038 with Daniel Cantor

WCA #038 with Daniel Cantor

Daniel  Cantor is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of music and Teaches music production in the Songwriting Department and Music Productions and Engineering Department.  Dan in 2015 received Berklee’s prestigious Fly Grant for teaching innovation and with that grant brought 2 male and 2 female outspoken Muslim Hip-Hop artists from Iraq, Syria, Jamaica and London to the Berklee campus. The artists came to teach, collaborate and perform with students and do work shops in over  25 classes discussing  gender and religion in Hip-Hop, protest music,  the nuances of teaching hip-hop at a music school, navigating Artist identity, Hip-hop production,  humor, protest and the complex roles and choices facing of Arab  and Arab Americans performers.

Originally Dan was a self producing artist in his own right w the band Hummer(on Accurate records) Dan became seduced by the role of the producer. Dan and his Studio Notable Productions have now produced many 100’s of albums for Global and American artists with various productions jobs for as diverse a crown as Aerosmith, Peggy Seager, Mr. Lif  and Thomas Mapfumo in a wide range of genres and and recently won the Domincan version of a Grammy in 2014 for best album of the year and was nominated  yet again in 2015.  He is internationally known for his Global Hip-hop work with the Label he helped launch with his cousin Ben Herson….  Nomadic Wax records, which began with the Senegalese compilations “African underground Volumes 1 and 2” that topped the charts in Africa and Europe.

He scored , mixed and helped produce the Documentary “Democracy In Dakar” that followed a Senegalese election through the eyes of its ever vigil and informed Hip-Hop  stars,  who ultimately played a crucial role in the election itself.

With Nomadic Wax Dan has produced and recorded the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival for 10 years running and through that has recorded and worked with Talib Kweli, Jean Grae , Poetic Pilgrimage, Brother Ali,  Krs -One, Dead Prez to name a few out of over 100’s of both global and American hip-hop  artists.  He is proud to have helped produce and master the “World Hip Hip Women” compilations volume one and two.  Much of the music he loves working on is political in nature.  “The story behind a piece of music is its life force” . The anti bush song “ Asshole”  he co-wrote and produced with the boston band Jim’s Big Ego got 4 millions downloads in 6 months way before YouTube was even around.   Even before teaching at Berklee he donated his studio and talents to student winners of  Berklee’s “Music for Social Change Competition” and was music and financial executive producer for albums by artists from Mali,  Zimbabwe, Cape Verde, Jamaica, India, Senegal, Italy,  and Iraq.  Dan helped US Peace keepers create recordings to teach indigenous language to border conflict deployed troops.  Dan produced tracks with and for popular Congolese artists working with USAID to bring unity back to a community ravaged by violence against families but especially women.  Dan recently recorded the Sierra Leone Refugee all-stars at his home to spread positive radio messages about Ebola prevention through out Africa.

Dan links his heartfelt feminist leanings to his grandmother Lucille,  who taught him to be vocal and stand against injustice.  She was an early president of the League of Woman voters and was arm and arm with her friend Carrie Chapman Catt.

You can see Dan in the 2015 Aljazeera documentary about the brilliant female Muslim duo Poetic Pilgrimage called Hip-hop Hijabs”.  He is beardless but none the less vigilant.

Busy guy! Dan talks with Matt about selling gear, global Hip Hop, running a commercial studio in his house where his family lives as well as speaker placement.

Bonus Content (studio pics and more).

Dan’s bio from

WCA #037 with Sean McLaughlin


WCA #037 with Sean McLaughlin

Sean McLaughlin loves a lot of things, but his two favorite things are his wife and recording/mixing songs. After working in Los Angeles for the early part of the 2000s with some notable producers (Andy Johns, Jimbo Barton, Carmen Rizzo) and artists (Rush, Elliott Smith, Marilyn Manson, Death Row Records) Sean returned to Boston in 2004 to open his own studio, 37’ Productions. Since opening his studio Sean has been working on projects and with artists both regionally and nationally. Some of the artists with whom he has plied his trade are Matchbox Twenty, Queensryche, Dirty Vegas, Sarah Blacker, Kristen MerlinRafael Moreira, and Dark New Day, as well as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, MTV, and ESPN. In 2013, Sean had the honor of being named Producer of the Year by the New England Music Awards. Since the beginning of 2013, he has mixed over 500 songs. In 2014 he authored Mixing with iZotope, a comprehensive mixing guide for beginner to intermediate mixers. Sean also teaches Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music and Audio & Media Technology at the New England Institute of Art.  Sean and Matt discuss studio ownership, insurance, retirement, alternative jobs for recording engineers as well as numerous other career-related topics.

WCA #036 with Warren Huart


WCA #036 with Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English music producer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles. He has played a fundamental part in the creation of many platinum-selling and billboard soaring albums, as well as the development of many of today’s most successful artists’ careers. He also has the Produce Like A Pro video series, which offers recording tutorials to beginners as well as Spitfire Music, a one-stop music house focusing on licensing music for film and tv.

Warren is known for his hard work ethic, positive attitude and respect for the artist’s vision. Many of his long term relationships have turned into close friendships. With over 20 years of experience in the ever-expanding music industry (record production, engineering, mixing, and songwriting), as well his extensive knowledge of both modern and vintage musical equipment and instruments, Warren manages to create the most diverse sound around.

Warren and Matt talk about vintage gear, work-life balance, commutes, kids and populous politics in the music industry.


WCA #035 with Catherine Vericolli

WCA #035 with Catherine Vericolli

Catherine Vericolli lives in a recording studio, or rather her studio has taken over most of her residence since its beginnings in 2005. As an owner, engineer, and occasional tech at Fivethirteen Recording in Phoenix, AZ, she is dedicated to keeping the traditional analog recording process alive in the desert. Going on a decade of being in business, Fivethirteen has grown out of its local musician homestead roots into a stop-off for touring nationals and international bands, guest engineers, and home for the occasional film score. Added on in 2010, Fivethirteen’s mixing suite has become one of Arizona’s premier mixing destinations, and with the installation of an RND 5088 in it’s tracking control room during the summer of 2013, Catherine has since taken on the studio’s management position full time. She also coedits and writes for Pink Noise Mag (, an online pro audio publication dedicated to increasing the diversity and intellectual tradition of the practice of record making.

Catherine joins Matt for a chat about the challenges in building and running a residential studio in a market not known for its music scene, her role in Pinknoise ( with Allen Farmello (WCA # 031) as well her love for analog recording.

WCA #034 with Mark Rubel

WCA #034 Mark Rubel

Mark Rubel is Co-Director of Education and Instructor at The Blackbird Academy, an intensive recording school at famed Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. Since 1980, Mark has made about a zillion recordings at his Pogo Studio in Champaign, IL (currently reopening in Nashville), including such artists as Allison Krauss, Jay Bennett, Ludacris, Hum, Adrian Belew, Melanie, Fall Out Boy, Duke Special, and many others.! !

Mark has taught audio, music business and other subjects at the college level since 1985, and presents audio panels and workshops for various schools and professional organizations around North America. He writes occasionally for recording magazines, including his Tape Op interviews with Les Paul and Terry Manning, with more coming soon. Mark also works as an audio consultant and legal expert witness. His band Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets has been rocking East Central Illinois and beyond for 35 years and counting. Mark continues to cultivate students, cats, songs and friendships in The New Center of the Universe (Nashville), along with his saintly wife Nancy and their intrepid guinea pig, Huckleberry.
Mark talks with Matt about his role at The Blackbird Academy, (career planning, money management, mentoring), what he learned in 34 years of studio ownership, what makes Champaign, Illinois special and why Nashville, Tennessee is great place to call home.

WCA #033 with Joe Barresi

Working Class Audio with Joe Barresi

WCA #033 with Joe Barresi

Joe Barresi has produced, engineered, and mixed some of the most important hard rock, metal, and punk bands of the last 15 years including Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age, Bad Religion, The Melvins, Skunk Anansie, Turbonegro, and Clutch.

Although widely respected for his abilities as an engineer (one writer wrote “If you don’t generally think of sound production as an art form, you don’t know Joe Barresi”), Joe is first and foremost a musician. He started playing guitar when he was 7 and played in local bands in New York and in Florida. He studied classical guitar, piano, and music theory at the University of South Florida and the University of Miami. Joe also studied engineering and spent hundreds of hours recording local bands, developing patience and understanding for what goes on in the studio.

A trip to the West Coast inspired Joe to move to Los Angeles where he began working his way up the ladder by assisting at numerous local studios. In time, he engineered for many well-respected producers including David Kahne, Michael Beinhorn, and GGGarth Richardson, and gained a reputation for getting great sounds, particularly with guitars and drums.

Soon Joe was producing and mixing records on his own. He produced, recorded, and mixed the debut album for the newly formed Queens Of The Stone Age, which was unsigned at the time. The self-titled album was eventually released by indie label Loose Groove and garnered lots of attention from the press (Rolling Stone named Queens Of The Stone Age one of the ten most important hard & heavy bands of the year) and alternative radio (including KROQ) — all of which landed the band a deal with Interscope Records.

Over the years, Joe has consistently worked with quality artists and made some of their more seminal records — Weezer “Pinkerton,” Melvins “Stoner Witch” and the Queens Of The Stone Age debut, to name a few. His discography reflects his impeccable ear for great rock music.

Joe chats with Matt about his start, studio ownership,  how an SSL impacts the electric bill, insurance, covering your ass, and a few thoughts on phase. Enjoy!