Working Class Audio Session #129 with Brad Smalling!!!
Brad Smalling is an audio professional with a passion for music and for making great records – records that connect the artist and the listener emotionally. From the creative to the technical, Brad is passionate about all aspects of the record-making process. Brad’s creative ear and his ability to connect with the artist combine to present the artist’s music as they envision it and often in ways they never considered.
Brad’s desire to learn about audio appeared in his teens while learning to play guitar but he wouldn’t actively pursue engineering until 2000 when he built a recording studio in his basement in Boulder, CO. After gaining confidence through self study, he and his wife, Jenny, hired Wes Lachot to design what would become Evergroove Studio. Solar powered and located on 4.5 wooded acres just outside Denver, Evergroove Studio opened in 2006 and offers a retreat-like setting sought by artists that desire a different recording studio experience.
Brad continues to grow as an audio professional and small business owner by striving for excellence in every project, and pushing himself to be a better engineer, business owner, and person. In addition to studio work, Brad enjoys the challenges of live mixing and recording, as well as the detail of mastering. He works closely with artists and their home studios to help them capture better recordings, or by a combination of home recording and studio recording at Evergroove. This experience led to the launch of the Evergroove Academy of Recording (EAR) – a series of workshops for audio engineers, producers, and musicians focused on producing the highest-quality recordings possible.
When asked about his passion for audio Brad said:
“I love exploring different microphone techniques, the thrill of the first take, and the excitement on an artist’s face when they hear their music in a way that moves them. I enjoy working closely with artists to help bring out the emotion of the song. I like exploring arrangements through overdubs and I love combining all the tracks into a mix that draws the listener into the music. The final creative and technical process of mastering fascinates me and, finally, I love album release shows; that moment when an artist’s work is presented to the World.”
When not in the studio you can find Brad with his wife at a local music show, working with the massive interactive performance art group itchy-O, on a local hiking trail, road-tripping across the Western USA, or enjoying a locally crafted beer on a sunny deck.
Brad joins Matt to talk about his solar powered studio, his partnership with his wife and how hiring studio designer Wes Lachot was one of the best moves he ever made.