Who am I?

I am a student at The Blackbird Academy learning studio engineering. I am here because I love music. Right now I am 5% Ken Scott who engineered and/or produced albums by The Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Supertramp, Missing Persons, Kansas, Mahavishnu Orchestra and many more. The way I mic drums with ribbons on overheads, U67’s on toms, a Sony C38 or Neumann KM54 on snare is thanks to Ken Scott. Not that Joe Chiccarelli or John McBride don’t have great drum sounds – those are part of me too. I swear that RCA 44 on the kick records 10 cycles and that is no bs! I know this is true because I have DONE IT!

I am 5% Nick Raskulinecz, especially when I mic guitars. Nick taught me what he did on the Alice In Chains record on which I love the guitars, not to mention Rush and Evanescence! Piano – that is John McBride. The super-compressed D19 in the right spot makes that piano jump out of the radio. How do I know this? I DID IT! I have tried lots of different micing techniques  and between Jacquire King, Ken Scott, John McBride, Bob Ohlsson, Joe Chiccarelli, Niko Bolas, Vance Powell, Nick Raskulinecz, Peter Coleman and others I have become my own walking encyclopedia of how to mic ANYTHING. Not to mention my classroom instructors who make great sounding recordings too. I have been experimenting with which mic pre’s work the best – that Telefunken V76 is unbelievable on electric guitar. Of course the sound of Lennon’s guitar on Revolution is so cool – and that was 2 V76’s. By the way I DID THAT too. Not to mention our Motown week – the bass guitar on those records is the greatest. I have my favorite Motown DI – which is part of the magic of that sound. Did I mention that I built my own ribbon mic in class? It’s not an RCA KU3A but it doesn’t suck……and if you are looking for a manipulated or different sound it could be the perfect mic. I love KU3A’s – they could be my favorite ribbon. They were sure popular on Hollywood sound stages and I know why. Because I compared the KU3A to other ribbons on lots of different inputs and learned the differences. Yes I did that too.

You know how people always argue about analogue mixing vs. in-the-box? Well, I can give you a detailed description of the differences I found when I did that comparison. Most people who argue about that have never directly compared the same tracks being mixed both ways, but I have. And I have my definite opinions about that.

I learned how to act in the studio too. That is more important than I realized and becoming a positive contributing part of a recording session is paramount. I love music so much and as I have learned ATTITUDE IS 99% OF THE GIG!!! That is true no matter what I do in life. I know I probably won’t have to bias a tape machine but I know how because I did that. I also understand why.

I love music. I have such an appreciation of music – partly due to all the “ears on” sessions at The Blackbird Academy. I learned how to listen and man do I appreciate that.

I will never forget how scared I was when I tracked my first band although I didn’t let it show. I also didn’t let it show how happy I was when the drummer walked in the control room and said the headphones sounded GREAT. I said it was thanks to all these great inputs and then promptly shut my mouth. Now I am not so scared because I have tracked enough times to feel the confidence I feel. But it still makes my heart beat faster when I sit at that console and dial it up. It sounds KILLER! I know it does because I have great mics and pre’s and outboard gear and a great band – I am so lucky! Music is my life. When I work in studios that don’t have the great gear I am still damn good at getting great sounds with not so great gear. Staying creative is important. I mean really important. Creativity and lots of knowledge and experience are the things that help make me great.

We are standing on the shoulders of a lot of giants like Tom Dowd and Les Paul. Some of my heroes have taught me here at The Blackbird Academy. That is why I feel so confident about the future. So who am I? I am 100% ME.