When I was a kid I was obsessed with records. I read every liner note, every credit, who wrote what song - I had to know how this music was put together. I got my first sampler at 7 and my first guitar at 9. I made primitive songs with whatever I had around and a Fisher Price Tape Recorder. Music has been a part of me for a very long time.
When I was in high school, we would record our high school punk band on 4 track and distribute cassettes at shows. When we got to a "real studio" I was blown away at the way we made our record. I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. But I wasn't happy with the sound. I wanted to know why our music didn't sound like Nirvana or the Talking Heads. Bless the people who were trying to mix our record - they just didn't have the experience to get our band to sound radio ready.
I was driven to find out how to get songs to sound the way I heard them in my head and on my favorite records. I interned, I learned, I struggled and I...am still learning.
Back then I bought a 4 track of my own, and recorded every local punk band I could. I went looking for a way to enhance my recordings. I had always had an interest in computers, so I bought Cool Edit Pro and started “mastering” my 4 track recordings. Apparently, I was good at this, and pretty soon I was mixing and mastering local bands regularly.
I started working at the local FM radio station learning how to edit and mix for broadcast. I would take recordings we made of local bands into the studio and transfer them to Cool Edit Pro and attempt to multitrack mix them. I made a lot of mistakes but I learned a lot about what works and how to make things sound great over the air.
I moved from Chicago to Boston (the first time) and ended up doing something else entirely (IT management) but I continued to record my own music and mix records for friends.
After a few years of learning about start ups and entrepreneurship, I was in Philadelphia and decided to try something different.
I got back into mixing and mastering music, first starting with friends projects who were gracious enough to let me find my way through - then eventually I felt like I was good enough to hang a sign and start looking for clients.
In one year I mixed and mastered a Beatles covers album for renowned pianist Rev Chris, remixed tracks by Amanda Palmer and Strand of Oaks, and wrote music in collaboration with Imogen Heap. I travelled to Los Angeles and Chicago to make records with Veezus and Windmills. I continued to work with Philadelphia musicians but eventually we moved back to Boston. I knew I needed to take my career to the next level so I went to Mix with the Masters with Steve Albini, Andrew Scheps, and Sylvia Massey. I joined the Audio Engineering Society. I made it a point to learn and grow as much as possible - doing what I love every single day.
My tools have certainly seen an upgrade in the past decade - I now employ a hybrid approach to mixing: In the box digital with a high end analog mixbuss. Regardless of the tools I use, I do whats best to serve the song and the artist - bringing my understanding of the emotional depth and effect music has on the listener. I've measured out my life with coffee spoons and hours and hours of critical listening and analysis.
I will record and mix anything but my focus has been Rock, Punk, and Indie Pop music. I've engineered, mixed, or mastered recordings for Windmills, Imogen Heap, PK14, After Argument, Idle Pilot, Ghosts of the Atlantic, Husbands, Carsick Cars, DIDERS, and Sidewave.