I believe that great recordings are those that capture and enhance the human elements of a performance. The production has to focus on this every step of the way, particularly during tracking. The performance environment, acoustic space and microphone placement will ultimately play a huge part in the sound of the finished recording.
I always go into a recording session with a firm idea of the finished sound in my head and make sure we nail it, which sometimes means making creative decisions while tracking rather than going for a “good clean recording” without any direction in mind. I would rather commit to an idea early and get a sound that I love than leave my options open but end up with an uninspired tone/performance. Too often the luxury of delaying a decision (with digital recording) turns into a failure to commit to an idea.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I began learning violin at age 4, and trumpet soon after that. As an adult I have performed live and in the studio with many bands on trumpet, keyboard, guitar, bass, percussion and tres cubano.
I have a thorough knowledge of music theory and extensive experience in arranging and scoring for many styles of music.
I have a particular love of Cuban music, and traditional and contemporary West African music especially Fela Kuti‘s afro-beat. This has led me to establish my own bands The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra and The Afrobiotics.
Room, mic placement and mic choice – these are the biggest factors in determining the character of a recording. In all my work I make sure I have a thorough understanding of the acoustics and the recording equipment used and then rely on critical listening every step of the way.
My technical knowledge is backed up by a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) from RMIT University – a five year course covering digital logic, analogue circuit theory and communications systems. I have a strong knowledge of the physics of sound as well as how we can manipulate it and have built and repaired my own studio equipment.
I am equally comfortable with a computer and a tape machine, and utilise both on my projects depending on the requirements. It’s my belief that an important part of the “analogue sound” is what it makes you focus on (ie. listening more and making decisions).