Originally Posted by DannyDiggs
hi, this question is different from the rest but one that would interest me all the more as i am a "wanna be" producer.
im interested in how you began your career,did you learn your trade with another engineer/producer,also where and what field did you start out in(how has your career evolved)
i think it would be an interesting answer seeing that your credits are amongst the world best and im sure alot of people like me on this fourm would love a little more insight into your start in the bis. thanks! danny
in 1986, when i was 20, i went to "the institute of audio research" located in greenwich village, nyc. while still in school, i got an internship at a studio called "shakedown studios" which was owned by producer arthur baker. walking in the control room was like a huge awakening for me. i thought to myself, wow, i've got a lot to learn. their main room had an SSL 4000E and tons of outboard. my school had all this rickety outdated equipment (vintage but not very well maintained) and we spent most of the time in a classroom rather than the control room. six months into my internship at shakedown, i also got a gig at "Soundtrack" which had 3 SSL rooms. so i split my time between both studios and eventually i quit shakedown when i became an assistant at Soundtrack. i was literally thrown into the fire when an assistant went MIA for a session for kool and the gang. the manager saw me and asked me if i could handle the session and that was my 1st assisting gig, with kool and the gang!
after working my ass off at soundtrack and basically burning myself out, i took some time to decide whether i wanted to continue this path. it took me 6 months to realized how much i was missing it and decided to get my resume out there and really go for it again. i worked briefly at "skyline studios", then "Quad studios" hired me and there i stayed until i went freelance.
While at quad, i had the luxury of using their facilities to work on personal projects when there was downtime. they had 3 SSL rooms at the time. i would just live in the studio and wouldn't go home for days. i'd do my assisting gig, then i put up my own tape and do my thing. i'd get 3 hours sleep before my next session, then do it all over again. i'd invite friends over and record as much as possible. and with those tapes, i would just keep mixing them over and over experimenting with different approaches and training my ears. Lou Gonzales, who was the owner, was very generous indeed and i owe him a lot! THANKS LOU!
i started engineering for "david morales" and "frankie knuckles" a producing team known for house remixes. so i did quite a bit of mixing house music in my early career. And Quad had a wide variety of clients from hiphop, r&b, jazz, rock, you name it. and so i engineered for a lot of different music and people. i did a mix for a hip hop remix called "every little step you take" by Christopher Williams produced by DJ Clark kent. it was a huge hit and i started getting a lot of calls from the r&b world after that. that was around 1991...
there's a little more history on this post if you're interested "background and influences": Background / Influences
all the best