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What made you do it?
Old 11th January 2011
Gear Head
SaraLs's Avatar

When I was a child, I would play with stuffed animals and rip old radios apart. I'd also collect various speaker drivers and assemble "speaker systems". I could be found, often, on the floor in front of my parent's record player, listening to marching bands and Beethoven, all the while trying to figure out what was wrong with the sound.

I tried to learn an instrument in junior high - bah, I'm not a musician! But, I discovered I had a knack for emulating what I heard live when running the dinky PA systems for some of the local garage bands!

In college, I started out going for a teaching degree (history), then I found theater. Not as an actress, but as a technician. I was "steered" towards set design, lighting design, and costume design, but that didn't work for me. Stage electronics, stage craft, and AUDIO did! When someone mentioned sound for a play, I positively lit up!

After school I toured with several off (off-off) broadway shows as the FOH engineer.

Many years ago, that knack for emulating what I heard live in various spaces took over and I turned my attention to location recording. I met various obstacles (one was my career, not in pro audio), so I made some compromises and decided that being a small scale, part time, local "recordist" worked the best for me. And, it kept me somewhat busy!

A couple of years ago, I got wind of a person who was giving up recording, and I bought up a lot of the gear that was being sold by them. They even gave me the name of the company, but I don't use it. I pared down that gear (it was really kind of hoge-poge) to what I like the sound of, and let the rest go.

And now, here (hear!) I am! I'm not terribly busy, I don't do it for a living, I'm not trying to "shake the world" nor am I terribly opinionated. However, I do what I like to do, and what I know works. I have a happy (but poor!) client base, and that makes me happy. Also, recording, along with bicycles and triathlon, keeps me sane and grounded.

My story, and I'm sticking to it!

Last edited by SaraLs; 11th January 2011 at 04:35 AM.. Reason: There is an "r" in "recording"
Old 1st March 2011
Here for the gear
RinR's Avatar

I used to run open mics at my little project studio and decided to start recording them with the gear that was lying dormant in the corner. Eventually I started realizing that I had a nack for mic placement and organization in a live setting and fell in love with the concept of capturing a performance in a single take and not overdubbing for days on end. I started gigging here and there and have gradually expanded my set up to facilitate a decent sized track count and video production which for me seals the deal. Probably one of the biggest things that kicked my affinity for live multitrack recording into high gear was watching Valient Thorr's In Heat DVD that essentially documented their last 5 years of touring. As a documentary the film was excellent but from a sonic standpoint sounded like absolute balls as the audio feeds came right off the cameras for every show on the flick.
Old 21st March 2011
Gear Head

Great thread.

After college I worked in the securities industry until the market turned bad in about 1973. I had always been curious about sound and electronics, so, I signed up at a local trade school in Minneapolis (Brown Institute) for their 2 year electronics technology program, including 3 months of audio technology which included time in their 4 track 1/2" Ampex studio. After going through the class I was hired by the school to teach the studio lab portion of the audio class. I taught in exchange for studio time. I would then sell the time to bands needing demo tapes or records done. Gradually I added to my own meager equipment, purchasing a Teac 3340 and eventually a Tascam 80-8. I used to haul those machines and assorted mixers around in the back of my 1972 Datsun 510 station wagon to record local bands (and the occasional national act passing through town). After a few years I got hired away from myself by my equipment supplier. I sold all my "stuff" so that I couldn't compete with my customers and went on to design and sell pro audio systems for all markets, including studio. In 1984 I got to design, wire and install a 24 track rental system for one of my customers to use in his rehearsal space for a "special project" he had started working on. The "special project" ended up being called "Purple Rain" and went on to sell over 13 million copies of the soundtrack album. The customer was Prince.

Roll ahead 30+ years from my last location session and I have decided I am going to be a remote recording engineer when I grow up. In the past couple of years I've picked up some gear (much of it used) and started recording a few bands in and around Vero Beach, Fl, where I live now. It's amazing what capabilities can fit in an eight space rack in the back of my Hyundai Santa Fe compared to what I used to cram in the back of my Datsun station wagon.

Here are a couple of songs from 1976-77 period, the first is a 4 track session, the second, eight track. The geezers among us will know the second song and artist.
It Doesn't Matter/Rock n Roll Woman - Cooper Street Band (1976) by Richard King on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
Wildfire - Michael Martin Murphy (recorded in 1976) by Richard King on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

And, a couple of more recent stuff, both from last month:
Voodoo - Run Through the Jungle - Recorded Feb 3, 2011 by Richard King on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
The Escape Artist .... Ants Marching - Long Train Runnin' medley by Richard King on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

I loved doing location work in the "old days" and still love doing it today. I only wish that I could be kept busier and actually make a living at it. I did make a living at it in Minneapolis, but, this is a much smaller market with a much smaller music scene. I think my attraction to location recording must have something to do with being able to see some rather immediate results.

The old studio:
studio old.jpg photo - Richard King photos at
Me running the old location rig:
scan0009.jpg photo - Richard King photos at
The new rig:
IMG_9486resize.jpg photo - Richard King photos at
Old 3rd April 2011
Lives for gear
Richard Crowley's Avatar

I was in high-school in the mid 1960s and had been interested in electronics and music for many years. I put the two together and bought my first recorder (Sony TC-250) and microphones (three Sony ECM-22). I was (and still am) involved with several choral groups.

I now am the technical director for a large festival chorus which has been doing several international tours and recording several other large groups, also. My Alesis HD24 died on our last trip to Romania (shaken to death as checked baggage on KLM/Delta) and I just replaced it with a JoeCo BBR-1. As soon as I make new cables to interface to my SP828 preamps, I will be back in business. I am also researching a good mic preamp circuit to build another 16 channels.

Because of the sorry state of audio for video, I got into video about 20 years ago and I now have a 4-camera digital HD live-switch production unit with Sony EX and XD cameras, switching with a Panasonic AW-HS50 and recording to AJA KiPro and Panasonic AG_HMR10.

These are all extra-curricular as my day job is engineer at Intel Corp.
Old 17th September 2011
I got my first deck, a Sony 250 in 1965. Later I got an Akai deck and used that in college. I recorded the college music productions and stage band where I was the guitarist.

It went everywhere as I used a 6 channel Sony mixer and those ECM mics. Then it was the new 3340 Teac 4 track in 1973.

Nothing made me do it, I just like it. Stevie Wonder, Mel Torme', Frank Zappa and others made it interesting.

It beats torturing small animals.
Old 8th October 2011
7rojo7's Avatar

I love music.
I make it, I record it.
It has brought me knowledge.
It has brought me disgrace.
Like any other passion, it has brought me depth.
I started by playing, I understand what a musician needs to feel while creating: Nothing lost.
I wish that while I'm performing and someone else is recording that they could apply the same rule to me.
basic human courtesy.
luckily, I've performed and or created some beautiful things.
Old 21st January 2012
Lives for gear
cjogo's Avatar
Use to bring a mono cassette recorder along , in the 70's -- trying to capture my band. Recorded at Heiders and got inspired by Wally's live rig/truck .. still tracking bands @ live venues & in several studios..
Old 23rd May 2012
Here for the gear

I'm a composer. Recordings are a must for graduate applications, etc. I figured, why not get my own equipment and learn a new trade? Looking to learn - still new.
Old 6th June 2012
Here for the gear
John R Truman's Avatar

I got started after wanting better practice room sound. I would start miking up the whole band and running rehearsal sound, then I became an apprentice for a guy that was doing variety shows for the USO, all while serving in the Army in Europe. He had a medium sized system (as most would see it), and helping him gave me a "safety net" that allowed me to learn about the controls. The main guy eventually would just leave me to run the systems, and that kinda planted the seed of running live sound.
Old 12th June 2012
Gear Head
Notsosane's Avatar

I was about 10 (1962) when I got my first recorder, battery powered 3" RTR.
Also started playing clarinet and added sax in about 1968. Played in many soul bands (a la "Otis Day and the Knights") for frats and bars. As a kid, tore everything apart to see how it worked. Was always the sound guy in every band I was in; built speaker cabinets, designed & ran PA's.

In college, worked for college radio, a 1KW educational station at Indiana Univ. of PA. Worked in the TV studio also. I became their go-to tech guy and could always figure out a way to get something done. Even secretly disassembled an office phone and with alligator clips, was able to do a whole remote radio broadcast from a hall we had not direct line to. (I was caught only when tearing down.)

I would skip all meals to work in the two studios and control rooms. I helped with the complete tear-out and reinstall of the radio and TV control rooms. Did location recording for the radio station (for me really) of many music performances and recitals, all on RTR with dynamic mics. Did lots of production work, editting (razor blade) for the station.

After college, started teaching. Same year (1974) started doing FOH for an energy metal band. (No comment on my lifestyle during those years; teaching school and metal band lifestyle make in "interesting" mix). Played sax after that throughout the disco era; we were doing jazz fusion.

Retired and worked part time in a local project studio with a musician friend I had played with; small studio but top-of-the-line gear, many vintage pieces. Became a gearslut then. That's where I really learned how good things could (should) sound. A Nashville guy (my hero) helped me learn a DAW and I became addicted to recording and mostly post production.

Slowly started to record local music with Chinese mics and a Microtrak. The bug bit and now I'm collecting some decent used gear and record musicians I grew up with. Part of me is a taper (tapir), but I don't do Schoeps on a PA stack. So now, as an old hippie, I can record friends, make CD's and "give back". Try to do as much classical and jazz as I can. Just can't get enough of learning new techniques. (Can't wait to try the single drum mic at the drummer's right knee.)

Geez, shut up already. Don't ever get a teacher started.

Old 4th March 2013
Is this meant to be like Therapy?

Well Doc........ There is a picture of me as a little kid, maybe 4 or 5, playing with an old reel to reel in a home studio. (...before they were called home studios.) I grew up with my Dad always having a "production room" in the house for radio commercials. He often had better gear and got a better sound than the radio stations he worked for. When he moved into sales and management and then ownership, I got the opportunity to grow up in a more professional production environment.
I think it was about 10 years ago that we sold the last radio station. I’d been producing ads for my clients and recording music for so long I didn’t know what else to do. The best advice I got was to build a full on studio instead of just a “production room”.
I’ve been recording and editing since my teens. Now my remote rig integrates with the studio so well we can record an event and blend in fixes seamlessly. You really can get away with murder, even live.
Old 24th March 2013
Here for the gear
PaladinRadio's Avatar
What a long strange trip its been...

In college I was getting to be a huge fan of Stevie Ray Vaughn. And then he was killed in the helicopter crash after a gig. I dropped out of college - always the best way to get into music, right?? Moved to Phoenix, went to a recording school learning on SSLs, Neves, and Trident consoles. Met a few local bands and started doing the roadie thing for them. Met some random guy at one of our gigs and he offered me a job to build a recording studio. The random guy was Jeff Harris from Village Recorders. The studio was for Geordie Hormel. Worked with and for them for several years, recording Geordie and some of his friends, like Vic Caesar, in the studio we built as well as live at a little brunch/dinner place he owned called the Wrigley Mansion. We were recording using 24 tracks of ADAT doing big band/jazz stuff for Geordie and Vic. Then recording with local rock bands as well in some of the Phoenix clubs. (Somewhere I have some live mixes we did I will find and post at some point on my site...)
Moved on to building radio stations for the last 14 years or so. Still doing live work on the sports radio side of life. Play by Play football, basketball, and baseball. Working on moving back to the live event/music side of things a little bit at a time. Building up my gear. Expanding from just my PxP kit to more of a live recording/FOH kit.

My nickels worth!!!

Ryan O.
Old 9th May 2013
Here for the gear
AndrewMac's Avatar
I've found it's a tremendous strain on the artist to bring their pipe organs into a studio.

Old 6th June 2013
Gear Nut
Annalogatta's Avatar

I've spent a lot of time building and dampening my home studio, to control the overall sound. I was quite happy with that dead room until i did a remote recording with only one mic on a guitar player in a wooden 'shack' with reflections and squeaky floorboards all over the place... and somehow i fell in love with that 'real' and imperfect sound... so much for my dead room.
Gotta have da funk!

Old 12th June 2013
Here for the gear
RinR's Avatar

I started out doing studio work in my parents garage around 10 years ago. At the time I was recording a lot of punk and rock n roll bands and was realizing that a lot of them wanted to be able to record all at once, in the same space, with out having to overdub everything. Naturally I decided to expand my system to facilitate the demand within my little niche and eventually was able to track 16 channels simultaneously.

At the time I was also hosting punk shows out of the garage and decided to set up a few extra mics on the drums/ guitars while tapping the direct outs of the little PA we used for vocals. Push came to shove and I eventually bought my own splitter and hopped on the road with a friend's band to record their tour. The rest is history, can't get enough of this crap!
Old 15th July 2013
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
That's what I'm talking about!

Originally Posted by Annalogatta View Post
I've spent a lot of time building and dampening my home studio, to control the overall sound. I was quite happy with that dead room until i did a remote recording with only one mic on a guitar player in a wooden 'shack' with reflections and squeaky floorboards all over the place... and somehow i fell in love with that 'real' and imperfect sound... so much for my dead room.
Gotta have da funk!

Old 19th February 2014
Here for the gear

I started my studio recording 4-5 years back at my friends house. Now days use of new type of workflow provide high quality real-time network which reduce quality degradation.
Old 19th February 2014
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
Old 15th May 2014
Gear Addict

The short version: I heard a Soundfield Mk IV at an AES convention, had to have one, so I had to justify it financially. (Of course this begs the question of what I was doing there (with a speaker's badge no less)...)
Old 15th June 2014
Lives for gear
projektk's Avatar

Well I have been doing my own studio work since graduating from Sound Master in 2007 however during my course there I went on a couple shoots with Neal Rosenfeld and really enjoyed it. I learned a lot both in the class and out with Neal and mainly stayed with local recording for bands and rappers because I was a rapper. Well now I am starting to feel that I am growing away from rapping and really wanted to evaluate my options. I had posted a couple threads on here recently asking for advice on gear such as the Apollo products and Pro Tools HD for serious studio work, stepping up the game in that realm. Well after serious thought on all that without thinking about it for a second I ended up pulling the trigger on field gear. I just received my Tascam DR-60D, got a shotgun mic and a decent Sennheiser Cavalier Wireless Mic. Got a crap load of batteries a high end charger, a cool bag, overall I feel I can take any field job with this with my skills and that is my plan. Over the next few years i will be adding more wireless mics, shotgun mics and field recorders to set myself up to hire a team or rent out my gear. I have my eye on some higher end field recorders, thinking of picking up some extra DR60D's as well down the line. Just going to keep piling up the gear so that I do have the option of hiring my own team or at least providing to a team and like i said i am comfortable with renting out my gear when I accumulate more. I will be duplicates but of course I will try other shotgun mics as they have their strengths and weaknesses. Once I have everything organized I will take a photo make it my default and also post it in the photo thread.

I will be attending E3, Comic Con, and a couple film festivals a year to communicate with professionals and have a great time so if anyone is interested I am open to collaborating and going to the events together to hangout and have a great time. Sorry for the run on sentence there
Old 20th June 2014
Gear Guru
jwh1192's Avatar
Hi steve. Hope you are well. What made me do it ... "the Devil" of course
Old 21st June 2014
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
The "devil" is in the details.

Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
Hi steve. Hope you are well. What made me do it ... "the Devil" of course
Old 13th September 2016
Lives for gear
nightchef's Avatar

Originally Posted by valleysound View Post
Guitar solo take 12. Vocal overdub 5. I hate that stuff!
This reminded me of a formative moment. A college friend & bandmate of mine (who has since gone on to great things) had gotten a job as a junior engineer at the Record Plant in NYC. Being at the bottom of the pecking order, he got to do things like the all-night half-off sessions for low-budget projects. I went down to visit him one weekend, and he told me to meet him at the studio because he had a late session.

I got there at probably 11:30PM, and camped out in the control room while a southern-rock band watched their guitarist try to lay down a solo overdub on the other side of the glass. Something like four hours later, it ended....I think in the end the poor guy just couldn't get a clean take down, but they managed to punch in a few fixes for the squirreliest parts. I heard that song so many times that night that I can still sing it for you.

I knew then that a full-time commercial studio gig was beyond my spiritual capabilities.
Old 18th October 2017
Gear Maniac
Simmosonic's Avatar

After 10 years or so doing popular and alternative music in multitrack studios, I was burnt out and hated my life. When I started doing that stuff in the very early ‘80s I’d be all excited for the next session, like a kid before Christmas. After 10 years of heavy studio schedules, I was depressed and gloomy at the thought of yet another session straight after this one.

So I got out of hands-on audio and focused on teaching and working for audio magazines.

In the process I had to review a pair of ATC monitors, which I ultimately bought and which lead me down the dubious path of becoming an audiophile. In my search for recordings worthy of the monitors, I started listening to all the audiophile favourites that were recorded direct-to-stereo (or claimed to be). I’m sure you’ve all got some of them in your collection. Perhaps some of you even recorded them...

One day I was handed Royer’s SF12 to test and review - Blumlein, ribbons, etc. - and before I knew it I was getting hands-on again, trying to make recordings as good or better than the audiophile albums I’d been admiring. That’s what made me do it, and it still drives me to this day - to make recordings that transport the listener somewhere using nothing more than a well-chosen and well-placed pair of microphones.

For some years I recorded live chamber music concerts using the Royer SF12 with a custom-made preamp, a Prismsound AD124 and a Tascam DA45HR 24-bit DAT machine. From there I moved to a Nagra V on the advice of David Spearritt, and never looked back. I expanded my range of mics to include Schoeps MS, numerous DPAs, some Milabs, Rodes and others. I’ve been fortunate through my involvement with audio magazines and audio schools that I’ve been able to try just about any mic I’m interested in.

I’m a mnmlst at heart, so I like to keep it simple. I’m currently putting together a rig for backpacking around South East Asia to record the traditional music. It’s based on a Nagra 7 and a pair of Sennheiser MKH800s. It’s an expensive rig, but the versatility and weight savings are worth it.

Last edited by Simmosonic; 18th October 2017 at 11:51 AM..
Old 18th October 2017
Gear Nut
Moke's Avatar

I celebrated 35 years of live recordings yesterday, most of which were as a two channel ambient minimalist.
I got my start before I can even remember. My grandma was a choir leader and soloist in her church choir. She had a portable mono reel to reel deck, and a single mono mic (supplied with the deck), taht she would use to record the coir and her solos. That thing fascinated me. I knew how to spool it up, and record stuff on it by the time I was probably 4?
Around 1970, my folks got me a small portable mono shoe-box size cassette recorder with its plastic bodied mic (included), that had a moulded-in triangular base so that you could put it on a table and record conversations. I used it to try to capture my favorite songs on my 8-Ball AM radio, and 93KHJ AM radio in Los Angleles. I'd aim the mic at the radio speaker, and try to record the songs; then my mom would come in, and say something and wreck the recording.
Around 1976/77, I used this same recorder to record a couple of Larry Carlton / Robben Ford concerts at a club called Dantes in Hollywood. I asked for his permission (was friends with, and was attending the shows with his cousin). He looked at my contraption, and said, to go for it. So I set my recorder up on the table (we had our table at the stage-lip, center). I pushed record, and proceeded to take a bunch of pictures of them with my kodak camera with its rotating flash cube popping right in their faces.
These recordings came out solidily brickwalled with moments of actual music that could be heard deeply buried in the noise. But, I loved them, they were mine.

Flash forward to Oct 17, 1982, a Grateful Dead show in Santa Fe NM, and my run-in with a pair of stereo recordists. The lights dropped, I was shoved behind a pair of mics on an eye-level mic stand, the blanket was pulled back, a half dozen linked Sony TC-D5M meters were happily bouncing away.
My jaw dropped, I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and was numbed by the fact that I was right in the center of it all.
So, yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of that moment, and, the thought of the literal thousands of recording done live since that fateful day. It was like a mainline hit turning me into a recording junky instantly.
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