I started college the University of Evansville and considered a major in physics with intention of a career in acoustics and speaker design – that is, until I heard of the Recording Industry program at Middle Tennessee State University. Within a week of learning of this “recording industry” and that I could go to school to be in it, I applied to MTSU and planned the big move to the south. Little did I know, there was good food there. Kleer-Vu Lunchroom. (On Highland Street two blocks off of Main in Murfreesboro – try it then call me and tell me how good it was after your nap)
At MTSU I spent every waking moment (and a few not so awake) in the studios of the Recording Industry program. I worked in the recording studio maintenance lab and was a lab assistant for many of my instructors, helping teach lessons in studio recording, SSL operation, and critical listening. It was there that the thought of moving into mastering emerged. I didn’t do so well in history class, but I rocked those engineering classes.
Post college, I worked as an assistant engineer at the MCA Music Publishing studio, held a staff assistant engineer job at Sound Stage Studios, and hung out in what free time I had with a couple very busy engineers in Nashville. After about an year and a half at Sound Stage, I went the independent assistant route to work steadily with F. Reid Shippen, mixer of many awesome records, for about 4 years and did some assisting and engineering on the side when he wasn’t busy, which was nearly never. The desire for mastering grew all the while.
While splitting time between studio work and mastering work, in 2002, I did my first major label mastering project for DC Talk. Why start with an unknown? Things went well from there, and in the spring of 2003 the mastering work and the assisting work couldn’t coexist any longer, and Tone and Volume Mastering went full time and all out.
Now, if you want to hear about the way-back…
I was born and grew up in the land of corn and basketball, Evansville, Indiana. Growing up with older siblings, I was exposed to much cooler music than the typical adolescent. A steady diet of The Eagles, Michael Jackson, Queen, The J. Giles Band, Joan Jett, David Bowie and The Stones gave me a rock and roll head up on the other toddlers and grade schoolers who were listening to Disco Duck and Fraggle…whatever that was. From there I had a heavy diet of music, music, music. Countless hours were spent listening to music, from Abba to Black Sabbath, amazed that I could hear the “room sound” on the drums of Autograph’s “Turn Up The Radio” at the age of 12. Many summers of lawn mowing came after, where every cent was put toward video games and stereo equipment. My mom had to drive me to the local Hi-Fi store to buy my first real stereo, at the ripe old age of 14. Bose 401s, a Yamaha integrated amp, and a Poineer 6 disc CD changer. Like it was yesterday.
Time passed…I bought lots of speakers….and amps. I can stop any time I want to.