Picking up an acoustic guitar at 5 then scoring my first real electric guitar on my 9th birthday, a 30 year love affair with music began. 3 years later I convinced my grandfather to buy me a four-track cassette recorder at the local Sam Ash. I would sit for hours recording and overdubbing. Just plugging stuff in and figuring out how to record. When I finally got to jam with other people it was a revelation. I started recording my first band at our first rehearsal and have been recording ever since. I honed my basic recording chops by trial and error along with sone cheap gear and duct tape. At the beginning of high school my friends and I threw ourselves into the NJ Hardcore and Punk scene of the mid 90's. Forming an indie label and throwing shows, I wanted to be immersed in the music community. Bringing my 4-Track recording anyone who would let me setup in their basement or rec room. I had no clue what I was doing but I was having fun.
Channel surfing after school In the heyday of local cable access television I stumbled upon a show being filmed at a recording studio and it was only one town over from my house! Tacher Studios in Middlesex, NJ. I showed up at their door and told them I wanted to learn how to record. I lucked out and the owner Tee DiMura took me under his wing. It was an old school 16 track analog 70's studio with floor to ceiling shag carpet and the smell of cigarettes in the air. I spent all four years of high school spending afternoons learning as much as I could about recording and mixing. When the studio had downtime I went through reel after reel of songs. Just pushing up faders and plugging in gear. I learned all of the fundamentals and then some during this period.
It was Avatar Studios(The Power Station) that gave me my first real taste of what it’s like working with big names in the music industry. At 19-years-old I scored a 3 month unpaid internship that turned into 4 years on staff at this legendary facility. Everyday I was in awe while learning from Grammy winning engineers and producers. Al Schmidt, Jack Joseph Puig, Michael Brauer, Jason Corsaro, Neil Dorfsman, and Rich Costey were some the greats I got to watch perform their craft. Along the way I made a lot of mistakes but got corrected by some of the best engineers in the world. It was better than any huge student loans could pay for today. 5 studios all buzzing with talent at the same time. It was inspiring and intimidating. The years I spent at Avatar still influenced the rest of my life.
After 4 years of running, assisting was burning me out and I wanted to make the move to freelance. I had a couple of indie records lined up and then by a chance meeting I got a gig mixing monitors for the NBC Today Show. I never mixed anything live before but got thrown right into the fire my first show mixing Elvis Costello. At the same time with an inherent gravitational pull towards my recording studio roots I signed on as a staff engineer at Granite Alps Studios in NJ and later as Chief Engineer at Fenix Studios in Staten Island, NY. During that time I worked with Living Colour, James Blood Ulmer, Bernard Purdie (Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Hall and Oates), Wu Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean plus lots of indepenent rock and pop artists. While at Fenix I also had the opportunity to mix jingles for television, radio, as well as tracks that would end up in major motion pictures.
At Just 27 I took on the role of Broadcast Music Mixer for the NBC TODAY SHOW. Mixing the 5.1 Surround Sound on air-mixes that millions watch daily along with millions of streams on the net. It has been an incredible ride. During my time at NBC I have worked with a cornucopia of artists such as Adele, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Robert Plant, Fleetwood Mac, Lady Gaga, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Taylor Swift, John Mellencamp, among many others. Mixing 200+ performances a year of every genre of music TODAY has been like a mixing bootcamp. Everyday I'm challenged to mix a different style song at a fast pace under intense conditions. Then add on top of it most of the time it's a hit song that people know well. So now not only do I have to work fast but I have to compete with the mix from the record that everybody knows. It has really made me up my mixing game. After mixing 4,000 plus songs by almost 1,500 artists I feel like I have the experience to help any artist take their song to the next level.
After a few years away from the record business to focus on television I could not resist my urge to get back into the studio. Starting at home I built my mix room "Stone House Studios" where I started mixing records again. My background in both the studio and live broadcast along with my love of the Grateful Dead lead me to the jam band world. I've been fortunate to be working on music I love with artists such as Spafford and Eggy. I quickly outgrew my home studio and in the spring of 2022 took residence in Studio C at the legendary Barbershop Studios in Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Studio C is a Frances Manzella Designed Mix Room that can accommodate overdubs and has a private lounge. Working at such great commercial facility gives me access to everything a large commercial facility offers including an amazing staff and the 72 Channel SSL 9000K equipped Studio A. Studio A boasts a large live room with one of the best vintage gear and mic collections in the area.I can now do complete productions in house from pre production to the final mix all in one facility. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or to take a tour of the studio.