Audeze Artists
post-15641629
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 14

Audeze

Sponsor: Audeze
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
880
Reaction score
1,649
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Posts
880
Likes
1,649
Website
www.audeze.com
In our Artist series a variety of Audeze users. This is the first in a series of planned articles.


Susan Rogers is an American professor, sound engineer and record producer best known for being Prince’s staff engineer during his commercial peak (1983-1987). During this time, she laid the foundations for Prince's now infamous vault by beginning the process of collecting and cataloguing studio and live recordings. She has also worked as a sound engineer and record producer for several musical artists such as Barenaked Ladies, David Byrne, Robben Ford, Jeff Black, Rusted Root, Tricky, Michael Penn, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Tevin Campbell. She is an associate professor in the Music Production and Engineering and Liberal Arts departments at Berklee College of Music.



An archived 1985 concert performance of Prince and the Revolution that Susan helped record was released on the day of this interview's publication. This was a total coincidence and we had no idea it was coming out! You can check it out here - it's wonderful.
Here is our interview with Susan:

Can you provide any preferred links to your discography, social media, etc, that you might want us to share?
I’m one of those people who cringe away from social media as though it were an ogre coated in manure. No personal pages or platforms at all, but here is my All Music credit list and a link to my biography at Berklee College of Music. (Here's a fantastic interview of Susan in Tape Op magazine too!)

Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?
The Prince work I did (Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and The Black Album) was in a category all by itself because he was so extraordinary. He hired me in 1983 as his audio technician but put me into the engineering chair straight away. After that, Geggy Tah’s three albums, Nil Lara’s My First Child, and Jeff Black’s Birmingham Road (featuring the original Wilco band members plus Greg Wells) are noteworthy for their deep, deep vein of musical talent.

Did you also play a role in the newly released Prince and the Revolution: Live album?
Yes, I was there in the mobile recording truck. I dimly recall that it was the Record Plant mobile with Dave Hewitt. A great tour.

What's the best place for those new to your work to become familiar with what you do?
I was a Studio Queen of the ‘80s and ‘90s, so I’d turn listeners on to the records that might have slipped their notice, in particular Geggy Tah’s Grand Opening. Record makers have to develop an ear for talent and this “bedroom” record features it in its purest form. I exchanged my record making career for a science career at the turn of the century. I am currently writing a non-fiction book on music listening from three perspectives: record producer, brain scientist, and non-musician. It will be published by W. W. Norton in 2021.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on?
As a non-musician my biggest asset is the capacity to listen as a fan and to help convert musical gestures into a more universal message. I liked serving as an intermediary between the artist’s vision and the music listener’s appetite, when I was in the producer chair, at least. As an engineer, I enjoyed painting with sound in the sense of blending, highlighting, and contrasting tonal colors to serve the scope of the song. As a mixer, I loved feeling like the cinematographer for the record – framing the shots, modulating the listener’s spotlight of attention, deciding between shadow and light. I was really happy with facilitating the vision of others.

How did you get started in your area of the business?
I started in 1978 in Hollywood. I grew up in Anaheim, California, just crazy about records and the radio, but with zero interest in playing or writing music. I needed to exchange something I could do happily for a chance to be around record makers. Few jobs in the music industry were (are) more necessary than audio tech work, so I bought textbooks and studied and landed a job at Audio Industries Corp. in Hollywood. I was an MCI service technician repairing consoles and tape machines in the Greater Los Angeles area. An excellent way to begin!

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?
Record making is really, really hard, so there were lots of frustrating moments. As is the case with most people, frustration was more frequent early in my career. There was one client who hired me to produce, engineer, and mix her record, but it turns out that she had only hired me for my gender. In the studio she assumed control of everything and made it unpleasant to work together. We parted ways before mixing the album and her label dropped her. If I had to do it over with today’s brain, I’d be better able to see what her desire for control was about and could work with her a little better. But really, with today’s brain, I’d never take that gig!

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project?
Yes! I must have the API 560 graphic EQs and the Eventide H3000 with micropitchshift. Lots of delays are absolutely necessary, too, plus the Yamaha NS10ms.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?
Know yourself. Know what you want and what kind of thinker you are. Recognize that what you want may not perfectly overlap with what you are capable of doing. Start your career by getting paid to do something that you can do with the least amount of uphill climbing; that will enable you to get a purchase on professional life as you add other skills and knowledge.

How long have you been working with headphones, and what inspired you to start including them in your workflow?
I’ve always worked with headphones in my record making career. They are the only way to overcome the modulating effects of the head-related transfer function. The problem has always been that headphones have a built-in curve that must be learned if you are going to use them as a reference monitor. We audio engineers are a superstitious people who tend to be brand-loyal. I really love the Audeze phones and will take pride in recommending them to the future record-makers I teach at Berklee!
 
Audeze Stay updated on Audeze at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/AudezeLLC https://twitter.com/audeze https://www.audeze.com/
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: omniweltall
post-15701135
Post #2 of 14

Audeze

Sponsor: Audeze
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
880
Reaction score
1,649
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Posts
880
Likes
1,649
Website
www.audeze.com
Though not a household name, David Breskin is the visionary behind much vital music of the last forty years. He flies under the radar (at his own preference), but he’s been an invisibly central figure in avant-garde jazz and new music since 1982, when he began working for a small not-for-profit foundation which gives grants to individuals in music, literature, and the visual arts. Along with engineer-extraordinaire Ron Saint Germain and others, David is "to blame" for the release of a panoply of important and ground-breaking music—beginning in the ‘80s and early ‘90s when he produced albums by the likes of Bill Frisell, John Zorn, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Tim Berne, and Joey Baron; and continuing through this past decade in his work with Nels Cline, Mary Halvorson, Kris Davis, Dan Weiss, Craig Taborn, and scores of others.
Audeze is extremely proud to be involved in the process that helps these releases be the best that they can be. We'll be featuring interviews with Ron and some of the artists db (as he's called by all who know him) has worked with in future posts, so keep your eyes out for those!




Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

That’s like trying to pick among your kids. On a purely sonic and conceptual level some albums of real reach and ambition that I’ve been lucky enough to produce or co-produce would include Nels Cline’s Lovers, Dan Weiss’ Starebaby, Kris Davis’ Diatom Ribbons, Ingrid Laubrock’s Contemporary Chaos Practices, Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine, and Mark Dresser’s Ain’t Nothing But A Cyber Coup & You. So you see I have a hard time choosing. Mary Halvorson should also be on that list. There’s something about Mary.

What's the best place for those new to your work to become familiar with what you do?

Well I try to keep my website decently up to date, though I sometimes have the inclination to downdate rather than update. It’s a good place to at least see and hear what records I’ve had a hand in, going back to 1982, and also it’s an archive of my published writing—books, magazine journalism, interviews, poems-by-the-slice, collaborations with artists—as well as some photographs.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on?

I’m tempted to say “Minister Without Portfolio” but that would be cheeky. Every artist and album is different. Sometimes less is more and sometimes more is more. I try to work with two mottos: Best Idea Wins and Make The Punishment Fit The Crime. Oh, I guess I should add a third, a shorthand Hippocratic Oath: First Do No Harm. I’m basically trying to be a co-pilot, occasionally a protagonist or provocateur. Because I am a non-musician and have more of a background in narrative prose and poetry, and also the visual arts, I am usually trying to see the relationships of the parts to the whole, and how things fit together. It’s my job to help the artist make the album its best self, and not to impose any particular aesthetic. If I do have an aesthetic I guess my leading principle would be Asymmetical Equilibrium. Maybe that’s what my next business card should say. But it’s the artist who should be the auteur, not the producer; especially in this kind of free-range, non-pop music field I plow. But sometimes a producer can help the artist discover their inner auteur and make manifest something previously only inchoate. I guess one unusual role I sometimes (but not always) play is to create the album design—the look and feel of the thing, the visual language. I try to find the unified whole and am always looking for the 1 + 1 = 3.

How did you get started in your area of the business?

Happenstance. A few years after Jon Landau fell in love with Bruce Springsteen at a 1974 show at Harvard Square Theater, I fell in love with Ronald Shannon Jackson’s drumming when he was playing with Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time. And then I heard his composing and saw him play (with Blood Ulmer) in the summer of 1979 at the Public Theater in NYC, while I was interning at the Village Voice before my senior year in college, being a “baby music critic,” writing Riffs for Robert Christgau and sucking up the scene. Landau famously declared that Springsteen was the future of rock ‘n’ roll. I thought Shannon was the future of jazz. Landau’s winning bet was a smidge more lucrative, but my marginal wager found me—a few years later—lugging Vernon Reid’s seven guitars and Shannon’s massive Sonor kit around Europe during a Decoding Society tour and producing Mandance and Barbeque Dog. I had exactly zero idea what I was doing and the ignorant confidence of a young autodidact. But I knew what was good. Why should I care if somebody told me it wasn’t? I knew from my own reviews how radically subjective the whole thing was, and still is.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

The process of making art is filled with obstacles. In some ways it is essentially about the obstacles. If there’s no resistance, there’s no friction and without friction there’s no heat and often no light. This goes whether someone is writing a poem or directing a high-budget Hollywood film. Some processes are obviously more collaborative than others, but I view all works of art as acts of collaboration. Even a solitary painter in a studio is collaborating with all the art she’s seen and felt for her entire life until that moment, and is in conversation with the work of the past and the present, even (and especially) what she might be trying to “throw off” or “work against.” I would also push back against the idea of a “moment of frustration.” If it’s only for a moment, it ain’t worth being frustrated about. The real obstacles are the ones you can learn from, the nasty cul-de-sacs and the back-breakers. We’re all on the chain gang, looking to rob our unseen keepers of the keys.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project?

I have been grateful to have had a pair of ProAc Studio 100s for the last dozen years. I use these weighty little bookshelf speakers as my reference monitors. I am not looking for gigantic, crazy-expensive speakers. I am looking for “real world” speakers. While there is no absolute truth in sound—only gradations and shavings of the truth—I trust these babies to tell me a robust version of the truth and they are enormously helpful. Most important, I’ve learned that if something sounds good / right / true on the ProAcs it will sound good on anything else, even the crappiest earbuds. (I mean, as good as music can sound on crap earbuds.) Music pours like water out of the ProAc Studio 100s.

Other than that, I would say the single best piece of audio gear I have ever found is Ron Saint Germain. When I first began using him—about thirty-eight years ago—he was not such a vintage piece of equipment. But even given his manufacturing date, he’s shockingly still under warranty. His instructions are complicated, but are in English and come out of the box, never in the box. He bends under difficult and demanding circumstances, but never breaks. To get working he needs caffeine, some calories, and not much sleep. I’ve been blessed to be able to work with some wonderfully skillful engineers, but there is only one Saint. He’s like a Swiss Army Knife ready to pry, carve, cut, screw, and stab any damn sonic problem presented. Assembly not required. Opinions included FREE ...but often expensive.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?

Make it up as you go along and always work with people smarter and more knowledgeable than you are.

How long have you been working with headphones, and what inspired you to start including them in your workflow?

I began working as a radio disc jockey when I was fourteen years old. My high school had a 10-watt FM stereo station, WNTH. I did jazz shows and play-by-play of basketball and football games, so headphones have been part of my “professional” life since before my voice changed.

Once I was really working in music and not just listening to it, in the 1980s, I had a pair of Grados I adored and swore by. When those died, I was bereft and never found anything I liked as much. After that, I dated around. I was promiscuous. I didn’t care. And for a couple decades, I was serially monogamous but unsatisfied. And then shazzam, a wise man gave me a pair of Audeze EL-8s as a gift, and what a gift. I could travel with them (as I did much in the pre COVID-19 days—since I live on the Left Coast but +90% of my work is on the Least Coast) and use them without worry and with supernal results on planes and trains, and in hotel rooms and studios. I stopped accepting whatever the studios offered me. I came to trust these cans, just as I trust the ProAcs. Trust means almost everything, especially when mixing.

A coda, because this is a story about music: since cans are not crucial to me for tracking, I thought I’d offer my EL-8s to Kris Davis to try while we were tracking Diatom Ribbons in December of 2018. Musicians don’t even bother to complain about studio cans anymore—they are a necessary evil, a fact of recording life. Most tend to be overbright, or thin, or harsh, and if they image at all they image like a Jackson Pollock splatter painting. After many hours of intense listening and playing, they can be even less than a necessary evil and more like a hindrance. (I don’t know any musicians who would choose to track in cans if there was a better alternative.) A funny thing happened when I gave Kris the EL-8s. She didn’t say anything. She started playing. She smiled. And she just... did not take them off. She’s a polite woman, but she didn’t even offer to give them back. And the whole session went that way. Next time I was in the studio, I made the same offer to the pianist Sylvie Courvoisier. The EL-8s went on and didn’t come off, except when it was time to come into the control room or break for a meal. Next up, Ingrid Laubrock. Same deal. Most recently with the drummer Ches Smith, same. On, not off—and this time for a truly daunting three-day sesh where he was playing with three Haitain master drummers, plus piano, plus double bass, plus alto sax: density cubed, you might say. I don’t even ask anymore if they are being enjoyed. I’m slowly catching on.


Ron St. Germain, Ingrid Laubrock and db during a remote mixing session:

 
Audeze Stay updated on Audeze at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/AudezeLLC https://twitter.com/audeze https://www.audeze.com/
     Share This Post       
post-15770541
Post #3 of 14

Audeze

Sponsor: Audeze
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
880
Reaction score
1,649
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Posts
880
Likes
1,649
Website
www.audeze.com
RonStG_large.png

Ron St. Germain isn't exactly a household name, but if the world were a fair place he would be. Ron’s work has amassed over 100 gold and platinum awards, selling well over a quarter billion units, garnering 19 Grammy nominations with 14 wins and numerous American Music and MTV Awards for the artists he has worked with. He’s also mixed live and recorded in venues from CBGB’s to the 1980 Winter Olympics, Ronald Reagan’s Inauguration Ceremonies, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

We convinced Saint (as he's known to friends) to take a break from his tireless work schedule and rattle off a few stories laced with a massive slew of names for us. Here is the interview:

Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

Since this year marks my first 50 years as a professional in the business of music, I find it extremely difficult to pick just one or two standouts. Being a music junkie, I thrive on variety because I feel that music is part of the very fabric of our DNA and inseparable from the human experience. As such, ALL music that is honest, inspired and played by musicians who are Masters of their craft, is compelling, beautiful and worthy of immersing oneself in to the point where you find yourself in that ‘splace’ (my portmanteau for space & place) that only music can take us… away from our earthly bounds to that heavenly musical Neverland. So I shall endeavor to put my pen to the page and fill in some of those musical journeys... I have amassed countless ‘frequent in-studio flyer miles’ that float to the top (like the 'cream of the crop’) in 'stream of consciousness’ manner!

Going way back to my beginnings in the early 70’s while at Media Sound Studios, NYC, I would say that the three posthumous Jimi Hendrix albums I worked on with Alan Douglas and Tony Bongiovi, “Crash Landing”, “Midnight Lightning” and “9 To The Universe”, were not only incredible learning experiences, but I also consider them to be among my career’s most unexpected and treasured blessings. Of countless albums I was 'gifted' to assist on during that vital time in music, among the most memorable of them were the recording of Stevie Wonder and his group, ‘Wonderlove’ of his “Innervisions” album. There were way too many amazing Artists and albums (I have been told to write a book & maybe I might one day) that I want to mention, but will keep it brief out of respect for the space it would take, ha!). “Wildflowers (The New York Loft Jazz Sessions)” recorded live in the East Village loft of Sam Rivers (at his legendary, 'Studio RivBea’) was a true groundbreaker of the decade and subsequently launched careers for a dozen or more amazing improvisational jazz giants!

The 80’s were equally exciting, because by then, the business and recording technology had evolved greatly from the vestiges from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s into very large frame analog consoles with 48 to 180 faders with computer assisted mixing, and the former business model of ‘Staff Engineers’ at studios and ‘Staff Producers’ for the Record Labels was being replaced by independent engineers, producers and mixers. The ‘Computer Age’ was the ice breaker, plowing us into the world of ‘Digital’ music production, yet still very much married to ‘analog technology' in most aspects. It was an incredibly vital time in the music business remixing singles, extended club/dance mixes; a few standouts of the decade being the Duran Duran offshoot, Arcadia, “So Red The Rose”, Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know”, Ashford & Simpson, “Solid as a Rock”, Diana Ross & Michael Jackson, “Eaten Alive”, Aretha Franklin, “Jimmy Lee”, Nona Hendryx, “I Sweat”, Kraftwerk, “Electric Cafe”, Jan Hammer’s, “Miami Vice Theme”, Mick Jagger, “Lucky at Love” & “Just Another Night”, and of course I have to mention, “Bad” by U2. On the jazz side, Paquito D'Rivera, Ronald Shannon Jackson, “Mandance”, McCoy Tyner, The Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet were amazing memories as was Ornette Coleman's, “Of Human Feelings”, the first “live to two-track all digital" recording in NYC! It was also the decade for developing production chops; another of my ‘Personal Top 10’ favorites of ALL time, the Bad Brains, "I Against I” and the follow up album, “Quickness”.

The 90’s accelerated the momentum of the 80’s with Sonic Youth’s, “Goo” and Soundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger” (a 'Personal Top 10’er), the Cure’s, “Why Can’t I Be You” & “Hot, Hot, Hot", Living Colour, “Stain”, Danish band Kashmir, “Cruzential” (a personal Top 10 fav of mine), 311, “311 (the ‘Blue’ album, (a 'Personal Top 10’er)), Keziah Jones, “African Space Craft”, Creed’s, “My Own Prison”, and Canadian group Joydrop’s song, “Beautiful” (also, a 'Personal Top 10’er). Some choice Jazz memories in this decade were Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano with Paul Motian, “Motian in Tokyo”, Ronald Shannon Jackson, “Mandance” and Miniature, “I Can’t Put My Finger On It”. On the hard edge, Killing Joke, “Pandemonium” and Tool’s “Undertow”, both especially memorable!

The start of the 21st Century, gave Creed their first #1 hit, “With Arms Wide Open”, Mos Def, “The New Danger” (actually prefer the ruff mixes to the album), 311, “Amber”, Breed 77, “In My Blood”, Streetkind, “Medicine Man” were favs from the decade. On the Jazz tip: Paul Motian, “Windmills of My Mind”, Nels Cline, “Initiate 1 & 2”, and “Dirty Baby” were stand outs.

Decade 2 of the New Millennium saw even more “Independent Artists” in various genres, most self-financed like Greek band My Excuse, “All I’ve Become”, and the foundation grant-type composer/artist projects piloted by David Breskin. Standout favorites being Nels Cline, “Lovers” and Ben Goldberg, “Orphic Machine”. The Mark Dresser Seven albums, “Sedimental You” & “Ain’t Nothing But A Cyber Coup & You”, Dan Weiss, “Starebaby” (1 & 2), Chris Lightcap, “Super Big Mouth”, Ron Miles, “I Am A Man”, The Nels Cline 4, “Currents, Constellations” and Ingrid Laubrock’s “Contemporary Chaos Practices". Also on my favorites list are Kris Davis & Craig Taborn, “Octopus” as well as Kris Davis’s most recent effort, “Diatom Ribbons”.

This current decade is off to an amazing start with four very different but compelling albums already completed and more booked into 2021!

What's the best place for those new to your work to become familiar with what you do?

I am not a ‘social media’ type guy nor do I have a website, so you are left to just ‘search the net’ and you will be able to find out enough to get an idea. NONE of the credits sites like AllMusic or Discogs get it right, but between them you will find plenty, certainly more than I can remember, ha!

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on?

The first decade was learning my craft and going from assistant to engineer to mixing and doing both, then evolving in the early 80’s into the producer, engineer, and/or mixer/re-mixer categories thereafter, and there I have hovered for the last four decades. I rarely do club re-mixes anymore, and the “producer” work has thinned out more this last decade, mainly because of a lack of labels, budgets and demand. I get more recording & mixing assignments recently, although I love them all (and listen to demos constantly) I consider everything and take the work as it comes! My hours are as long and hard as they were in the 70’s so no complaints!

How did you get started in your area of the business?

I played drums and guitar as a boy and was in bands through High School & College. After I got tired of bands breaking up all the time and having to waste so much time waiting for musicians to commit, come to rehearsal on time and simply having to depend on 4 to 6 other guys to do what I loved, I decided to learn how to make records. I knew from reading the credits on the back of my records what the top studios were in NYC so I went back to NYC, let my “fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages…” and wrote down the top 4 or 5 and started ‘blind calling’ them. (No such thing as a ‘school’ for recording in those days; you learned by DOING (the same way you do now…). My first call was to Record Plant & I scored an interview immediately off that call. I went there, did the interview with the Studio Manager Mitch Plotkin, and was working an hour later as a ‘GA’ (General Assistant). On my way IN the door of the studio I (literally) bumped into John Lennon & Yoko Ono (who were on their way out after a string over dub for their “Elephant’s Memory” project), introduced myself to them (I already knew who they were) and decided that was a BIG sign that I had made the right decision! Haven’t been OUT of a studio for more than a couple weeks or so ever since that first unforgettable meeting either.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

Frustration is a part of life we all have to deal with from time to time. Most of mine stems from being 'too straight' with people. I am a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy; not known for ‘beating around the bush’, which I have learned is not always the best policy… Over the years, I have gotten much better with that, but I have also learned that is just me and I am sure it is how I always was even as a kid, which, come to think of it, I still feel like I am!

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project?

Yes! Ever since I have owned a NEVE/AMEK 9098i (I bought mine in 2003) I will not mix on any other large frame analog console! I still record all over the world, but I bring everything home to my studio, Saint's Place, to mix. I have a few racks of ‘go to’ vintage analog gear I have accumulated over the many years that I use as well, but I find that (especially if I have tracked the music I am mixing) I rarely, if ever need to “plug in” to them. My Bricasti reverb and my two Lexicon 200’s have made many of my engineer friends ask which “EMT Plates” I have… ha! Also, LOVE my E.A.R. Compressor, Mark Levinson Cello amplifiers and Transparent Audio 'Reference Cables' driving my ProAc Studio 100’s. Since I recorded and mixed Kris Davis and Craig Taborn’s live album “Octopus” directly to 2-Track using the closed back Audeze EL-8 Headphones, I have NOT been able to work without them or their open back LCD-X’s. Both are inseparable from my work flow. My most recent addition has been to include a dedicated Headphone DAC/Amplifier, the incredible Chord Hugo TT2! Hard to believe that the Audeze Headphones could sound even better than they already do 'out of the box', but since acquiring this device, I now listen in absolute 'Audio Heaven’!

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?

I would say unless you are 'absitively, posilutey' compelled to become a recording Engineer, Producer &/or Mixer… DON’T DO IT! Most of our jobs will most likely evaporate and be taken over by ‘AI Computers’ as mankind gets more deeply submerged into the ‘Digital Age’. Music, of course, will NEVER disappear; however, to make a career of it will become more & more difficult with fewer & fewer job opportunities, so be DAMN sure you are willing to ‘stick to it’! IF you go for it, go all the way, be prepared to NOT have a ‘life’ as most people know it because days, weeks, months and years disappear, family time is rare, holidays almost non-existant, and the work days are insanely long. Expect to go hungry for a long time, expect to not be able to hold a relationship together without losing a couple ‘keepers’ along the way, not expect to get paid on time and certainly do not expect to hear “thank you” as much as you probably should. Remember it is a business of LISTENING… so keep your comments to yourself, especially until you have achieved some sort of success that will ‘speak for you’ because then, and almost only then, will others actually hear you.

How long have you been working with headphones, and what inspired you to start including them in your workflow?

As a kid growing up, headphones were ‘cool' and made listening to vinyl possible without driving the family crazy. In the studios, headphones have always been an inseparable part of this work; for tracking and listening to the musicians mixes ‘in the cans’ both in the control room as well as in the studio at their cue boxes to figure out what the problem is or to simply hear what they are hearing to be able to adjust cue sends accordingly; or during the mixing phase to just hear how your mixes sound in headphones! For me, I never liked to judge mixes by headphones during the process of mixing because the sound was SO different than the speakers I was used to that any changes I based on what I heard in headphones turned out to be wrong (Mastering is not the time to discover that!). In the late 80’s and into the mid 90’s I had a great pair of “Top of the Line”, open back, Grado headphones that had phase flip toggle switches in the center of each earpiece that would enable you to listen with headphones AND your studio monitors on without canceling out the lower frequencies! It was excellent to be able to still really “feel” the low end of the music while having incredible detail of higher frequencies right ‘in your head’ and to not have to listen at “welding volume”! They also came with a matching Grado amplifier (DC Powered) for direct listening to just the headphones. Alas, those headphones were discontinued shortly after Jim Grado passed and critical parts were not available so they are retired. I tried for years to find headphones thereafter, but cold never find anything that worked as well as those did, so I simply gave up looking. When clients would ask why I didn’t use headphones as another way to check mixes I said "because they lie. If a mix sounds great when you are done THEN its ok to listen on them, but NEVER use them to make mix decisions with, because you will always be disappointed."

Years later I was able to listen to some amazing new technology, ($5,000 ‘Electrostatic’ headphones”), but they sounded so foreign to me I could not get used to them. They were FUN, but not a tool I would want to use while mixing. It wasn’t until 2016 when I needed to record and mix the Kris Davis & Craig Taborn “Octopus" live album that I really did my homework on what was going on in the headphone world because I HAD to find something that wouldn’t LIE to me sonically. I knew that I would have only ONE chance to capture these two truly incredible pianists and did not want to 'screw the pooch’. I read everything I could and searched for months (giving me ample time to try a few if necessary). The Planar Magnetic technology that Audeze employs in their headphones got my attention and I bought a pair of their closed back EL-8’s. I had already run through several of the ‘old tech’ high end well known brands and was not ‘sold’ for one reason or another. When the EL-8s arrived I listened to them for a couple weeks playing many of my own projects through them to hear how they handled my mixes over many genres (rock, funk, hard core, pop, techno, jazz, classical, etc) and was truly blown away! Ever since then they have been a “Cruzential” part of my work flow.

As it turned out, it was because of the fact that I was using those headphones so much in the studio after Kris’s record, that the cables became intermittent. I contacted Chris Berens at Audeze to get a replacement and told him the story of how Kris Davis and David Breskin (the producer of “Octopus”) had decided to go with my live 2-track mixes (instead of the multitrack recording I had made of the entire 2 week tour) because “it wasn’t broke”! I jokingly told him that Audeze cut me out of several days of work as a result of their headphones sounding so accurate, and also said how I was now addicted and could not work without them. I take my Audezes with me to every session I track and let all the musicians listen to their music through them; ALL are blown away! My favorite comment so far came from a well known musician whose only comment to me as he was taking the LCD-X’s off his head was, “these are absolutely pornographic sounding”! The whole control room cracked up and now many of the musicians and others I work with are proud (and HAPPY) to be listening to their own Audeze headphones with HUGE smiles on their faces!

Do yourself a favor, give yourself a REAL treat that will give you many years of listening (and miles of smiles while doing so) and get a pair of these truly amazing headphones, you will be GLAD you did!!
 
Audeze Stay updated on Audeze at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/AudezeLLC https://twitter.com/audeze https://www.audeze.com/
     Share This Post       
post-15857908
Post #4 of 14

Audeze

Sponsor: Audeze
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
880
Reaction score
1,649
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Posts
880
Likes
1,649
Website
www.audeze.com
Julian Lage is a jazz guitarist and composer who splits his time between Nashville, TN and Brooklyn, NY. He has been on the scene since at least 1996, when he was the subject of the documentary film Jules at Eight. At age 12, he performed at the 2000 Grammy Awards Ceremony, and things have really taken off from there with regular gigs with some giants of jazz as well as other-worldly projects like those with Nels Cline, Bill Frisell, John Zorn and others.

Julian is one of those rare players that makes even the most difficult maneuvers look easy, partly because he's worked very hard for most of his life, but also because he has a truly easy-going, generous and fluid spirit.



Here is our email chat with Julian:

Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

One record that I really think stands out as fun to make and listen to years later is a solo acoustic guitar album called World’s Fair. This record was entirely inspired and made possible by my dear friends David Breskin and Chelsea Hadley. I am eternally grateful to them for making this possible. I’ll never forget David asking what kind of record would I be most afraid to make. I said solo guitar, to which he said “Lets make that happen!” It was the greatest experience to slow down and write for the guitar and learn from every aspect of the process. I’m so grateful we made that happen.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on?

I am so fortunate to collaborate with my favorite musicians and friends, and though sometimes I am the leader as in the case of my trio, it always feels collaborative and group-centric. I like the way that line can be kind of blurry and fluid, depending on what the project calls for.

How did you get started in music?

I began playing guitar because my father played guitar. He started playing when I was about four and I asked for a guitar and my parents said if I still wanted one when I was five, they would get me one. And I was eager to play a year later and I began studying with my father, who is such a great musical mind and artist. I began by studying the blues and kind of organically started exploring jazz and improvised music.

Can you name any factors you feel majorly influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I feel so fortunate to have grown up with so many incredible teachers and mentors. Truly, it is the greatest gift in this world to study with Randy Vincent, Mick Goodrick, my parents, Hal Crook, Debi Adams, Gary Burton and so many more. As I reflect upon growing up with these masters, I see that one thing these relationships all had in common was that each and every one of these is so incredibly kind and respectful and they always treated me with such care, and enthusiasm and honesty, like an equal colleague. They all continue to be my greatest teachers

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

This is such a great question and quite honestly I am not totally sure. I like thinking of obstacles and challenges as reflections of a dissonance between what I think is happening and what is actually happening! Like when I’ve been trying to push myself to be stronger as a player and then realize that I’ve been trying to upgrade an aspect that might not actually need upgrading. Those realizations perhaps start as frustrations but have become such beacons of light in my life.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

I’m a Telecaster nerd and love all kinds of teles, so that is my main go-to for writing and performing over the past several years. Having said that, I’ve so enjoyed recording lately with a beautiful guitar made by Collings. It is a model that we made together called the 470 JL and is a blast to play live and on records as well. That guitar in conjunction with Magic Amps have been a great combination lately. Also, I am a super fan of Nacho Guitars and think they are just the best guitars, especially in conjunction with my favorite pickups by the master Ron Ellis. I love the way all these elements can work together, and how one change affects the whole tonal palette.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?

I would first say we are so very much in it together as a community and that is one of the greatest gifts in the world. Jim Hall had a wonderful sense of making you feel like you and he worked for the same company and we were all privy to the same experiences, and I found that so comforting, grounding and supportive to witness that perspective. And I would encourage other players to consider that perspective as well, especially at times when maybe you feel like you are going it alone and crave some support. Also, a big part of that sense of support is knowing that you don’t have to work with, study from, or hire anyone that you don’t feel good around. You can really cultivate a community of kind, brilliant, and loving people and they will be your greatest support, as you will be to them. That’s powerful!

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

Growing up, I loved using headphones to study records under a microscope. But over the past several years I have mostly relied on headphones for when I'm traveling and want to listen but mostly keep sound out. Using the Audeze headphones literally changed my life - the experience immediately took me back to when I was a child listening to music and falling into the heart of the sound. I am re-falling in love with sound! I feel deeply rejuvenated by these headphones!

This is what Julian had to say after he first used the LCD-Xs for a mixing project:

HOLY GOODNESS... these are insanely GREAT! Wowwwww.... my mind is blown. Didn’t realize I was living under a rock, haha. The project I’ve been using these headphones for is a new trio record which is our Blue Note debut, although it doesn’t have a title yet! The entire mixing was done with these headphones and they have been absolutely transcendent in every aspect: quality, beauty, musicality… they are deeply inspiring and true.
 
Audeze Stay updated on Audeze at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/AudezeLLC https://twitter.com/audeze https://www.audeze.com/
post-15858155
Post #5 of 14

Hifiboi69

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Messages
93
Reaction score
75
Location
Germany
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Location
Germany
Posts
93
Likes
75
I love your live performance at the Blue Whale. Your Fender champ is priceless. Never sell it! It’s so refreshing to see musicians on Head-fi as well. :)
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: 1TrickPony
post-15858509
Post #7 of 14

Raketen

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
1,492
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Posts
3,746
Likes
1,492
Enjoyed these, thanks for sharing them ~

Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?
... After that, Geggy Tah’s three albums
Geggy Tah! love their album Sacred Cow.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15860219
Post #9 of 14

raykkho

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
67
Reaction score
65
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Posts
67
Likes
65
Julian Lage is a jazz guitarist and composer who splits his time between Nashville, TN and Brooklyn, NY. He has been on the scene since at least 1996, when he was the subject of the documentary film Jules at Eight. At age 12, he performed at the 2000 Grammy Awards Ceremony, and things have really taken off from there with regular gigs with some giants of jazz as well as other-worldly projects like those with Nels Cline, Bill Frisell, John Zorn and others.

Julian is one of those rare players that makes even the most difficult maneuvers look easy, partly because he's worked very hard for most of his life, but also because he has a truly easy-going, generous and fluid spirit.



Here is our email chat with Julian:

Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

One record that I really think stands out as fun to make and listen to years later is a solo acoustic guitar album called World’s Fair. This record was entirely inspired and made possible by my dear friends David Breskin and Chelsea Hadley. I am eternally grateful to them for making this possible. I’ll never forget David asking what kind of record would I be most afraid to make. I said solo guitar, to which he said “Lets make that happen!” It was the greatest experience to slow down and write for the guitar and learn from every aspect of the process. I’m so grateful we made that happen.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on?

I am so fortunate to collaborate with my favorite musicians and friends, and though sometimes I am the leader as in the case of my trio, it always feels collaborative and group-centric. I like the way that line can be kind of blurry and fluid, depending on what the project calls for.

How did you get started in music?

I began playing guitar because my father played guitar. He started playing when I was about four and I asked for a guitar and my parents said if I still wanted one when I was five, they would get me one. And I was eager to play a year later and I began studying with my father, who is such a great musical mind and artist. I began by studying the blues and kind of organically started exploring jazz and improvised music.

Can you name any factors you feel majorly influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I feel so fortunate to have grown up with so many incredible teachers and mentors. Truly, it is the greatest gift in this world to study with Randy Vincent, Mick Goodrick, my parents, Hal Crook, Debi Adams, Gary Burton and so many more. As I reflect upon growing up with these masters, I see that one thing these relationships all had in common was that each and every one of these is so incredibly kind and respectful and they always treated me with such care, and enthusiasm and honesty, like an equal colleague. They all continue to be my greatest teachers

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

This is such a great question and quite honestly I am not totally sure. I like thinking of obstacles and challenges as reflections of a dissonance between what I think is happening and what is actually happening! Like when I’ve been trying to push myself to be stronger as a player and then realize that I’ve been trying to upgrade an aspect that might not actually need upgrading. Those realizations perhaps start as frustrations but have become such beacons of light in my life.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

I’m a Telecaster nerd and love all kinds of teles, so that is my main go-to for writing and performing over the past several years. Having said that, I’ve so enjoyed recording lately with a beautiful guitar made by Collings. It is a model that we made together called the 470 JL and is a blast to play live and on records as well. That guitar in conjunction with Magic Amps have been a great combination lately. Also, I am a super fan of Nacho Guitars and think they are just the best guitars, especially in conjunction with my favorite pickups by the master Ron Ellis. I love the way all these elements can work together, and how one change affects the whole tonal palette.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?

I would first say we are so very much in it together as a community and that is one of the greatest gifts in the world. Jim Hall had a wonderful sense of making you feel like you and he worked for the same company and we were all privy to the same experiences, and I found that so comforting, grounding and supportive to witness that perspective. And I would encourage other players to consider that perspective as well, especially at times when maybe you feel like you are going it alone and crave some support. Also, a big part of that sense of support is knowing that you don’t have to work with, study from, or hire anyone that you don’t feel good around. You can really cultivate a community of kind, brilliant, and loving people and they will be your greatest support, as you will be to them. That’s powerful!

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

Growing up, I loved using headphones to study records under a microscope. But over the past several years I have mostly relied on headphones for when I'm traveling and want to listen but mostly keep sound out. Using the Audeze headphones literally changed my life - the experience immediately took me back to when I was a child listening to music and falling into the heart of the sound. I am re-falling in love with sound! I feel deeply rejuvenated by these headphones!

This is what Julian had to say after he first used the LCD-Xs for a mixing project:

HOLY GOODNESS... these are insanely GREAT! Wowwwww.... my mind is blown. Didn’t realize I was living under a rock, haha. The project I’ve been using these headphones for is a new trio record which is our Blue Note debut, although it doesn’t have a title yet! The entire mixing was done with these headphones and they have been absolutely transcendent in every aspect: quality, beauty, musicality… they are deeply inspiring and true.
One of the most exciting jazz guitarists of late, phenomenal skill and touch.
 
post-15860962
Post #11 of 14

cangle

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
64
Reaction score
28
Location
Massachusetts
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Location
Massachusetts
Posts
64
Likes
28
I really enjoy Julian Lage and discovered him a few years ago but it's been a while since I've spent time listening to his music. Reading this interview has inspired me to check out some of his albums especially the solo World's fair album that he mentioned. Thanks for the good read Audeze
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: Audeze
post-15861683
Post #12 of 14

1TrickPony

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
2,033
Reaction score
673
Location
Montreal
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Location
Montreal
Posts
2,033
Likes
673
He's up there with Govan Guthrie in my book, loved his acoustic debut with John Zorn.

That intro solo is just oozing with technique with his slight dirty sig tone.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15862417
Post #13 of 14

DrSteinein

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
142
Reaction score
7
Joined
May 26, 2015
Posts
142
Likes
7
Why
Julian Lage is a jazz guitarist and composer who splits his time between Nashville, TN and Brooklyn, NY. He has been on the scene since at least 1996, when he was the subject of the documentary film Jules at Eight. At age 12, he performed at the 2000 Grammy Awards Ceremony, and things have really taken off from there with regular gigs with some giants of jazz as well as other-worldly projects like those with Nels Cline, Bill Frisell, John Zorn and others.

Julian is one of those rare players that makes even the most difficult maneuvers look easy, partly because he's worked very hard for most of his life, but also because he has a truly easy-going, generous and fluid spirit.



Here is our email chat with Julian:

Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

One record that I really think stands out as fun to make and listen to years later is a solo acoustic guitar album called World’s Fair. This record was entirely inspired and made possible by my dear friends David Breskin and Chelsea Hadley. I am eternally grateful to them for making this possible. I’ll never forget David asking what kind of record would I be most afraid to make. I said solo guitar, to which he said “Lets make that happen!” It was the greatest experience to slow down and write for the guitar and learn from every aspect of the process. I’m so grateful we made that happen.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on?

I am so fortunate to collaborate with my favorite musicians and friends, and though sometimes I am the leader as in the case of my trio, it always feels collaborative and group-centric. I like the way that line can be kind of blurry and fluid, depending on what the project calls for.

How did you get started in music?

I began playing guitar because my father played guitar. He started playing when I was about four and I asked for a guitar and my parents said if I still wanted one when I was five, they would get me one. And I was eager to play a year later and I began studying with my father, who is such a great musical mind and artist. I began by studying the blues and kind of organically started exploring jazz and improvised music.

Can you name any factors you feel majorly influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I feel so fortunate to have grown up with so many incredible teachers and mentors. Truly, it is the greatest gift in this world to study with Randy Vincent, Mick Goodrick, my parents, Hal Crook, Debi Adams, Gary Burton and so many more. As I reflect upon growing up with these masters, I see that one thing these relationships all had in common was that each and every one of these is so incredibly kind and respectful and they always treated me with such care, and enthusiasm and honesty, like an equal colleague. They all continue to be my greatest teachers

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

This is such a great question and quite honestly I am not totally sure. I like thinking of obstacles and challenges as reflections of a dissonance between what I think is happening and what is actually happening! Like when I’ve been trying to push myself to be stronger as a player and then realize that I’ve been trying to upgrade an aspect that might not actually need upgrading. Those realizations perhaps start as frustrations but have become such beacons of light in my life.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

I’m a Telecaster nerd and love all kinds of teles, so that is my main go-to for writing and performing over the past several years. Having said that, I’ve so enjoyed recording lately with a beautiful guitar made by Collings. It is a model that we made together called the 470 JL and is a blast to play live and on records as well. That guitar in conjunction with Magic Amps have been a great combination lately. Also, I am a super fan of Nacho Guitars and think they are just the best guitars, especially in conjunction with my favorite pickups by the master Ron Ellis. I love the way all these elements can work together, and how one change affects the whole tonal palette.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?

I would first say we are so very much in it together as a community and that is one of the greatest gifts in the world. Jim Hall had a wonderful sense of making you feel like you and he worked for the same company and we were all privy to the same experiences, and I found that so comforting, grounding and supportive to witness that perspective. And I would encourage other players to consider that perspective as well, especially at times when maybe you feel like you are going it alone and crave some support. Also, a big part of that sense of support is knowing that you don’t have to work with, study from, or hire anyone that you don’t feel good around. You can really cultivate a community of kind, brilliant, and loving people and they will be your greatest support, as you will be to them. That’s powerful!

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

Growing up, I loved using headphones to study records under a microscope. But over the past several years I have mostly relied on headphones for when I'm traveling and want to listen but mostly keep sound out. Using the Audeze headphones literally changed my life - the experience immediately took me back to when I was a child listening to music and falling into the heart of the sound. I am re-falling in love with sound! I feel deeply rejuvenated by these headphones!

This is what Julian had to say after he first used the LCD-Xs for a mixing project:

HOLY GOODNESS... these are insanely GREAT! Wowwwww.... my mind is blown. Didn’t realize I was living under a rock, haha. The project I’ve been using these headphones for is a new trio record which is our Blue Note debut, although it doesn’t have a title yet! The entire mixing was done with these headphones and they have been absolutely transcendent in every aspect: quality, beauty, musicality… they are deeply inspiring and true.
Why is here Advertising from an Audio Company. Thats very confusing. Sounds like a legit interview but it isnt, its just Audeze Ad
 
     Share This Post       
post-15863073
Post #14 of 14

Audeze

Sponsor: Audeze
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
880
Reaction score
1,649
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Posts
880
Likes
1,649
Website
www.audeze.com
Why


Why is here Advertising from an Audio Company. Thats very confusing. Sounds like a legit interview but it isnt, its just Audeze Ad
This is just a blog posts/series of interviews we did with various Audeze artists.
 
Audeze Stay updated on Audeze at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/AudezeLLC https://twitter.com/audeze https://www.audeze.com/
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 5)

Top