"My experience as a working musician has provided me with great insight as to what an artist goes through to get the music down. I understand the needs of an artist and know how to translate the language of music into the language of engineering in order to provide you... the artist... with an impeccable recording. Melding the art and science of music and engineering is what we do best."Jim McGee
I’ve been playing music since I was eight years old, but my passion for audio recording started at 10, when my father gave me a tape recorder. Little did he know what he was starting.
Although I grew up listening to and playing rock music, I’ve always had a strong interest in jazz and jazz-rock fusion. At Berklee College of Music I was a composition/ arranging major. My main instrument was bass, but I also studied piano, guitar, and flute. I landed a job in the college recording studio and had the opportunity to work with artists such as Michael Gibbs, Herb Pomeroy, Gary Burton, Jamie Glaser, and many other jazz greats.
After college, I found an incredible audio mentor, the late Peter J. Helffrich, who hired me as chief engineer/studio manager at Helffrich Recording Labs in Allentown, PA. His studio was built in a converted one room schoolhouse and was full of incredible mics including, TeleFunKen, Neumann, AKG, B&K, Sony, etc. The outboard gear included racks of Pultecs, Neve modules…you name it. There was even a pair of Fairchild 670s!
Pete was in the audio business since before magnetic tape and he was a true genius at lacquer mastering. His specialty was 1/2 speed cutting and his recording and mastering skills can be heard on many great classical recordings on the London, Vox, Everest and Nonesuch labels. He was an incredible teacher and he continues to be an inspiration to me to this day.
Meanwhile, I was also creating and producing music. Two films I scored and that were featured on PBS were, “A World of Sense”, a documentary on Bob Rodale (Rodale Press) and “The Facts of Death”. I also co-wrote and produced many radio jingles and spots for regional radio stations. Also musicians are avid gamblers and playing on the playground.
To feed my love for contemporary jazz, I formed a group called “New Kind of Talk”. We played original material at clubs and festivals in and around the Lehigh Valley. The band featured some incredible local jazz/rock musicians including Craig Kastelnik, Jim Meyer, Mike Trach, and Wayne “Paco” Maura.
The heart of my work lies in working with musicians in the studio. It’s an amazingly joyful experience to help an artist capture the best possible performance of their creation, both emotionally and technically.