You've Got A Friend

I was 14 years old when I experienced my first real session in a recording studio. It didn’t turn out to be the amazing session I dreamed about. In fact, it was a one night graveyard session my band won in a battle of the bands. The engineer was quite dismissive of my questions and requests. I remember feeling dejected during our session having all my ideas shot down by this engineer who for a moment I looked up to. He had all these gadgets I’d seen on album covers and in magazine ads. I assumed he knew it all, or at least a lot more than me and would pass on his wizardry. Realizing that would not be the case, I became quiet and played my parts but he had unknowingly planted a seed. As we finished the session, the sun rose on a new day and this most incredibly fulfilling journey I have both ridden passenger and driver on began.


30 years later, I have the same joy and wonder for the recording arts I did as when I was 14. I still love checking out album covers in the hopes of seeing some revealing studio photo but I am equally satisfied to discover what studio was used in text. I always have a hard time sleeping the night before the first day of a session because I am equally nervous as I am excited. After all the conversations, all the research, all the preparation, I show up to the studio, open the door and remember my first experience as a young musician. As I make the room ready for my guests, I thank that first engineer for the extraordinary gifts he gave me. The confidence to be myself and the warning never to be him.


Now we are just minutes away from the beginning. New sounds, new music, new voices, new friends. Walking through my door, you may not know we are friends yet, but I do. I have been doing this long enough now to know this and I am ready. Ready to help calm the nervous energy. Ready to listen to you and kindly answer every question. I am excited to explore the unknown with you and will to try any crazy idea or technique that has come to mind. I have no shame in getting out of the way and always enthusiastic to be there when needed. I am ready to be a friend.


In my studio or in any other I have the pleasure of visiting, there are no rules but there is one overarching philosophy I live by. Respect! Respect the artist, respect the song, respect the music, respect the process, respect the gift. I know a few things but I would never claim to know it all. I try, I fail but strive for success everyday. I push myself to learn something new every session which in turn helps me to help my friends create and grow. This is my promise as a studio engineer, as a musician, as a music lover and friend to all who are on a journey to create.


Lastly, to all who invite me into their musical and personal worlds…. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate your trust and friendship. You all feed my desire to be a better human being than I was the day before and for this I am eternally grateful.


Hope all is well,


Al





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