I’ve been at Mix since 1988, and I’ve seen a lot in this world of professional audio. I’ve met some of the most intelligent, interesting, creative and technical people, and I’ve walked into many of the most amazing production facilities and recording studios on the planet. I had no idea when I graduated with a master’s in journalism that I would spend more than half my life writing about workstations and post-production sound, NFL Films and Sony Playstation Studios, Martina McBride on tour and the great Al Schmitt in the studio. I almost took a job with Sunset magazine, then with a PR firm specializing in politics I didn’t necessarily agree with. I’m sure glad I went with Mix.
Still, I’ve always wanted to go out on a summer tour. Today I do most all of my work from home. Alone. And I’ve been getting a bit stir-crazy. My children are all grown up—Molly in Toronto with the equivalent of a master’s in midwifery, and Jesse starting her final year at Boulder getting her master’s in anthropology/museum studies. Thirteen years ago the three of us embarked on an epic five-week, 8,000-mile journey of our country’s national parks. I’m going solo this time. And I’m visiting studios and engineers and manufacturers and artists and producers. Visiting family and friends, some of them going way back, some brand new. And I’m going to hang with my folks and siblings in Indiana for a while. I’ve been away for 30 years, and three days a year isn’t enough. I’m going on tour.
And…I’m already behind, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me well. As I post this first entry, I’m already outside of El Paso, at the idyllic and rockin’ Sonic Ranch Studios, after a couple weeks in L.A. and Phoenix. In these first few posts I’ll be playing catch-up, then it will be real time from places like Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Asheville, and many points in between. There will also be photos and even a few videos along the way, thanks to the good folks at Zoom who sent me a Q4 hi-def 24/96 stereo recorder to document the journey.
But we start, as I had envisioned from first planning the trip, with my dear friend Chris Pelonis at his home on Hollister Ranch, near Point Concepcion, where California turns from west to north, a holy spot for the Chumash tribe…