Eyes and Ears

The early years:

I starting getting into music during my late elementary school years and into junior high. One of the first albums I remember playing over and over again was The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I thought it was amazing that a recording was able to ignite your imagination and transport you to another place, like reading a book but with sound. Neil Young's Decade album and Pink Floyd's The Wall were also early influences along with The Cars debut album, Queen records and Cheap Trick singles. I started playing the drums in 6th grade and eventually moved on to the piano. I wanted to write songs so I needed to learn chords right? And my friend was already playing guitar, so the keyboard was a good alternative.

My friends and I started a band around the 9th or 10th grade and boy could we jam! It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience as we wrote original material but also practiced and performed various cover songs including complex Rush & Yes songs. Good times!

I was recording much of our stuff at the time on an old Cutec 4 track cassette recorder. I remember the most accomplished recording I did on that thing was a cover of U2's "New Year's Day". It sounded great and I was hooked on recording sounds. After high school I went to Chilliocothe, OH to The Recording Workshop to learn the art of recording. 

A young Ron at Mayfair Studios, London, England. Producing and engineering The Interpreters (RCA) album.

Professional career:

I got my first assistant engineering job when I was 18 at a small studio in Lawrenceville, NJ that soon moved to a new facility in Trenton, NJ. I helped gut the entire space, built the soundproof walls and ran the wiring. It was a ton of grunt work for little pay but I was building a recording studio! It was here I worked on the Poor Righteous Teachers famed Holy Intellect LP. A year later engineer/producer Jon Anthony from Philadelphia's famous Sigma Sound Studios brought a band in to record. After assisting him for a few days I earned an interview at Sigma. I became a staff "assistant engineer"  and was on my way to working with and leaning from some fanatic engineers, producers and recording artist including; Joe & Mike TarsiaTeddy Pendergrass, Patti LaBelle, Bell Biv Devo, The O'Jays, Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff and Phil Ramone to name a few.

At Sigma Sound I quickly started engineering sessions and tracking vocals for these R&B greats. It was here I did my first mix that made it on a major label for producer/writer/artist Gerald Levert. It was "Juices Flow" on Gerald's Groove On LP. It's here I gotta say Gerald was a great influence on me as far as producing and song writing. He was a fantastic songsmith and friend. He is greatly missed.

In the early 90's I was listening to a lot of indie rock bands like Minutmen, Sebedoh and The Flaming Lips and was able to work with Philly's indie faves, Strapping Fieldhands. By the mid 90's I mixed platinum albums for Keith Sweat, Joe, LSG, and somewhere in there got to produce, record and mix the mod-pop-rock Philly band The Interpreters. We did the entire album in London, England at Mayfair studios. What a great experience that was. The album received 4 stars from Rolling Stone magazine's David Fricke.

I went freelance and moved from Philly to New York City's Lower East Side around '98/'99 and bought my first Mac and ProTools system. For the next several years I worked with a ton of NYC bands and artists including; Tricky, Cyndi Lauper, Ambulance LTD, The Pleasure Unit and Timo Ellis. I also worked at many amazing studios in NYC; The Hit Factory, Sony, Electric Lady, Soundtrack, Right Track and Battery.

In 2006 I started editing video professionally for various projects; music videos, documentary style fund raisers, web pro-mos and television commercials. I think a lot of musicians find the jump into video a logical one. My years of audio mixing and developing my inner eye has definitely helped me edit video.

More recently I've been shifting my skills to mix for feature films, TV commercials and web series. I am an Avid Certified Pro Tools HD "Operator- Post Production". I love combining the two crafts- mixing audio for video. I get the opportunity to make something come alive using more of the senses. Sight and sound, eyes and ears.

 

To learn more about Ron and his Atlantic West Studios visit,  Atlantic West Studios.com

 

Ron Shaffer producer, mixer, engineer & video editor

Ron Shaffer

producer, mixer, engineer & video editor

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