As part of the Recording Connections ongoing charge to “connect” our students with the movers and shakers of the industry, last week our own Jimi Petulla and Brian Kraft were on an exploratory mission and headed over to Hollywood to the legendary Capitol Studios, which has been a staple of the recording industry for over half a century. Iconic artists like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and The Beach Boys first gave life to Capitol Studio’s rooms and to this day, major icons of popular music continue to record their in their wake.
First stop for Jimi and Brian was in Capitol Studio “C” to meet up with 23-time GRAMMY® Award winning engineer, producer and mixer Al Schmitt. Al’s resume reads like the Who’s Who of the music industry as he has worked with artists like Steely Dan, Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, Quincy Jones, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Norah Jones and Ray Charles to name a few. Jimi and Brian talked to Al about the Recording Connection Mentoring Program and listened to this legend talk about his current work and thoughts on audio education.
Next stop was directly across the hall in Studio “B,” where Jimi and Brian met up with producer, engineer, mixer, technologist, consultant, entrepreneur and multi-GRAMMY Award winner Niko Bolas, who was right in the middle of tracking Richie Sambora’s latest record. The list of artists Niko has worked with is long and varied: Melissa Etheridge, Warren Zevon, Kiss, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Fiona Apple, Toto, Tracy Chapman, The Jacksons, John Mayer (for his contribution to Disney/Pixar’s Cars
), Disney’s Frozen: The Songs
, Demi Lovato, The Mavericks, OneRepublic, Zedd and scores of others. But his closest association is very likely with Neil Young; Bolas has been producer and/or engineer on a dozen or so of Young’s LP’s over the last three decades, including Freedom
(1989), Ragged Glory
(1990), Living With War
(2006) and Young’s most recent release Storytone
(2014), which he recorded with Al Schmitt. Niko greeted Jimi and Brian with open arms and spent time discussing the mentorship program and his views on what it takes to become an apprentice at a facility like Capitol. It was truly an inspiring visit with invaluable information. Stay tuned for more…