Along with the web designers, writers, and luthiers who make up my musical wheel, another group that simply cannot be left out are the people who help to create, archive, and provide airplay to the music the artists have created or interpreted.

The studio engineer is the individual who either on his own with the artist or with the guidance of a producer, records, edits, mixes, and sometimes masters the final product to be released and distributed. At the other end of this spectrum is the individual who spins the artist’s music on the airwaves.

During my experiences with these professions, I have worked with some of the best in the business. Two men whom I consider to be artists in their own fields – Tim Roberts, recording engineer in Nashville, Tennessee, who recorded my latest CD “Strings for A Season”, and Michael Stock, radio presenter at WLRN Radio, who is one of the country’s finest interviewers and a true supporter of the folk and acoustic scene in Miami, Florida – were asked why they chose their fields and their most memorable experiences.







TR: “Why did I get in to the recording business? Obviously, I’m completely insane or I would never consider it. Seriously though, the answer is pretty boring, I guess. I grew up around music and learned about electronics from my Dad at an early age. He had a reel-to-reel recorder that my brother and I played around with making silly recordings and then recording ourselves playing together. Later, playing in bands I was the guy who could figure out how the PA system worked. So Audio Engineering seemed to be a logical step towards a career.”

TR: “My best memory is probably meeting Johnny Cash. While working at Warner bros, I had the opportunity to meet and work with him. He had come in to do a vocal on a project we were working on. It was funny because he came in and said…”Hi, I’m Johnny Cash.” I was a bit dumbfounded and just said “Of course you are”. It was cool because he brought along Cowboy Jack Clement. After we finished working on the song, they sat in the lounge and told a few stories from back in the days. I was beaming like a kid I’m sure.”

Richard’s Note: Tim was very modest about his involvement in the Grammy scene. I decided to list some his projects: Best Musical Album for Children: 2002 with Riders In the Sky called “Monsters Inc. Scream Factory Favorites”, nominated for Best Bluegrass Gospel Album: 2003 Blue Highway’s Album “Wondrous Love”, nominated for Best Bluegrass Album: 2004 Nashville Bluegrass Band’s Album “Twenty Year Blues”

MS: “Why I got in radio. Bob Dylan was the reason I got into music. When I discovered him in 1974 (circa Blood on the Tracks) I also figured out that the music I was passionate for could not be heard on 99% of radio. I was drawn to folk music and radio was only interested in popular music; music that sold. My taste did not fit into the formula. Following my muse, I discovered a small radio station that had just gone on the air and was asking for volunteers. I started my radio career as a volunteer while I was a senior at University of South Florida in Tampa and did one of the first folk music programs at WMNF back in 1979.”

MS: The best experience in radio, that I still have, is being able to meet the artists up close for interviews. Sitting less than three feet away from so many excellent performers has spoiled me. The highlight was on one Saturday when Leo Kottke and Richie Havens were in town and they both came down to the studio to play. “



Originally posted 2010-06-25 18:08:41.