A visit to the archives

As the day marking my 22nd year in the audio production industry arrived today, I decided to open up that cabinet in the back of the tech room that rarely sees the light of day – my production archive & master tapes collection: every radio spot, TV soundtrack, and narration every produced in my years of business.

This collection of ADAT tapes, reel-to-reels, DATs, and data DVDs, along with paper & electronic versions of production notes, provides detailed notes of not only the clients, projects & elements behind each one of over 12,000 productions, but also tracks the history of my business.

I pull out Master DAT #1: the very beginning of the studio. The 1st studio was in a basement, built by & shared with some music production colleagues. To say the place was “homemade” is an understatement, and immediately I pick out the aural details.

“That’s the old CAD condenser mic. Gees, we thought that thing was the best.”

“Wow, listen to those reflections in the room. I guess carpet wasn’t the best choice…”

I jump ahead a few years to Master DAT #20. A new location, in downtown Omaha. With the new studio came new equipment & new opportunities, and much needed space in which to work.

“That sounds like the Neumann mics” – my best-ever equipment buy: 2 world-class microphones from a friend in KC who’d found them collecting dust in storage.

“There’s Norm Filbert. Such a good talent. So sorry that we lost him.”

Master DAT #65 – “That’s nice music. Definitely not that old Ole Georg library.”

Master DAT #129 – “WOW! That voiceover is huge. Must have been when I bought that first Urei 1176.”

Master DAT #145 – “Hey, that client bounced a check. Never heard from him again.”

Jumping ahead from DAT tapes to archive DVD-R discs, we also leaped in time to our current location, with much needed space & major technology moves.

“I remember that session. I think there were 8 agency reps & clients in that day.”

“A lot of sound effects in that mix: Was I still sorting & digging through CDs then? I hope not…”

Through the afternoon, tons of stories came to mind, remembering the talents, the clients, and the unique twists of those sessions where a good spot became a great one. It all put a smile on my face. Well, most of them did. That deadbeat client is still out there, I just know it.

Cheers to another 22 years.


  1. Mark Calaway

    November 10, 2014 (09:28) Reply

    I remember Piasaurus. I did a spot for the Sega Channel. My fondest memories in a studio were in that room with you, Paul, and Warren. That mic did sound awesome.

    Mark Calaway
    “Hail the Future”

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