Ever since I discovered music in 1967, I have loved it
Although my real talent was engineering, I always wanted to explore the world of music
At Fabtek, I formed a band. Critics may say that the business failed because I wasted too much time on "that damn band"
When I joined Fender, everything changed. Now, I was working for a world class music company..and almost all of the other engineers were musicians
So, I decided to build a recording studio. I rented an industrial building and went to work outfitting it as a studio
The space I found was tiny, 15x40 = 600 sq ft. Two rooms were built inside the space for soundproofing. I wanted to avoid parallel walls. The studio room walls angled in at the center, so the center of the studio was 12" smaller than the ends. The ceiling was a combination of slopes and angles
The design worked. Everybody who played there said the room sounded great
Because my pay was not that great, I couldn't afford an apartment..no problem..I'll live in my studio
Critics may say.."how could you live in a recording studio, without a kitchen or even a shower..are you crazy?"
My answer was..yeah..but I own a recording studio
The studio was a magical, wonderful place where artists could pursue their art without commercial pressure..really..magical..ask anybody who recorded there
I remember one conversation with a guitar player who said "what's the matter, man, don't you want to make it?"
I replied "I own my own studio and have total freedom..I've made it"
Here is a link to my music site, where the music that was recorded there can be found
A diagram, drawn from memory, of the studio
The control room
Because the room was so tiny, the console and monitor table was on wheels. This allowed everything to be pushed out of the way for easier loading of equipment into the studio
The studio room
1/2" 8 track, 1/4" 2 track, patch panel and effects
Note the ceiling geometry and ceiling mounted monitor
The Rhodes piano, drumset, and studio bass were made from reject parts smuggled out of the Fender model shop
Books, records and tapes
The drumset with my prototype hardware based on spherical polar coordinates. The idea was never adopted by Rogers
View looking from studio to control room. The ladder lead up to the level above the studio. This came in handy for storage and sometimes, amp isolation
MP at the mixer
The sofa bed
I found it abandoned by the side of the road in a poor part of town. It smelled like urine and was VERY uncomfortable to sleep on. But hey..it was free, and I spent all of my money on equipment
Crappy TV provided meager entertainment
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end
When CBS sold Fender, the Rhodes piano and Rogers drums were discontinued, and I was out of a job
I continued to operate the studio while looking for work
I also built an IBM PC clone, and taught myself how to program it in assembly language. I anticipated that the time would come when I would move from mechanical engineering to software, and I wanted to sharpen my skills on the new hardware
When I moved to Chatsworth to work at Advanced Automation, I still commuted back to Fullerton to finish the last projects, but I knew the studio would have to go
I sold it to a guy fresh out of the army. He knew NOTHING about recording, but wanted to be in the record business
Here is his outrageously optimistic ad. Why do incompetent people have such confidence?
As expected, Emerald Isle Records was not a success. The landlord decided to keep my interior and continue renting it as a studio
Over the years, I have returned to visit the place. Sometimes, somebody is there, sometimes not. The occupants are always friendly when I tell them I built the place
As of 2015, I believe it is still being used as a studio