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It all started when I was 5 years old. My father was in a band with David Taddie, who is now the head of the electronic music studio at West Verginia University. David was responsible for finding the studio where my dad's band would record their demos. He knew where all of the best studios were because of his involvement with Cleveland's music scene. When he and my father booked time at Clockwerk in Rocky River, Ohio, I went along for one of their sessions. I immediately fell in love with the equipment and from that moment on, I was a nerd.

My father, an electrician and known audiophile, saw that I had an interest in electronics and bought me several radio, amplifier, and speaker building kits and I learned how everything worked. When it came to servicing equipment, I was always right beside him when he worked on his machines.

In 1997, A guitar player named Jim Stokes from the band STOKES BROTHERS had a recording studio in his attic in Cleveland. He introduced me to ADAT, and the ever-complex methods of recording drum sets, and since I was a drummer and a nerd, this concept interested me.

When I entered High School, I met a guitar player named Kyle Hartzell, who is now my partner-in-crime. He and I started to record random things that we came up with. At the time I had been using a Shure SM-57 and a cassette deck to record, this was deemed a very primitive way of recording a demo. Later on that year, I received a Tascam Portastudio 414 mkII four-track recorder from my father who now saw that I had gained interest in session recording.

After acquiring a 4-track recorder, I decided to upgrade to some better microphones, so I went to see my dad's friend Bobby Bruno from Bruno Brothers Music and he sold me a Phantom Power supply and a pair of condenser microphones. They sounded 110% better than the pair of Shure SM-57's I had been using. That summer, I saved up and bought a truckload of gear, I bought a monitoring system, a recording console, a few new mics and a multi-tracker and I started to record my father's new band for demos.

Upon entering college, I started working for Cleveland's Grammy Award Winning Engineer, David Yost at Cleveland State University's recording complex where I have worked with performers like Howie Smith, Ernie Krivda, The Grammy Award Winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony Orchestra, Bill Ransom, Grammy Winning Pianist Angelin Chang, among many other renowned musicians from cleveland, even Pat Benetar and Neal Geraldo.

Over the years, I have acquired a trained ear, a degree in music, a degree in digital audio and video, and I am an assistant engineer at Cleveland State's radio station WCSB. I am a master of the art of recording and editing on older open reel decks and rebuilt the units that I use from the ground up. I have since moved on to a bigger and better system than I had way back when, but I still have not parted with my Tascam Portastudio (that was a great little machine).


John A. Powell - Recording Engineer
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