Our friends at iZotope have been talking to Grammy-nominated producer and engineer Sylvia Massy who has worked with bands as varied as Tool, Prince, and Johnny Cash.
In the second video of a series of 3 - Inside the Box, about her transition from analog to digital equipment and shares some of the unexpected environments that she's taken artists to record.
Did you know that sausage is a good conductor? From potatoes and pickles to lightbulbs and drills, Sylvia Massy shares the jambalaya of objects through which she's experimented recording audio.
More About Sylvia Massy
Sylvia started in the San Francisco alt-punk scene in the eighties fronting her own all-girl band. That band, “Revolver”, played the Mabuhay, On Broadway, the Stone, the Chi-Chi Club and other notorious North Beach nightclubs. Their self-produced demos caused a stir in the underground scene. So much so, that other bands asked for Sylvia;’s help in the studio.
In 1986 Sylvia co-produced an album for the Sea Hags with young up-and-coming guitarist Kirk Hammett, who had also joined the band Metallica.
Within two years Sylvia landed at Larrabee Sound working with Prince, Paula Abdul, Big Daddy Kane, Julio Iglesias, Seal and Aerosmith. Her big break came in producing comedy-rockers Green Jello’s debut album featuring the radio hit “Three Little Pigs”.
During the nineties, Sylvia worked mostly out of her room in Sound City Studios, on the Neve 8038 recording console that became an important ingredient to her signature sound. As the century ended, Sylvia left Los Angeles, finding the perfect creative environment to continue her career in the small town of Weed, California. Here she built RadioStar Studios – a sprawling multi-room facility featuring five studios, apartments, a theater, a rehearsal hall, retail shop and community kitchen.
In 2012 RadioStar was put up for sale and Sylvia moved to Ashland, Oregon. She currently works on select recording and other creative projects. Sylvia travels widely and does gigs and seminars all over the world. Known for her playful style and fearless approach to recording, she is a popular invite to conferences and universities, often using stage-time to demonstrate unusual techniques for manipulating sound.