Episode 187: Ronan Chris Murphy
Air date: 7.26.2017
Sometimes, when people set off down a path in life, the universe presents an alternate path. And sometimes, that alternate path turns out to be better suited for the person anyway. As a youngster, Ronan Chris Murphy dreamed of being a rock star, but as soon as he started playing in bands, he also found himself tinkering with nascent home recording technology - which at the time consisted largely of tabletop analog cassette multi-track recorders. Bands need demos, after all. His performing career was by no means a failure; Murphy managed to parlay his stature in the vibrant punk scene in his native Washington D.C. into tours - sharing stages with acts like Dinosaur Jr., The Flaming Lips, Gwar and The Rollins Band. As he rode around in a van rocking America city by city, Murphy’s reputation as a producer and audio engineer continued to grow. At some point, Murphy had a watershed realization - that he got as big a thrill behind the studio mixing board as he did onstage, and he began to focus his energies on the recording process. It wasn’t long before he was working with some of those same well known bands with which he’d shared stages - helping them find the exact right sound for their albums. Record production is a sort of voodoo art, after all, and Murphy was able to combine his passion for all aspects and all styles of music with his creative approach to recording technology. Like any person who is serious about their avocation, Murphy followed the work and found himself living in different cities and on different continents before he eventually settled in Los Angeles and opened his flagship studio, Veneto West. Along the way he founded Recording Boot Camp, a weeklong crash course in making good music sound great using the essential tools of the trade - including a discerning ear. Two and a half decades later, Murphy’s approach remains the same… to help artists make albums that defy trends and define their sound.