Post a Note is your hangout; a place where it is free to connect with thousands of like-minded locals to buy, sell, and swap. Today, we’ll “connect” you with Kevin Allison, owner of Angels Gate Recording Studio. It’s an incredible pleasure for the Post a Note team to welcome him as guest blogger this week!
Has it always been your dream to meet someone who has worked with big stars, such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, Ringo Star, and many more? Then grab a coffee/tea, lean back, and watch this dream come true:
Meet Kevin Allison
Hello to all.
My name is Kevin Allison and I feel honoured to be featured in Post A Note‘s new blog series.
After moving to New Zealand in 2010, I started building Angels Gate Recording Studio in Christchurch, which I opened in March of 2011.
As music producer and owner of Angels Gate Recording Studio, I realize every single day how fortunate I am to work with such talented individuals. For me, dedicating my life to music was certainly the right choice, one that I would never question.
Great Music is Timeless — and “Addictive”
Music is incredibly “addictive” because it fills the soul. It stimulates the reward centre of the brain and allows you to experience feelings that no word could ever describe. It can cheer you up when you’re sad, motivate you when you’re down, and brighten your day like nothing else.
My Journey Toward Music
Before the move to NZ I lived and was raised in the Los Angeles, South Bay area. In the 1st grade, my music teacher Mrs Brown, would always have me pass out and collect the music books and set up a table for her Autoharp. In essence, as trivial as it might sound, this experience shaped my career. Sometimes it’s the little things that have a big impact on our lives. Since the days of Mrs Brown’s singing class, music has always been a part of me and my journey.
In Middle School, at age 11, I started playing drums in the school band and orchestra and began to record my own music on a cassette recorder one year later. At age 12, I also started to run the sound system for all school events, after another influential individual, my electronics teacher, taught me to run the PA system (PA is short for “public address”; aka “sound system”). In High School, we had a great events person, who booked up-and-coming bands like ‘Malo” (Carlos Santana’s early band) and “Ike and Tina Turner”. I was hooked from then on.
In the following years, I toured with my school’s Cheer Leaders to do the sound, worked as “sound man” for local bands after graduating form high school, and eventually worked on my first record as sound technician in 1975, for a band called “The Heroes”. Enthused by this experienced, I bought a Teac 2340 four channel reel to reel, one year later and started recording band live in LA clubs, where I also met Academy Award nominee, Gary Busey (“The Buddy Holly Story”). They decided to hire me as “stage manager/sound guy” and I was invited to tour California with them to promote the film’s music.
In 1979, I toured the entire US and Canada — twice. Once with country singer Michael Martin Murphy, once with the “Rick Danko/Paul Butterfield Band”. On the side, I also did a few shows with “The Band”.
I have toured and worked on at least an album a year every since, with Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr, Lenny Kravitz, The Yellowjackets, Pat Benatar, Neil Sadaka, Berlin, Jeffrey Osborn, Joe Walsh, Spinal Tap, Chris Isaak, Jude Cole, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Mason, John Hiatt, Smash Mouth, B52′s, and for 23 years with Stevie Wonder.
Angels Gate Recording Studio
Anyone can record sound; however, to record music, you need talent, expertise, and the right equipment. Angels Gate is a great sounding room, equipped with a large collection of vintage microphones, guitars, amplifiers, and keyboards which I have used on many hit records throughout the years. These instruments compliment the talent of the musicians I work with.
Take these talented musicians, the instruments, Angels Gate’s API recording console, and my decades of recording experience and you get a winning combination that is responsible for the “chills” you experience when you hear the outcome.
The Magic of Music
What makes the work in the music business so much fun for me, is the great people you meet and tour with. A band that tours together, bonds and becomes a family – your family. And just like in any other family, we all have our talents, strengths, and weaknesses. The balance of this family’s skill set is what ultimately delivers a breath-taking show. The roar of the crowd is your reward! It shows you that you found the right balance and pays you for all the hard work, like no money in the world could do. That’s the magic of music!
What to Look Out for When Shopping for Instruments Online?
When shopping for instruments online it’s buyer beware! The photos don’t tell the whole story. You usually can’t talk to the seller in person or by phone when shopping on sites like Ebay or Trade Me. You can only email them and hope they tell you the truth. So ‘due diligence’ is the key. Do your home work before you buy. If you’re in doubt, then stay away.
It is always best to see, touch, and feel the product before you buy. That’s why I think sites like Post A Note are a safer bet when buying or selling online, because they connect people and the personal interactions allow you to get a better sense of a product’s quality.
In conclusion. Throughout my career, I have felt blessed to work for so many top artists. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, when opportunity knocks. But you also need to be ready for the challenge when it’s presented to you. As the old saying goes, “Practice, practice, practice”. And if you love what you do it never feels like work.
- Thank you, Kevin. The pleasure was all ours.