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Dan Garcia of Radio Hill Recorders

By Monk Turner
Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2009, at 11:17AM
Dan Garcia at the helm Monk Turner [Flickr]

Dan Garcia at the controls inside Radio Hill Records, his recording studio in the Historic Core.



Dan Garcia's resume includes a laundry list of some of music's top stars. Known in audio engineering circles as an electrical genius (he built his own sound board), these days Garcia brings in L.A.'s top talent to his Radio Recorders Studio located in the Historic Core.

Recently, I found a time when he wasn't soldering wires or producing the next hit to find out what drew him to house his studio in Downtown L.A.

MONK TURNER: Where you really raised by gypsies?

DAN GARCIA: [laughter] No. I was the seventh of eight kids and we had musical instruments all over the house.

MT: Did this lead you to become an engineer?

DG: Well that was part of it. The other part was that my dad worked at Bell Labs. He just had a two track tape recorder but he recorded all over the house. We had toy ones from Sears he had gotten for the older brothers and sisters. He was a hifi guy, so he had all these tube amps and some of the nice high end stuff from the 60s. I grew up playing with tape recorders.

MT: Did this all lead up to...

DG: Well oddly enough what happened was I was playing guitar and I'm a frustrated songwriter and guitar player. I'd be in these bands and the bands would get better and better and I'd feel like I was falling behind. Finally I figured out that I had all this gear in the house, lets record a few things. That's how it started...

MT: ...and you've worked with some pretty famous people.

DG: At one point I was invited to come to Los Angeles. I began working with Bill Schnee which is where I worked with Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond, Toto, Supertramp; you name it they were all there...

MT: What about Michael Franks?

DG: And Michael Franks...

MT: That is my mother's favorite artist. Just had to throw that in there. When did you start Radio Hill?

DG: I was with Bill Schnee until 1988. At that point you'd use Capitol Records, you'd use Jackson Browne's studio, Ocean Way, Conway. But more and more people started working at home. I lived in Pasadena at the time and built a home studio there. About four years ago I started looking downtown for a place.

MT: Why downtown?

DG: I had been in Pasadena a long time and part of it was that I had grown up in Chicago in the suburbs. As soon as I could drive, I had discovered the city. Every day I wasn't in the suburbs I was in the city. Moving here from Chicago it was kind of weird that there wasn't a downtown in L.A. As soon as I saw some developments here, I came and found this place.

MT: What are some projects you're working on?

DG: Here I've done Arrica Rose, Lauren Martin, Joe Purdy. I did a bunch of voice over stuff. I had Samuel L. Jackson come up along with Alan Rickman and Alfie Woodard. And also Don Cheadle and Sean Hayes.

...and the list goes on. You can learn more about Dan, his studio, and all the cool famous people he has met at: http://www.dangarcia.net./

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Music Profiles

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