How I started
In 1993, at the age of 13 I joined the St Joseph's Kuching Marching Band as a trumpet player. That same year, our school was selected to join what was known as the Merdeka band, the largest marching band that had been formed in the state to date, and its first formation marching band. The band was formed to comemorate the 30th anniversary of the State of Sarawak joining the Federation of Malaysia.
This eventually led to me joining the Simfoni Orkestra Negeri Sarawak (SONS) or the Sarawak State Symphony Orchestra, in its contemporary section in 1995.
Education in Music
January 1997 was when I formally entered the International College of Music in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. While I did play guitar in a few rock bands when in high school, it was really college that brought everything together for me. Getting a proper education in jazz theory and harmony, playing in multiple big bands as a trumpet player, and even having some fun playing horns for an Elvis and Tom Jones cover band was where I really got to have some real fun, and real musical learning. Just being out there playing as much as we could, having as much fun with the rest of our fellow musicians. I also started doing some live engineering at this point.
Fall of 1999 is when I entered Berklee College of Music in Boston. This is where a shift happened for me, from being purely a musician, to the technical and production side of things. I fell in love with the studio. I never wanted to leave. Given half a chance, I probably would have lived in one of the studios. I almost did. I graduated in 2001, just before turning 21. Yup. No booze in college.
Mixing Stems for Video Games
A big part of my career was mixing for video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. This was one of the greatest experiences in my life. I was trusted with original multitracks from bands, new and old. I was given the multitracks and a copy of the album version of the song I was mixing, and was given one instruction. "Mix these multitracks and make it sound exactly like the record." Well...maybe two instructions. "Deliver it in these stem specs". I got to learn mix techniques, new and old by matching mixes. How to use EQ's and compressors like they did in the 70's, delays and reverbs from the 80's, the simplicity yet complex earthy sounds of the 90's, the polished sounds of the 00's. This was one of the best times of my life, the learning experience I had for 6 years of intense mixing like this was unbelievable. I literally did hundreds of mixes this way. My experience with stem mixing for games eventually led to me to Disney, where I was brought on to mix for Fantasia : Music Evolved.
Playing in the orchestra in Sarawak was my first paying gig. It was unbelievable to me that I was earning money doing music, and I absolutely loved doing it. The one thing I was completely drawn to was the tech guys who did sound for us in the orchestra. I found what they did completely interesting and I also discovered I had a pretty easy time with signal flow.
In 1996 we took an education trip and a performance in Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. While there, I had a good talk with their tech department, and was quickly pointed in the direction of Berklee College of Music. By this time, I had made up my mind that I wanted to be an audio engineer.
School of Hard Rocks
My first job was at Extasy Recording Studios North, owned by X-Japan's drummer, Yoshiki. It used to be better known as One on One, where Metallica's Black Album was recorded....along with a TON of other records. My next gig was a life changing experience. I ended up working at one of the beating hearts of the music industry. The recording studio for Universal, specifically for Interscope, Geffen and A&M. This is where I got to work with some of the greats, like Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair. All the big names came through this studio, mainly to record vocals, to mix, or to do promotion work for upcoming records. I got to record many a session, ranging for hip hop greats like 50 cent and The Game to rockstars like Smash Mouth, No Doubt and Dashboard Confessional. I also had the opportunity to record vocals for Sting and Gwen Stefani while working for the people at Universal. One of the more fun jobs was getting to see the inner workings that was the beginning of the Pussycat Dolls.
Recording, Mixing, Producing
This really brings me to the present. I have been fortunate in the last few years to have worked on some incredible projects. Warren Hill's "Under the Influence", Joe Satriani's "Music without Words, and some amazing local musicians like Jay Gore's "Identity" and Shane August's project "Ogo: Spaceman". Currently I am working with Don Felder, an amazing musician and a legend.
I feel fortunate to have worked on everything I have, and am currently working on, for each experience is a musical adventure. I'd love to see what I can do for you. Shoot me a message and let me know!