Alan Douches – Chief Engineer
OK, the teenage band breaks up, but as is the story with so many young groups, the only way they even made a go of it was to be self-contained. So they (and friends) pitched in and learned how to "do it all".. In this case the guitarist took control of the sound equipment…
Even while entering college for Chemical Engineering, that other type of engineering could not be ignored. Joins the staff at famed Grand Slam Studios in West Orange, NJ. You know the tale…. starts as broom jockey, becomes Chief Engineer & Studio Manager. Works closely with top Producer Jack Douglas and with artists such as Aerosmith, Steve Taylor and George Benson. Hooks up with Production Team at Dark Cloud Music, which leads to Grandmaster Flash…Ray, Goodman & Brown, etc… and then inevitably onto engineering at Sugar Hill records…
Through it all he keeps tabs on musical cronies from Mid-Jersey/Northern Shore area and begins to make his growing Production expertise available on a free-lance basis. Results in work with the Whirling Dervishes, Glen Burtnik, Dave La Rue… During this time period, based largely out of North Jersey where he begins association with artist/producer/composer Rupert Holmes for projects including Barbra Streisand, the Jets… finds himself in Salsa/Latin music with Tito Nieves, Sergio George, etc., some Blue Grass with Vassar Clements, Dave Grisman, and then even mixes a few songs for “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” in surround… “Now this is cool!”
1990. Takes "the plunge", investing in large amount of equipment and starts WWSM in his sizeable apartment in West New York, N.J. Naturally, continues relationships with previous clients. Home studio concept allows for more relaxation & creative freedom. Many, if not all, sessions can take place in an environment where the clock does not tick so loudly. Blessed with control over production costs and a more copasetic arrangement with "precious time", skill in the Mixing and Vocal Production areas blossom. Contact with established Record labels (Elektra, Caroline, Profile, Sony/Tri-Star) ensues.
Acquisition of computer Recording/Editing systems leads to a new, wide-open field of professional opportunity. Digitally recording with computer leads to greater ease & accuracy in the realm of Post-Production (NHL, ESPN, TBS, Comcast Cablevision). Digital Editing credits begin to mount (Monster Magnet for Caroline, Nudeswirl for Megaforce/Elektra….) and lead inevitably to requests for Digital Audio Mastering services. The light bulb clicks on… affordable Independent Mastering.
More mastering specific equipment is purchased and equipment manufacturers Pendulum Audio and Eclair Engineering provide him with some much needed personalized gear. He makes a move to Tenafly NJ where he sets up a full time Mastering studio in an old Dentist office. Years go by, procedures get refined, and Alan amasses over 10,000 mastering credits. Construction on a new surround room begins as the need for specific surround projects become common place. Here are a few selected Mastering highlights from over the years:
Ben Folds Five - Mastering his debut release for Caroline records which spearheaded millions of sales. “It’s been great to help so many artists at the beginning of their careers, and of which, Ben’s has been truly amazing.”
Converge - Helping this band transfer their amazing energy onto CD.
Sufjan Stevens - DIY at its best. “48 to go.”
Misfits Box Set - Resurecting the catalog and preserving it for the future.
Steve Evetts/Eric Rachel/Trax East - Years of records (Dillinger Escape Plan, Hatebreed, God Forbid, Lifetime, Kid Dynamite to mention just a few). “You guys make amazing records. It ‘s been great to be a part of it. Keep going.”
Channels - J Robbins’ personal efforts. “Man these are amazing records! Please check them out.”
Mastodon - Mixing & Mastering “Leviathon” in SURROUND… “Thanks Relapse, that was fun… Neurosis is on the way. How about Nile in Surround?”