At age 14 living in the pine barrens of southern New Jersey Mike bought his first 4-track cassette tape recorder and was hooked. While playing bass guitar in garage bands he found himself more interested in hooking up every microphone he could get his hands on through a mess of cheap mixers and cords to squeeze as much music as he could onto 4 tracks of a cassette tape. Frequent trips to the local Radio Shack were a must.
His early passion and talent behind the mixing board was noticed just a few years into his 4-track productions when he was hired as the Front of House Mixer for the Ocean City Music Pier working with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra and the summer performance series concerts including artists Richie Havens and Dar Williams.
By the age of 25 Mike had complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Recording Technology and Business from Lebanon Valley College in Central Pennsylvania and began working under the mentorship of legendary recording engineer Shelly Yakus (U2, John Lennon, Tom Petty, Van Morrison) at Tongue & Groove Studios in Philadelphia.
Over the next 10 years Mike worked with Shelly as an engineer and mixing engineer on many recordings at various studios. Selected highlights include; Mavis Staples, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Levon Helm, Larry Campbell, Blue Oyster Cult, Art Garfunkel, Noel Paul Stookey, Jim (Tools) Tullio and Jack Douglas.
In 2007 Mike moved to Lancaster, PA where he has continued to utilize his experience and talents in the studio to work with musicians and artists. Shortly after making Lancaster his hometown, Mike returned to Lebanon Valley College as an Adjunct Professor leading the senior level Music Production Seminar class. He became a partner of The Sugartank Recording Studio in 2013 and spearheaded the renovation and design of the studio's new home within the old WLAN radio station building in downtown Lancatser. Mike and the other partners of The Sugartank have begun laying the groundwork for a local Record Label, Sugartank Records.
By building upon the old-school high quality craftsmanship of record making that Mike learned from his years with Shelly and always keeping an open mind to growth and learning, Mike has developed his own well-rounded approach to making records. Mike’s vision is ‘to amplify the strengths of others so that they can grow and manifest their greatness’.
Mike is a Partner at The Sugartank recording studio, a Freelance Recording Engineer and Music Producer and an Adjunct Professor of Music Recording at Lebanon Valley College. His biggest accomplishment has been his marriage to his wife, Michelle, and raising their son, Eli, together.
Photo Credit: Chet Roy