John Arbuckle: Engineer/Studio Manager
John hails from Rochester, New York where he was surrounded by an abundant music scene from an early age. He began taking guitar lessons with Jerry Preston at Manuel’s Music Studio in Fairport where he was introduced to the music of Dream Theater, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Shawn Lane, Michael Hedges, Billy McLaughlin, and Andy McKee. His passion for audio engineering sparked from his interest in guitars, amps, and collecting new/vintage effects pedals and processors.
John later enrolled in the Sound Recording Technology program at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he studied under the direction of Bernd Gottinger, Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Thursday, Keane, Mogwai, OK Go, Tame Impala, Modest Mouse, Weezer, Spoon, Neon Indian, Mercury Rev, Jane’s Addiction), Michael Rorick, Greg Snow, and John Caruso. There, he learned analog audio principles, digital recording systems, studio/control room design, stereo recording techniques, basic analog tape operation, psycho acoustics, sound perception, small room/performance hall acoustics, basic electronics, and studio maintenance. He became comfortable working on analog consoles, and learned the ins and outs of the SSL 4000 G+. In addition to studying classical guitar under the direction of James Piorkowski, John was also trained in music theory, arrangement/composition, aural skills, and pop/rock production. He has attended masterclasses by loudspeaker designers, Earl Geddes and Stephan Siegel, and mastering engineer, Paul Blakemore (George Benson, Kurt Elling, Christian Scott, Ray Charles, Esperanza Spalding, Al Di Meola, Dave Brubeck, Geoffrey Keezer, Yellowjackets, McCoy Tyner).
While at Fredonia, John completed a wide variety of recording projects ranging from local bands and solo artists to small ensembles and full orchestras. He recorded and mixed the music for “Morning Mary Lou,” a student-made film that won Best Documentary and the Viewers’ Choice Award for the 2012 SUNY Wide Film Festival. John recorded concerts/masterclasses by Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Locke, Roland Dyens, and Eastern Blok. Aside from his gained experience in the studio, John also became well versed in live mixing, effects, and lighting. He has setup full production rigs for artists such as Brand New, Jack’s Mannequin, and Lupe Fiasco.
John started interning at Cove City during the summer of 2012 while still in school. He completed his B.S. degree in the fall and then came back to assist on Dream Theater’s self-titled album alongside James Meslin and Rich Chycki (Rush, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Skillet, Gotthard, Simple Plan, Mick Jagger, Pink, Seal, P. Diddy). He has since become a working engineer and a valuable full-time studio assistant. John prides himself in organization and file management, and also serves as the studio’s in-house technician. Some other artists he has worked with include Richie Cannata (Billy Joel, The Beach Boys, Bernie Williams), Julio Fernandez (Spyro Gyra), Don Harris (Nile Rodgers, Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Tower of Power, The Allman Brothers Band), Jonny Rosch (The Blues Brothers), Chris Botti (Paul Simon, Sting), Liberty Devitto (Billy Joel), Andrew Watt (Cody Simpson, California Breed, Justin Bieber), Todd Caldwell (Crosby, Stills & Nash), Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Bob James, Randy Brecker, Grover Washington Jr.), Russell Javors (Billy Joel), Kevin James for Sony Pictures Animation, Christopher Wallace Jr., Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, TAUK, Envy, Sha Money XL, CHAPPO, Brand New, Chef’Special, Jesse Kinch, Carter Schultz (Aer), Jon Bellion, and Mike DelGuidice (Billy Joel).
John is a devoted fan of music. His open-minded, eclectic taste fuels his love for collecting CDs and records. The hunt to find new and inspiring music is never ending. As an engineer, John continues to push himself both technically and creatively in order to perfect his craft, yet he holds a firm appreciation for the value of a great song and live performance, as well as the emotional impact it can have on its audience.