Showing up to the prestigious Belmont University in Nashville for his first day of class, Josh Kaltenbach was prepared to learn from the masters. Here was the son of a choir teacher who had taught himself everything he knew about music and recording, and he was ready for the next step in his education.
“It was a little intimidating at first,” says Josh. “But after the first day, I was fully immersed in it and loving it. I was getting my hands on the gear, I was excelling, and now I’ve been doing audio professionally in some form for almost a decade!”
For Josh, the best part of making music in the studio is the creative process leading up to recording and then ensuring the production serves the song. It’s that feeling of hearing an artist’s song for the first time, realizing there is something special there, and then fleshing out that idea and creating a completed version that is true to the intention of the songwriter.
He takes this same approach to working his clients at Vintage King Audio. Since joining as an Audio Consultant in September 2019, Josh begins each interaction by talking to his customer about the records they are working on, assessing their needs, and providing gear that will help fulfill audio dreams.
“I love hearing about and helping with whatever projects our customers are working on, and making sure they can get the right tools for the job,” Josh states.
If you have questions about finding the right gear for your next project or would like to talk about the finer points of driving a zamboni for a living (he was a professional at one point), give Josh a ring and he’ll be sure to help you out.
Q & A
What is the most important piece of recording or production advice you've ever received?
Listen. And I guess that’s life advice, too, but in the context of recording I think that it is easy to do things because they are “correct” instead of because they are actually good. Knowledge and understanding are good, but especially in the era of internet experts with all manner of opinion on every imaginable topic, it is important to listen to the sounds you are recording or mixing. No one has ever recorded that performance of that drummer with that mic in that room with that pre ever before, so it may need to be treated differently than what is the “correct” way to EQ a drum.
What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
I can’t get enough of the outdoors. My wife and I love going hiking, backpacking, and camping more than just about anything else, so if there is ever a weekend that I don’t have some kind of music gig booked, you can bet I’m probably sleeping on the ground in the woods somewhere.
What is your favorite piece of gear?
I don’t know if I have one specific piece of gear that is my all-time favorite, but my favorite kind of gear is the most versatile gear. I think there are a lot of really amazing microphones and preamps and outboard ear that do what they do better than any other. There’s a reason that the U47 is legendary. There is a reason that we know names like API and Neve. But the most exciting stuff to me is the gear that is multifunctional, like many of the new modeling mics/pres that are coming out. I think there is something amazing about how much value can be packed into a single microphone. While it may not be able to actually replace a mic locker full of hundreds of thousands of dollars of vintage mics, I love the idea of being able to have so many different colors to paint with when you are in the beginning of your career, before you can get into world-class studios or build up your own collection of pro level legendary gear.