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Los Angeles, CA
Hailing from a patch of green between Detroit and Flint, Ryan Coomer knew that he was destined for a career in music from the first time he heard the intro to Black Dog at 10 years old. Coomer grew up listening to a wide range of artists, from Motown to David Bowie to Charles Mingus, which eventually led to his love of recording.
"My first recordings were 'radio shows' I made on an old mono cassette recorder when I was very young. I'd tell stories and jokes, trying to sound cool. Once I started playing in bands, music studios became a second home. For the last decade, my focus has been location recording for TV, commercials and film, which is similar, but also very different from studio recording. There is no such thing as a controlled environment and often you only have one chance to get it right, so skill and technique are key."
With a love for vintage recording gear of all kinds, Coomer fits right in with the rest of the VK crew. "My favorite pieces of gear are Vintage Nagra III and IV Recorders. Battery-powered, mobile, and with beautiful preamps. The level of engineering and craftsmanship that went into them is amazing, even the hand soldered and machined components are beautiful."
How would you describe your approach to making music or working on audio?
It all starts with the song. Knowing what you're trying to accomplish is going to inform everything that comes after, from mic placement to the final mix. It's a matter of trusting your ears and intuition to capture the best sounds that you can, while not being afraid to experiment, all in service of the song.
What is the most inspiring part of the recording process for you?
I love the moments where smaller pieces come together to form a greater whole and you get to hear something that you didn't even realize was there.
What record do you point to as an example of perfect music production?
Hotel California is a production masterpiece. I was able to listen to a vinyl copy on an audiophile system in a treated room and was floored by the staging, detail, and dynamic range that I had never had a chance to really hear.