George Y. Massenburg (born Baltimore, Maryland) is a recording engineer and inventor. Working principally in Baltimore, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Macon, Georgia, Massenburg is widely known for submitting a paper to the Audio Engineering Society in 1972 regarding the parametric equalizer.
An inventor is a person who creates or discovers a new method, form, device or other useful means that becomes known as an invention. The word inventor comes from the Latin verb invenire, invent-, to find. The system of patents was established to encourage inventors by granting limited-term, limited monopoly on inventions determined to be sufficiently novel, non-obvious, and useful. Although inventing is closely associated with science and engineering, inventors are not necessarily engineers nor scientists.
Macon, officially Macon–Bibb County, is a consolidated city-county located in the state of Georgia, United States. Macon lies near the geographic center of the state, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname "The Heart of Georgia."
At 15, Massenburg worked part-time both in the recording studio and in an electronics laboratory. He attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and Johns Hopkins University, majoring in electrical engineering. As a sophomore, he left the University and never returned.
The Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, colloquially referred to as BPI, Poly, and The Institute, is a U.S. public high school founded in 1883. Though established as an all-male manual trade / vocational school by the Baltimore City Council and the Baltimore City Public Schools, it is now a coeducational academic institution that emphasizes sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It is located on a 53-acre (21 ha) tract of land in North Baltimore on the east bank of the Jones Falls stream which runs from the north near the "Mason-Dixon Line" border between Maryland and Pennsylvania to the south emptying in the Northwest Branch of the lower Patapsco River/Inner Harbor between downtown and Fells Point. Also running parallel to the extensive Poly campus is the Jones Falls Expressway. The Institute is located at the northwest intersection of Falls Road and West Cold Spring Lane, in northwestern Baltimore City, bordering the neighborhoods of Cross Keys to the north, Roland Park to the east, Hampden to the south, Woodberry to the southwest and I-83 /Jones Falls to the west and Park Heights and Pimlico further northwest. BPI and the adjacent Western High School are located on the same campus, share several amenities including a cafeteria, auditorium, center courtyard and athletic fields, as well as a collaborative marching band recently united, now known as the Marching Flock. BPI is a "Maryland Blue Ribbon School of Excellence" cited by the Maryland State Department of Education.
The Johns Hopkins University is an American private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. His $7 million bequest —of which half financed the establishment of Johns Hopkins Hospital—was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States up to that time. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was inaugurated as the institution's first president on February 22, 1876, led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research. Adopting the concept of a graduate school from Germany's ancient Heidelberg University, Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the United States. Over the course of several decades, the university has led all U.S. universities in annual research and development expenditures. In fiscal year 2016, Johns Hopkins spent nearly $2.5 billion on research.
Massenburg authored a technical paper entitled "parametric equalization" which was presented at the 42nd convention of the Audio Engineering Society in 1972.He is regularly published in professional journals and trade magazines worldwide. In 1973 and 1974, he was chief engineer of Studio Europa-Sonor in Paris, France, and helped Gerhard Lehner install the expanded Neve 80-series console at Barclay Records studio on Avenue Hoche. During those years, Massenburg also did freelance engineering and equipment design in Europe.
Established in 1948, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) draws its membership from engineers, scientists, other individuals with an interest or involvement in the professional audio industry. The membership largely comprises engineers developing devices or products for audio, and persons working in audio content production. It also includes acousticians, audiologists, academics, and those in other disciplines related to audio. The AES is the only worldwide professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Massenburg participated (individually and collaboratively) in over four hundred record albums over the past 45 years. His work includes recordings of Earth, Wind & Fire, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Toto, Dixie Chicks, Journey, Madeleine Peyroux, Little Feat, Weather Report, Randy Newman, Lyle Lovett, Aaron Neville, Kenny Loggins, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt, Herbie Hancock, The Seldom Scene, and many more. He has designed, built and managed several recording studios, notably ITI Studios in Hunt Valley, Maryland, Blue Seas Recording in Baltimore, and The Complex in Los Angeles. In addition, he has contributed to the acoustical and architectural design of many other studios, including Skywalker Sound and The Site in Marin County, California.
Earth, Wind & Fire is an American band that has spanned the musical genres of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, dance, Latin, and Afro pop. They have been described as one of the most innovative and commercially successful acts of all time. Rolling Stone called them "innovative, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing" and declared that the band "changed the sound of black pop". VH1 has also described EWF as "one of the greatest bands" ever.
James Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
William Martin Joel is an American singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man", he has been making music since the 1960s, releasing popular albums throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. He was born in 1949 in The Bronx, New York, and grew up on Long Island, New York, both places that influenced his music. After dropping out of high school, Joel took part in two short-lived bands, The Hassles and Attila, before signing a record deal with Family Productions and kicking off a solo career in 1971 with his first release, Cold Spring Harbor. In 1972, Joel caught the attention of Columbia Records after a live radio performance of the song "Captain Jack" became popular in Philadelphia, prompting him to sign a new record deal with the company and release his second solo album, Piano Man, which contained his first hit single of the same name. After releasing two more albums, Streetlife Serenade and Turnstiles, Joel released his critical and commercial breakthrough album, The Stranger, in 1977; this album became Columbia's best-selling release, selling over 10 million copies and spawning several hit singles, including "Movin' Out " and "Just the Way You Are".
In 1982, he founded George Massenburg Labs, a pioneering audio electronics company that has released an extensive range of innovative console automation devices, analog signal processors, microphone preamplifiers and power supplies, all based on his original circuit designs. Among GML’s most venerable products is the GML8200 Parametric Equalizer and the GML8900 Dynamic Range Controller, which reacts to loudness like our ears do, rather than to voltage levels.
Massenburg is also an Associate Professor of Sound Recording at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, the Berklee College Of Music in Boston, and the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN.
The Schulich School of Music is one of the constituent faculties of McGill University in Montréal, Canada. The faculty was named after benefactor Seymour Schulich.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university in Los Angeles. It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the second-oldest undergraduate campus of the 10-campus University of California system. It offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. UCLA enrolls about 31,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students and had 119,000 applicants for Fall 2016, including transfer applicants, the most applicants for any American university.
The University of Southern California is an American private research university in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1880, it is the oldest private research university in California. USC has historically educated a large number of the nation's business leaders and professionals. The university has also used its location in Los Angeles to establish relationships with research and cultural institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim. An engine for economic activity, USC contributes US$ 8 billion annually to the economy of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and California.
He won the Academy of Country Music award for record of the year in 1988, the Mix Magazine TEC Awards for Producer and Engineer of the year in 1989,the TEC Awards Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Engineer of the year award in 1992. He won a Grammy in 1996, and the Special Merit/Technical Grammy Award in 1998. In 2005, Massenburg was inducted into the TECnology Hall of Fame for his 1969 invention of the ITI ME-230 Parametric Equalizer. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music by Boston’s Berklee College of Music. In 2008 he received the AES Gold Medal.
The Academy of Country Music(ACM) was founded in 1964 in Los Angeles, California as the Country & Western Music Academy. Among the founders were Eddie Miller, Tommy Wiggins, and Mickey and Chris Christensen. They wanted to promote country music in the western 13 states with the support of artists based on the West Coast. Artists such as Johnny Bond, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller and others influenced them. A board of directors was formed to govern the academy in 1965.
Mix magazine is a periodical, billing itself as "the world's leading magazine for the professional recording and sound production technology industry". The magazine is headquartered in New York City and distributed in 94 countries. Its Korean version, Mix Korea, was started in 2007.
The TEC Awards is an annual program recognizing the achievements of audio professionals. The awards are given to honor technically innovative products as well as companies and individuals who have excelled in sound for television, film, recordings, and concerts. TEC is an acronym for Technical Excellence and Creativity.
In 1982, Massenburg founded GML, Inc., which produces equipment for specific recording applications.They have recently introduced the GML 2032 Mic Pre and Parametric EQ, which have been in development for twenty years, along with the GML Automation System, the High Resolution Topology Line-Level Mixing Console and the GML Microphone Pre-Amplifier. GML also consults and does independent design for several major audio electronics manufacturers.
Massenburg married Carol "Cookie" Rankin in Mabou, Nova Scotia on July 27, 2001, when he was 54 and she 36.Rankin is one of the founding members of the Rankin Family, a Celtic folk/country band from Cape Breton who were very popular in Canada during the 1990s. She and Massenburg live in Montreal, Quebec, Franklin, Tennessee and Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He has one son, Sam, an electronic musician and performer.
In sound recording and reproduction, and sound reinforcement systems, a mixing console is an electronic device for combining sounds of many different audio signals. Inputs to the console include microphones being used by singers and for picking up acoustic instruments, signals from electric or electronic instruments, or recorded music. Depending on the type, a mixer is able to control analog or digital signals. The modified signals are summed to produce the combined output signals, which can then be broadcast, amplified through a sound reinforcement system or recorded.
Shure Incorporated is an American audio products corporation. It was founded by Sidney N. Shure in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 as a supplier of radio parts kits. The company became a consumer and professional audio-electronics manufacturer of microphones, wireless microphone systems, phonograph cartridges, discussion systems, mixers, and digital signal processing. The company also manufactures listening products, including headphones, high-end earphones, and personal monitor systems.
Dave Smith is an engineer and musician and founder of the synthesizer company Sequential. Smith was responsible for the first commercial polyphonic and microprocessor-controlled synthesizer, the Prophet-5, and later the multitimbral synthesizer. He is also referred to as the "Father of MIDI" for his role in the development of MIDI, now a standard interface protocol for electronic instruments and recording/pro audio equipment.
TASCAM is the professional audio division of TEAC Corporation, headquartered in Montebello, California. Tascam is credited as the inventor of the Portastudio, the first cassette-based multi-track home studio recorders. Tascam also introduced the first low-cost mass-produced multitrack recorders with Simul-Sync designed for recording musicians. Tascam also manufactured reel-to-reel tape machines and audio mixers for home recordists from the early 1970s through the mid-1990s.
Daniel N. Flickinger was an audio engineer in the late 1960s and 1970s, who designed and manufactured some of the era's most important music recording consoles. He designed recording consoles for Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, The Association, Ike Turner's Bolic Sounds, Johnny Cash, and Funkadelic, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Motown Records, Cinderella Records, and United Sound Systems among many others.
Automated Processes Inc. is a manufacturer of high-end recording studio equipment, including stand-alone preamplifier designs, equalization units and mixing consoles. They are perhaps most noted for their modular approach to equipment manufacture with their trademark lunchbox design which allows preamplifier, compressor and equalizer modules to be added to a recording studio design as budget allows. These modules include the 512c preamp, the 525 compressor, the 527 compressor, the 550a and 550b semi-parametric equalizers, and the 560 graphic equalizer.
Harrison Audio Consoles is an international company based in Nashville, Tennessee that manufactures mixing consoles and other audio technologies for the post-production, video production, broadcast, sound reinforcement and music recording industries. The company is renowned as an industry innovation for its "inline" mixing console design that has subsequently become the standard for nearly every large format music console. Over 1,500 Harrison consoles have been installed worldwide, presenting a significant percentage of the overall world market share for high-end audio consoles. The company founder, Dave Harrison, was inducted as a Fellow in the Audio Engineering Society for this technical contribution of the recording industry and in particular the first 32-bus "in-line" console.
Rupert Neve, born 31 July 1926 in Newton Abbot, England, is a British electronics engineer and entrepreneur, who is particularly known as a pioneering designer of professional audio recording equipment.
Universal Audio was a designer and manufacturer of recording, mixing and audio signal processing hardware for the professional recording studio, live sound and broadcasting fields. Universal Audio was responsible for many innovations in the recording and sound reinforcement industry including the modern mixing console layout, per channel equalization and effects connectors. The firm began in Chicago, founded by Bill Putnam Sr. in the 1950s, as a design and manufacturing addition to 'Universal Recording', his recording studio business. When Putnam moved to Hollywood in 1957, the manufacturing company was renamed UREI, and included a division called Teletronix.
Yamaha Pro Audio, Inc. is a company which is part of the Yamaha Corporation group. It offers a complete line of beginner professional audio products for the live sound and sound reinforcement markets. It has a long history of introducing significant products for the professional audio market such as the PM-1000 modular mixing console, the REV1 and SPX90 digital signal processors, and the 01, 02R, PM1D, PM5D, QL5, and M7CL V2(or called the CL5) digital mixing consoles.
Ted Jensen is an American mastering engineer, known for having mastered many recordings including the Eagles' Hotel California, Green Day's American Idiot and Norah Jones' Come Away with Me.
An audio engineer helps to produce a recording or a live performance, balancing and adjusting sound sources using equalization and audio effects, mixing, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound. Audio engineers work on the "...technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels. The physical recording of any project is done by an engineer ... the nuts and bolts." It's a creative hobby and profession where musical instruments and technology are used to produce sound for film, radio, television, music, and video games. Audio engineers also set up, sound check and do live sound mixing using a mixing console and a sound reinforcement system for music concerts, theatre, sports games and corporate events.
Speck Electronics manufactures professional audio mixers, equalizers, and microphone preamps. The company was founded in Los Angeles in 1973 by designer and engineer Vince Poulos, who remains active in the company to this day.
The Music Production & Engineering (MP&E) Major at Berklee College of Music is notable for attempting to give students an integrated understanding of the recording and production process, rather than focusing on the engineering aspects alone. Courses cover the technologies for documenting music, as well as the collaborative elements of studio work, and the business of recording.
A mixing engineer is a person responsible for combining ("mixing") the different sonic elements of a piece of recorded music into a final version of a song. He or she mixes the elements of a recorded piece together to achieve a good balance of volume, while at the same time deciding other properties such as pan positioning, effects, and so on.
Equalization or equalisation is the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components within an electronic signal. The most well known use of equalization is in sound recording and reproduction but there are many other applications in electronics and telecommunications. The circuit or equipment used to achieve equalization is called an equalizer. These devices strengthen (boost) or weaken (cut) the energy of specific frequency bands or "frequency ranges".
Edward M. Long was an audio engineer known for introducing the first near-field studio monitors and the first Time-Aligned loudspeaker crossover.
Focusrite plc is an English audio equipment manufacturer based in High Wycombe, England. Focusrite designs and markets audio interfaces, microphone preamps, consoles, analogue EQs and Channel strips, and digital audio processing hardware and software. Many, but not all, Focusrite products are manufactured for the company in China.
Burgess Macneal is an American electrical engineer, recording engineer and inventor. He is most widely known for his role in the invention of parametric equalization and operation/ownership of the Sontec and ITI brands.