Meeting Topic: Vinyl Clinic
Speaker Name: CRAS Instructor Gerald Schoenherr "OG"
Meeting Location: Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences 1205 N. Fiesta Blvd Gilbert Az
Gerald Schoenherr, or as we call him Og, is a well respected instructor at CRAS. Whether he's talking about making "fire beats" or showing us how to run a studio session as smooth as possible. He explains things in a way that is intelligent yet easier to grasp. In class he is able to keep the excitement and attention all while still dressing snazzy.
Now that you have some background knowledge on Og there is one more important thing. If you know him you know Og is very passionate about vinyl. Through AES we were able to organize another vinyl clinic with Og. This was held on January 16th in the Live Sound Room at the Gilbert campus. At 8:00pm Og began the clinic by weighing the headshell that holds the cartridge. He explained that if the headshell is too light, then it can cause the record to skate. If the headshell is too heavy then it will scratch the record. From there he went deeper into the structure of a record, caring for them, and recording collecting.
He first went into the topic of keeping the recording clean and overall proper care for the records. In the words of Og himself, "records are cool", and then started to expand on the history of how a piece of metal covered in waxed formed into the vinyl records we know today. The way we make records now is known as the "plating process", this process is extensive and complex, even with the technology we have today. While he explained this process he also shared the sounds of songs that had exceeded the RIAA equalization limits. It helped me to understand exactly why records are not only formatted the way they are, but why exactly records sound the way they do.
Og also jumped into an amazing conversation about recording collecting and some of his collection. It was really cool to hear because a great flood of new music was exposed to my ears and it made me think of new ways to mix certain instruments and effects. When Og was asked why he loves records, or what made him so passionate about the collection of them? He replied with an explanation, "Well, I grew up listening to them", going further saying, "The record is a piece of artwork, not disposable, which I think is cool. When you buy a record you listen to it, you don't go off and do something else, you sit there and listen to it". He loved the physical media of it as well, it would never be lost.
What I took away from this event is that every record has its own story. Whether it was preowned, band new, or completely ruined vinyl records are complicated and fascinating. Thank you Og for the incredible knowledge and understanding of records. It does not matter if it is brand new, untouched or four dollars from a thrift store, it has one impressive story. The meeting wrapped up around 11:00pm and everyone left impressed with a new found appreciation of the process of vinyl records.
Written By: CRAS AES Officeholder Joli W.