143rd AES CONVENTION Presenters: Joe Tarsia

AES New York 2017 Presenter or Author

Joe Tarsia

Primary Affiliation: Engineer and Owner of Sigma Sound

After eight years as a Lab Tech in the Research department at the Philco Corporation in 1960 Joe started working nights at AMS, a small studio in South Philadelphia. In 1962 Joe left Philco and AMS to take a full-time engineer position at Cameo Parkway Records. During his years there he recorded artists that included Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydel, The Dovels, The Orlons, Dee Dee Sharp and The Tymes. Eventually Cameo was sold, with the change Joe decided to make his move and in 1968 he established Sigma Sound Studios.
Under Tarsia's leadership, Sigma brought cutting edge innovation to the sound recording business. Sigma was one of the first studios on the East Coast to offer 24-track recording and multi-track noise reduction (Dolby). It was the first studio anywhere to successfully employ console automation. In cooperation with Allison Research, Sigma developed the first endless throw automation fader. Sigma was instrumental in the design of the MCI 600 series recording console and later, the monitor features of Solid State Logic’s 6000 series recording console. Many of the design innovations developed by Sigma were adopted by pro audio manufacturers and are still in use today.
No professional achievement is more meaningful to Joe Tarsia than his hand in creating the "Philadelphia Sound". From the mid 60's to the early 80's the unique sound that came to life in Sigma's studios dominated the world's airways. The success of Sigma regulars, Gamble & Huff, Tom Bell, Tom Moulton, Bobby Martin and Baker, Harris & Young attracted a stream of top artists and producers from around the world, coming to capture the "Sigma magic".
In 1977 Sigma expanded to the Big Apple opening Sigma Sound Studios of New York. After 35 years Joe sold it all in 2003. Joe was a founding member and first president of The Society of Professional Recording Studios (SPARS) and a founding members and a past Chairman of the Board of The Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA).

Session List

Oct 21: RP15: Raw Tracks: the Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) (Panelist)

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