Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tyler Myalls!

Next up we have Tyler Myalls!

Tyler is a sound engineer in Halifax Nova Scotia. I love how Im getting all of these interviews from across the Maritimes! Thanks for passing the word everybody! Keep it up! 

Again I havent gotten the chance to meet Tyler in person but hope to be able to in the future! Thanks for doing the interview Tyler!

Here we go!

Introduce yourself!

Name: Tyler Myalls

City/Town: Halifax

Job: Recording Engineer &Technical/Event Coordinator, University Instructor.

Maritime Vinyl (MV) - What do you collect? Vinyl; CD’s; Cassettes; 8 tracks; bootlegs; music memorabilia; magazine; etc..

Tyler Myalls (TM) - I started collecting tapes in the 80s, but I made the switch in the late 80s/early 90s to CDs. Every now and then I’ll pick up some vinyl too, if I find some deals.

MV - Do you prefer one audio format more than others? (example: vinyl more than cd’s)

TM - Well, you can’t deny the sound of vinyl. Once you get it (the sound), you get it, but CDs are way more convenient. Digital files are even more convenient, but the quality can suffer greatly depending on how the albums were digitized. I don’t usually put anything on my iPod unless it’s pretty good quality. For the last couple of years, I’ve been using the iPod, but have recently began streaming music to my stereo via Apple TV. They’re making it too easy.

MV - What is your favourite genre of music? Some of your favourite artists?

TM - I’d have to say rock. Rock, as in, Bowie, The Clash, Talking Heads, Gogol Bordello, Supergrass, Motorhead, Tom Waits, Velvet Underground, Dylan, The Kinks, Zeppelin, Roxy Music, Wilco, AC/DC (pre-1980), Kings of Leon.

I love reggae and punk though too and singer/songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and John Prine. I’m all over the place.

MV - How big is your collection?

TM - I have a little over 500 CDs, about 100 albums on vinyl and probably another couple hundred digital albums that I don’t have physical versions of.


MV - Do you concentrate your collection on one or more artists in particular?

TM - If I really like an artist I’ll get everything by them. I think I have every Dylan album and a lot of full discographies of a few others…Tom Waits, The Kinks etc etc. I’ll usually try to track down some biographies, concert DVDs and such, but usually don’t keep them once I finish with them. I like passing those kinds of things on. (How many times can you read a biography?)

MV - What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?

TM - The first album I purchased, with my own money, was Men At Work’s Business as Usual (on vinyl) and yes, I still have it. I loved it so much, that I bought another copy for my girlfriend and gave it to her for Xmas. It was 1982 and I was 8 years old.

MV - What is your favourite item in your collection?

TM - That’s a tough one. My Stones’ Sticky Fingers album with the real zipper is kinda cool.


MV - Do you still actively collect or was this something you concentrated on in the past?

TM - I was actively collecting physical albums until a few years ago. I was one of the last people in my circle to make the switch to digital. However, it was only last week that I decided to dig out the CDs and bring them back into the living room, instead of the storage closet. I also recently bought some new CDs, the first time in a year or so.

MV - What is your preferred way of adding to your collection? Shopping online? Flea Markets? Independent music stores? Etc… Any favourite store or websites?

TM - I think what played a major part in CDs dying out was their price, so I like to find things on sale or at flea markets. If I see a yard sale that has CDs then I have to go check it out. If something is new then I certainly have no problem paying full price, as long as it’s under $15. For awhile, I was buying CDs online as it was so much cheaper.


MV - How do you store your collection? Shelves? Boxes? Your attic?

TM - Well, my CD/vinyl collection was on display beside my stereo until I moved recently in November, so they never got unpacked. I actually dug the CDs out last week and have plans to get some shelves for them again.

MV - Does your significant other support your collection? Did you have to convince him/her?

TM - Yeah, my girlfriend and I have the same musical tastes. I’m a bit more obsessed with searching out new artists, finding out facts and little tidbits of information about artists. I’m the one who though, who actually goes and acquires the albums, so she has to listen to whatever I bring home. (She hates my 80s hair band obsession though)

MV - What is on your “wish list” at the moment?

TM - I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the new Cult album and the new Gaz Coombes solo album.

MV - Do you know any other collectors?

TM - I know a few, but they’re mostly digital collectors. Does that count?

MV - You teach Recording Techniques at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Are there many students with an interest in recording?

TM - Yeah, there are. The class is small, only 15 students, but it always fills up quickly.

MV - Are these students studying to work in music recording or is this an additional course they choose to take?

TM - Some of them are. Most of the students play some sort of instrument or are in a band, so they are looking for skills to help them record themselves, not necessarily for a career.

I try to give them a variety of assignments so they’re prepared for any scenario when class ends. Over the year they will record a couple classical concerts, a rock band, a radio promo, and add sound/foley to an animated film that I removed the sound from.

MV - Have you heard of any of your past students success stories?

TM - Yeah, there are quite a few that have been recording and releasing albums. Some of them have come to me for various projects over the years. Some of them are making some great music. Poplar Pines and Timber Timber are two great bands with former students of mine.

MV - What do you think of bands like the Foo Fighters recording their most recent album purely analogue? Does this appeal to you?

TM - Not really. I don’t think anyone really cares, except for the Foo Fighters themselves. Sure, they’re going to get some fans freaking out that it was recorded on tape, but I don’t think half of them really know what it means.

There was a study done a few years ago, with 18-25 year olds, where the participants were played 3 different versions of some songs. One was an LP, one was a CD and the other was an mp3 to see which “sound” they preferred.

The results were overwhelmingly in favour for the sound of an mp3. It’s all what you’re used to. The CD and LP sound was so foreign to most of them that they couldn’t relate to it. So I think an analogue recording is lost on most, unless they know what to listen for.

MV - What are the pro’s and con’s of switching from analogue recording to digital?

TM - Well, analogue has that warm sound. There is a difference. With magnetic recording, the entire sound wave is captured.

Digital is easier. Easier to record, edit, mix etc. etc. But it can have a quality to it that isn’t as human as recording onto tape, mainly because there are only snapshots taken of the sound wave.

I think the convenience of digital wins over the sound of analogue.

MV - You also work at The Music Room in Halifax. You explained to me in a prior email that The Music Room is a non-pofit organization whose mandate is to keep costs low so our studio is accessible to the entire community. You mentioned that the majority of music recorded is classical. Have you recorded any other genres of music? Any folk, rock, jazz, blues?

TM - Yeah, majority of what I record is classical music. I think it’s because of our space though. It was designed with acoustic music in mind and we have a 9-foot Steinway grand piano in the room, so a lot of people come just to record with that piano. Strings especially sound good in here.  You can hear a pin drop and it has a nice balance of not being too live or dead.

I do record a variety of genres though too. As time goes on, we are getting more and more folk, rock and blues bands coming in to either perform, record or both. I’ve recorded everything really, from bag pipes to death metal!

MV - Do any of the musicians you recorded at The Music Room stand out from others? Why?

TM - I’ve had the pleasure of recording some great artists.

Al Tuck recorded a little here and used one of the tracks for his Food For The Moon album. He’s a great songwriter.

It was great to meet and record Jason Collett (Broken Social Scene) and Christopher Ward. They were here as part of a songwriter’s circle one night. They too are amazing songwriters.

k-os dropped by one afternoon. He was doing a show at a venue downtown that night and had some ideas he wanted to get down before he lost them. He came in and played piano for a few hours and sang/rapped while he worked out some ideas. I basically just let the recording run and let him do his thing.

I also remember recording someone who claimed they could channel God while playing the piano. This person held up one hand, as if to channel some other power while they chanted gibberish and played piano with their other hand. It was weird.

MV - What are the majority of people who record there doing with their recordings? Releasing albums? Personal distribution?

TM - It’s really all over the place. I record a lot of student demos for kids who are trying to get into university or summer festivals and a lot of live shows from all genres. I’ll record a handful of full albums each year.

MV - You also run your own freelance recording studio ( Have you recorded many bands since you began this business?

TM - I run a mobile recording company. I don’t have my own studio, but I can go to any location and record.

I haven’t done a lot of freelance work and haven’t really pushed it that much. I’ll do maybe 10 gigs a year. How much does one person need to work?

MV - What are the majority of your recordings? Demo tapes? Live concerts? Independent albums?

TM - Again, it’s all over the place. I was recording sermons/mass for a Christian company who streams them online and I’ve recorded a few live shows for bands. There are a few clients who I record on a regular basis, every month or so they’ll call me.

I’ve shot and edited some videos for bands too and have done a few commercials through my business.

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