Network 13 Head Hooligan
audio engineer, music producer, wire untangler
Beginning at an early age, I had a knack for audio engineering. In high school I owned a pair of 4560s and a DJ console which enabled me to rattle many young ear drums. I started collecting
my first multi-track recording gear as a high school junior and made early recordings of the band Black 'N Blue,
who were using my bedroom as a practice facility at the time.
Several years later, after completing the Engineering courses at Recording Associates, I was hired by Studio One in Vancouver as an assistant engineer. Studio One was the place to record if you were a country artist living in the Northwest. Before I knew it, the incredibly talented head engineer Ron Stephens moved on and I became the new head engineer. I produced and engineered a lot of country music during my tenure there. It wasn't all country of course, we were the studio that brought you the unforgettable Z100 Christmas album, a Portland derivation of Band Aid. It was at this time that I recorded a couple of my own novelty songs that ended up receiving a surprising amount of regional air play. If I can dig up a master of "Runny Meat", which had a local cult following, I will post an MP3 on this page. The other song that had a fan following was "It Ain't Love" which was written by my then-to-be future studio partner Rich Haugen. Find the song on the Dubious Undertakings compilation below. On the live scene, I was full time sound guy for Portland/Vancouver club band 99¢ Romance. After a brief tour of Los Angeles, we recorded a few songs at Cozy Dog, put out an album of live music and disbanded.
It was during this time period that recording studios started using computers to control things such as automation, synchronization, and sequencing/sampling. Having studied computer science at PSU back in '82 (yikes! punch card readers and dumb terminals.), I was quick to jump in. But I didn't stop at computer automation. I devised a plan to link recording studios via modem and create a "network of 13 studios" that I had contacts with. This was the beginning of Network 13. Before there was a World Wide Web, I had created a BBS network that tied recording studios together by modem connections late at night to exchange messages (both email and forum) and engineer/producer bios and portfolios. This system was converted to HTML in 1992 and served on the Web at the domain network13.net in 1994. The studio network was phased out in favor of web design over the years as my business endeavors diversified.
After Studio One I moved on to start a small studio called Signature Sound with good friend Warren Dexter. Warren, Rich Haugen and I then built a 16 track studio in SW Portland called DAT Sound (we received the first DAT recorder in Portland, thus the name). DAT Sound quickly became a popular destination for Portland's hottest pre-grunge underground to come make records that sounded a step above the plethora of garage (ie garbage) sounding studios that had been standard faire. The "Dubious Undertakings" compilation below is probably the best representation of what was going on at DAT Sound over about a four year period.
Playlists are chronological - oldest first. Skip down to current projects.
"Find Out" by Dang Hummers
Michael Davis, Producer/Musician
During the Signature Sound time period just prior to DAT Sound, I produced the "Find Out" CD by The Dang Hummers over at Desitrek. The Dang Hummers were sort of an 80's dance/horn band. When people ask me if I recorded anything by the Crazy 8's I say, "no, but I did the Dang Hummers album." [look of puzzlement ensues]. A sample of my voice saying, "Gimme your money" starts "Small Investment" off. Oy. But hey, the song's got a trombone solo so shut up. I love Tom Lageson's bass playing on the track "Find Out". We switched from fretless to fretted on verse/chorus transitions.
I toured locally with the band a bit, running sound. Opening for Thomas Dolby was a fun gig. Mark Fuqua is still writing good material today and we've almost hooked up to record some of it on multiple occasions over the years. :)
"Luke Warmwater's Collection of Obscurities and Dubious Undertakings" by Various Artists
Michael Davis aka. Luke Warmwater, Producer/Engineer
Recorded in the "pre-grunge" era between 1988 and 1992, this is a unique collection of top Portland, OR bands of the time, performing what some have called "post-big hair, pre-grunge Portland alternative rock". All songs recorded by Mike Davis on analog equipment.
(Hey Mitch, if you're out there somewhere, this compilation is desperately wanting of some Evil Picklehead. Call me.) (Wait, I got a request for Mule. I don't have the masters. Sorry.)
"Oily Bloodmen Rough Mixes - Sugar, Option, Sugar sessions at DAT Sound."
Michael Davis, Engineer
I spent quite a bit of time recording Rich Rosemus and The Oily Bloodmen while at DAT Sound. Enough time that my character as engineer working with the band is portrayed in a new movie about the band called Welcome To My Scene. I also dug up and supplied some unfinished/unreleased rough instrumental mixes to be included in the movie. You can hear them here. I haven't seen the movie yet, nor am I sure it's been completed (Waaazzzup Dana?). Can't wait to see who played me...
(If someone knows the names of these tracks let me know so I can rename them)
"Too Ruff To Love" by The Blind Dogs of St. Dunsmiur
Michael Davis aka. Luke Warmwater, Producer/Engineer
A friend of mine called Todd Gang (aka Tobaj) is a very tallented jazz vocalist. Over the course of many years we recorded his latin-influenced jazz/pop songs. But he and I shared a deranged sense of humor and most serious recording sessions would break down into comedic mayhem. We compiled this mayhem into one CD called "The Blind Dogs of St. Dunsmiur - Too Ruff To Love". Since it's release in 1991, several songs have been used as bumper material for national radio shows, notably the Rick Dees show. I've also noticed a couple of our tracks floating around the internet at large, which would be fine with us except that someone has mis-labelled them with incorrect artist names such as Dr. Demento. Hey, if you're going to rip someone's CD and share it, at least get the meta tags right. Geez. Much of the instrumentation on these songs is done vocally. That is, we used Todd's voice through guitar amps and other processing to emulate lead guitar, bass, etc. Listen to the album using the playlist to the left, or jump out to the Blind Dogs web site.
Michael Davis - Current Projects/Demo Reel. Michael Davis-Engineer/Producer/Musician
Let's record some music.
My rates are reasonable.
After we closed the doors at DAT Sound, Rich went on to build what has arguably become the nicest recording studio in Oregon. I track all my projects there whenever possible. Protools allows me to track at a world class facility like Supernatural and mix in the privacy of my home studio. Of course there have been many other studios that have served as great places to track, and many great engineers that I have collaborated with such as Bryan Nelson at The Epicenter in Eugene where most of the Shipe sessions were tracked. I try to keep this playlist up to date whenever possible. For now, here are some of my favorite tracks from recent projects.
You may have noticed that much of the above playlist is comprised of music by John Shipe. If you've never heard him or heard of him, you need to. The music is terrific. I've put together what I call "The Best of John Shipe."
Musicians Web Site Design
I have also designed, programmed and hosted web sites for many of the musicians I've worked with (and some that I haven't). Some web design clients: