Micah Carli: The Ears, Eyes, Mind, & Experience That Truly Make Popside Recording an Art | STUDIO SPOTLIGHT (Part 2 of 4)

Posted: October 20, 2016 by Kimberly Weiss in Local Music News, Venue/ Local Service News
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img_24481Let’s face it! The person behind the sound board can make or break your album, not to mention your bank, so getting to know the engineer and/or producer you’re going to work with, in advance, is crucial  to coming away with a great recording!
Before my band went to Popside Recording earlier this year, I had already checked out Micah Carli’s recordings, talked to friends, and learned that he’d been around the world and had earned a lot of experience touring with the band Hawthorne Heights.
As I began to learn more about his experiences in music though, it became clear to me that it wasn’t just  his experience with the band that makes him one of the hottest  engineers to record with right now.  
It’s the whole package. 

The Early Years

When I had the chance to talk to Micah about what makes him who he is, it was nice to watch and listen as the “professional” guy relaxed easily and happily into stories of his musical family, middle-school and high-school band, and how when guitar “hit” him, it “hit hard!”  He recalls how his grandfathers were both in jazz bands in the 30’s and how much he loves jazz, and he chuckles as he recounts his own father, who’s rock band was called Sweet Cherry, telling him “You know what that means, right?” and winking at him.   In middle school, he picked up the drums initially, but he ended up playing saxophone for about 4 years.  Then guitar hit, and from the age of 12-16, he’d sit and play for 8 hours a day, sometimes until his fingers bled.


lsThe Formative Years

From an early age, Micah was learning to improvise and play with folks 2 or 3 times older than him.  A passionate and excited teenage Micah  would spend his time at open mics in downtown Dayton at the old Night Owl and playing in multiple bands, including a rock band, alternative act, and a gospel and blues group.

The bands and open mics were a healthy stimulation to start experimenting with recording, and he began doing 4-track mixes both for himself and for a few friends.  All of that collaborating and improvising with other people would do much more though for Micah than just start him on the path to recording. These were the moments that taught him how to really listen, not just with his ears, but with his eyes and his mind.


The World Tour Experience

Around the age of 21, he was performing weekly in Troy with his own jazz trio when he was asked to join A Day In The Life, hawthorne-heightswhich eventually became Hawthorne Heights.  Before he knew it, he was doing self-booked 2 week tours, getting signed, and then spending 12 years touring professionally with the band. While Micah was with Hawthorne Heights, they created 7 albums, sold close to 2 million records, and toured the world with their 1st record going platinum and 2nd going gold.

Because of his time with the band, Micah received a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend a lot of time in great studios in New York, Chicago, LA, Nashville and beyond,  and he took advantage of the time, taking notes on the best ways to record and watching and learning the process from some of the best.


Today’s Music Don’t Have The Same Soul

When I asked Micah about his influences and if he listens to any current “mainstream” acts, he tells me most modern music is “shit” and sounds like “American cheese.”   To him, “Bands don’t sound like a band anymore.  Drums don’t sound like a real kit.  They’re all sound replaced. The singing is pitch corrected. Everything’s edited to the grid.  It’s just unpleasant to my ear.” Instead, his playlist consists of acts like The Beatles, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Django Reinhardt, Smashing Pumpkins, and Nirvana.

These days, besides recording, Micah still plays for fun with friends from time to time, occasionally joining a band on stage if the need arises, but mostly, he stays focused on his real passion, recording.  Since starting Popside, he has recorded more than 60 bands and 150 songs across a wide variety of genres, and he’s always looking for great, new music to record!


live_room_-_5At Popside Recording, Micah Carli is helping bands make organic, real-sounding recordings with depth and tone and always making the “sound” the highest priority, all without breaking your budget!

Contact Popside Recording Today!

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