This Side Of The Glass

My name is John Luongo and I have mixed and produced recordings selling over 100,000,000 copies for everyone from Aerosmith and Michael Jackson to Bobby Brown and Huey Lewis. I was the youngest president ever of a CBS Associated Record Label (Pavillion Records) and ran the top three dance and alternative radio crossover radio/club promotion companies in the country. I’ve been called upon to consult, save recordings by turning them into hits and been sought after to provide the major labels and top companies worldwide with my insights into music with ways to impact and reach the creators of it!  In my position as a record producer in the business, I produce or mix from what is called the control room which is separated by thick soundproof glass from the artists and the band. We are in creative control of the session plus all that goes on in it.  Thus my column name pertains to my views and thoughts from the controlling position in the studio which is referred to as “this side of the glass!”.

I know music, sound and work hard to achieve prominence while maintaining  relevance in today’s music scene and community!  It requires long hours of hard, thoughtful work to be meaningful but I love it and do it to achieve the excellence I’m always in pursuit of!

For my first column, I’d like to discuss the the cultivation of and shaping the opinions and taste of future entrepreneurs and audiophiles in our business for generations.  If the high end manufacturers do not formulate a game plan to educate or enlighten the future producers and artists as to the value of great sound purity and excellence they will all be irrelevant in time and a distant memory once the aging consumers and Asian base are gone!

When I worked with Little Steven (Stevie VanZandt of Springsteen and Sopranos fame) he taught me one thing that I abide by to this day which is to “Anticipate, Anticipate, Anticipate!!!” You future is now and your only chance to shape it while enlisting future audiophiles us NOW!  If you, as a manufacturer or as an industry gear individual do not grab attention and secure the interests of this generation, plus, those who guide them through their careers, you will exclude you and your products. Lost with only memories of their irrelevance. Remaining never to return to dominance or prominence in the world of sound!

This is my alert to have a division or a discussion that might harvest the future that includes an introductory product, sold at a great price, acting as a bridge, sparking interest in the value of great sound reproduction to new, aspiring producers, engineers, mixers and Artists!  This will only happen if you implement a campaign to let them hear what they have been missing and show them side-by-side comparisons of what what true sound quality is.  They must be encouraged to listen to and find out first hand what’s been missing sonically!

This is not a generation of arrogance but merely ignorance and you don’t take the time to reach them now, your products and companies will be relegated to stories of yesterday and be included in articles in audiophile magazines caring stories on the best products that never made it!

To start, the quality of most (not all) music today is inferior in the the production and overall mixing and that is due to the lack of skills of most in their home studio and also in working in ProTools.  You see, we have not yet developed the “Hit Button” that you press at the end of a mix that makes a bad song singer or production great!  I guess the ‘Junk In – Junk Out’ rule I learned at the beginning of my career still applies!

This is your wake up call to all of you high end audio enthusiasts.  If you can reach the new and the next generations of music creatives and creators then you have a shot to impact on and customize their taste by fostering an appreciation of why sound matters!  Rap and Hip Hop were a bad thing for the sound aspects of our business but great for the creative and experimental side as they showed that feel was more important then a full sonic palette! I discovered that the dissonance and clashing chords were not always done by unaware musicians but on the contrary by clever musicians who discovered that at times it was done to make the sound and bottom end more massive and thicker to envelope the dancers in a club or listeners on the radio in powerful bass and thick keyboard sounds.  That was an epiphany for me as a music professional and I’ve learned every day of my career to be open and welcoming to the new and sometimes perplexing elements of music!  Now imagine if we could fuze the two together while having our cake and hear it too?? Sound reproduction meshed seamlessly with the power of the most potent music!  I’d be willing to bet that it would mark a new day in the music and audio business where for the first time in decades, sound once again mattered!  It can and will happen but only if you wake up and start today!

My column is intended to be one of hope, ideas and out-of-the-box thinking as it provides awareness while heralding great things that might become a part of our future. As I provide you with some thoughts and suggestions that may just shape and save yours!  The one thing I know for a fact success is like a perishable commodity which you must constantly tweak and care for if you want it to transcend time and last longer!  If you truly want to be sure to capture It, then your objectives should be centered around learning to hate what you love ( if it’s time or usefulness has expired) and to learn to love what you hate and explore elements of each which may prove to be a necessary for your survival with a meaningful future for you and your products!

I’d love your comments and feedback. I can be reached at my company with the number and email below:

John Luongo Management, LLC.

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John Luongo

2010 to Present: President of John Luongo Management, LLC., a Full Multimedia Content Provider with divisions in Administration, Licensing. 1986 to 2000: Founded “The Office, Inc.” which works with all major labels to explore new technologies that enhance the future of the entertainment business and develop new artists. 1983 to 1986: Became one of the youngest Presidents of a CBS Associated Label with his term at the helm of Pavillion Records. 1980 to 1983: Began mixing records that were met with tremendous success. 1978 to 1980: I was tapped to head the largest Dance Promotion company in the United States, MK Dance (owned by Mark Kreiner and Tom Cossie of Chic fame) 1975 to 1978: Started the Boston Record Pool which was one of the first three record pools to begin the Record Pool phenomenon we know today. 1973 to 1975: Upon graduation from Northeastern University, obtained a BS in Civil Engineering and worked for AJ Lane Construction and became the head engineer on a project to build an 8 Story 175 Unit pre-cast.

  • John Luongo
  • 2015-05-06 19:50:44
  • Anthony you bring up a great point. I totally agree with you the engineer is as important as the producer and the artist because they must stay focused at all time and make sure that the technical end is always maintained to the highest standards. It is so important that the quality of the recording,the isolation of the sounds and the EQ's and levels with which they are recorded are always maintained to an excellent standard. If those elements are not part of the recording there is nothing you can do to salvage the song and the mix later. Thanks for your comments and I appreciate greatly that you care so much about the sound.
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  • Anthony Kimball
  • 2015-05-06 08:33:44
  • I think it's easy to forget that the engineer is, in essence, an additional member of the band. There are some really good songs, that are recorded terribly and so get ignored. The opposite is true as well, there are some recordings that I might not normally listen to that draw me in because of the quality of the recording. I'm sure you've seen this, but here is a link to a funny video about the "hit" button enjoy
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