Cannery Row, Monterey, California


One Saturday morning in 1990, I drove across Hollywood and walked into a room with about ten Macintosh desktop computers lined up on tables. Margarita Mix and LA Studios (both LA-based studios) were holding a group training for the Digidesign, Sound Tools software, the precursor to Pro Tools. Milling about the room were other recording engineers and mixers. I never know how I’ll feel in advance, and walking into that room surprised me. The years seemed to collapse onto one another, with an odd sensation of meeting the future. I took a seat behind one of the Mac computers. 

A rep from Digidesign walked us through the software, explaining the menus, editing, and all the details. Then he stepped us through the process of recording a song into the box, and we played with it, cut it, and flipped it around. The creative possibilities seemed endless. Sound Tools was only a two-track digital recorder, editor, but you could edit in seconds without razor blades and tape, move sounds by just grabbing them with the mouse, and flip audio upside down with a menu selection. It was the dawn of digital recording, and everyone in the room could feel it.