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Podcast VOL 3: CJ Vanston — Composer, Producer and Musical Director

"Create your own luck". CJ Vanston is a film composer, record producer, songwriter and musical director for Spinal Tap and Toto, among his many projects. As a keyboardist, CJ has played with artist such as: Toto, Def Leppard, Prince, Joe Cocker, Ringo Starr, George Michael and many others. We spoke about playing for the Dalai Lama, working with Spinal Tap, and also, about creating your own luck.
For more information, check out CJ Vanson’s website

Podcast Transcript

Narration: [00:00:05] Helping people enjoy amazing sounds and build satisfying lives in the field of audio,  this is the CEntrance podcast. Hi, I’m Michael Goodman, founder and CEO of CEntrance, the leading manufacturer of audio products for enthusiasts and industry professionals. This podcast features stories and life lessons from people who dedicated themselves to a career in audio. This podcast was recorded using our own MixerFace R4 mobile recording interface.

Michael: [00:00:33] Today on this podcast we’re interviewing CJ Vanston, a film composer, record producer, songwriter and musical director for Spinal Tap and Toto, among his other high profile projects. This interview was recorded with MixerFace R4. CJ had one on his end, he lives in Los Angeles, and we had one here in Chicago in our studios. MixerFace R4 makes it easy to set up a high quality audio connection between two remote locations. It natively integrates with your mobile devices for conducting remote interviews, just like this one.

Michael: [00:01:09] Excellent. How are you doing.

C J: [00:01:11] I’m doing great, I’m doing great. How about yourself?

Michael: [00:01:13] Doing very well. Wanted to chat a little bit about just the music industry in general. This thing that we love so much…

C J: [00:01:22] Yea, we sure do!

Michael: [00:01:24] You sound great, by the way. Are you using a high quality microphone?

C J: [00:01:29] It’s a fabulous mic and I got to say man this MixerFace sounds amazing. I drove to my studio, plugged into my Neve preamp and did a voiceover. Brought that back home and then this morning did a little bit of the voiceover on this and this sounds so much better than my studio and my Neve, I don’t know why or how that’s possible, but it does.

Michael: [00:01:49] That’s amazing , thank you very much. I certainly want to ask you about your new project.

C J: [00:01:55] Ah yeah, my new project. Well it’s kind of not new anymore because the record is out but we’re preparing to tour with it. Last year was the 33 year anniversary of Spinal Tap and we were planning a kind of a large tour with that and this was a few years back that we started planning this and Michael McKean got the role on “Better Call Saul” and decided to go with that and it kind of scuttled the tour. Or postponed it. Harry Shearer was chompin’ at the bit and said: “You know what, I want to do something! I’m going to do the Derek Smalls solo album.” And I said: “Man, I’m in, that sounds crazy enough for me!” So we started working on songs, he started sending me demos and we co-wrote some stuff. It just started taking on a life of its own and the project kept growing. And then I’d run into people, I ran into Steve Vai: “Hey, you want to play on this?” – “Are you kidding? Absolutely!” and then Satriani and Dweezil Zappa and (Steve) Lukather and Jeff Baxter and this thing started growing with all these guest stars and we got drummers like Jim Keltner and Chad Smith and Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters. And we just started writing songs with these people in mind about who can sing and what song, we got Donald Fagen on this song, David Crosby on that song. Snarky Puppy horns on a song. It just kept building and then I started temping some orchestra parts and Harry /Derek said: “Well, let’s put orchestra on it!” so we got the Budapest Symphony to play on four songs. And that planted the seed of “hey, why don’t we do a tour with orchestra and make this a giant audio visual thing?” And we did, we put this tour together and the theme of the record is “Meditations on aging.” Its a 70 year old ex-rocker, still rocker I guess, and the songs are pretty autobiographical that way and it is very funny, but very heavy at the same time. Very excited about it.

Michael: [00:03:55] You guys are going on tour with it.

C J: [00:03:57] Yes we’re going on tour this fall.

Michael: [00:03:59] Spinal Tap is the ultimate container for rock n roll. It’s amazing.. I wanted to ask you about working with Christopher Guest because obviously you’re a musical director for Spinal Tap and many projects from that tribe.

C J: [00:04:16] Touring with Spinal Tap – First of all you know all the movies I’ve done with Chris and the tours with Spinal Tap, you know, I’ve laughed harder than probably anybody on the planet for the last 27 years. These are the funniest people on planet earth especially when all three of them are together and the one liners are just insane. I wish I would’ve kept track of them all. One in general we were playing the MTV awards in Australia, the Australian MTV awards. We walked off stage and Chris Guest is aged in his Nigel mode, chewing gum and the lady is doing the press says with a microphone. You know, “How do you find the music business here in Australia?” And he goes, “It’s the same as the states except for your career goes down the drain the opposite way”, you know just be able to pull something like that, that quickly out is just insane. It’s it’s a tough room and you know, I’ve honed my comedic skills, but I haven’t been able to stand up to these guys…

Michael: [00:05:17] So how often did you have to scrap a take because of laughter?

C J: [00:05:22] I got to tell you, it doesn’t happen. This group has been together so long that if you were to take out someone’s great performance because you couldn’t keep it together, that’s not good form on the set. So I’ve never heard it happen.

Michael: [00:05:39] So everybody is a professional?

C J: [00:05:41] Yeah. And once you hear “and… cut!”, Boom! The whole room explodes you know because everyone’s been holding it in. It’s tough, it’s tough. Most of these movies, I’ve done all the music before we even started filming. ‘Cause we needed to film to the music, especially “Mighty Wind”. We did a lot of that live but I had up the temp stuff, had the music done. Guffman was pretty much done before we started filming and the latest one we did, “Mascots”, a lot of music in that. All the music was done because it was to playback with choreography. So what I’m getting to is I’m there from pre-production probably six months before filming, working directly with Chris. Getting the music all the way we want approved and cool, laid in with the music editor and then I show up at the beginning of filming and I sit next to Chris and watch the whole thing be filmed and I know the whole crew, and the grips and the audio guys in the AD, I mean they’re all friends, they’re just like a big family — we’ve been together for 25 years and I sit and watch the whole thing filmed and then we go into post-production where obviously I’m a part of that, and you know I just love being around for everything, even the color timing, and all that. So it’s been a great experience front to back — these projects you know usually on a movie, you wouldn’t have the composer on the set watching the movie be filmed. But it’s something we never really talked about it. It’s just something I wanted to do. It’s an immersive project and I want to be part of it, and it’s a family project, which is pretty much how I run my whole business. Just about everything I do has got a family kind of feel to it, as opposed to corporate feel.

Michael: [00:07:24] And of course, it’s so much fun!

C J: [00:07:26] Yeah, you know. Much to my financial detriment. I mean, I’ve left a lot of money on the table that I could have done by working in a more corporate atmosphere and I just don’t prefer waking up to 50 e-mails from 50 different people on a project. You know, I like dealing with one person who’s a decision maker and that lets me create without trying to second guess a bunch of people and knowing that the first work I turn in is probably going to get turned down.

Michael: [00:07:54] You’ve had an enviable career in the music industry and I want to spend a couple minutes talking about the craft. You started out playing with both the musical and the computer keyboard. What influenced you as a musician?

C J: [00:08:07] Well, the earliest thing is my father was and still is a jazz piano player and you know I grew up a club rat you know sitting in the corner of that club when I’m you know six years old. Listen to my dad play all the standards. You know the Great American Songbook, the bop, all that Bill Evans stuff, Miles. And that was my first exposure. And you know later on when I discovered records, my first record I ever bought ever — I took my allowance and bought “Meet the Beatles” so what a great way to start. But as I got into high school I started really getting deep into you know the Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Yes, Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Bill Withers, Cat Stevens, Stevie Wonder, all that incredible, incredible stuff. And that’s pretty much all I did was listen to music and listen to music and listen to music and listen to music. I became an encyclopedia of you know listening back to the past. This is a complaint I have with a lot of the young kids I work with. They don’t know their past yet they’re carrying around an iPhone with them and they don’t seem to have the desire to know the past, which I had to know everything you know I want to know the history music back to the 1700s. I just couldn’t get enough music as it was. It was in my blood. And again that time I graduated high school in 1975 and that was just an absolute insane time for music 72 to 80 was just out of control.

Michael: [00:09:46] I agree. We’re actually here in Chicago where your session musician career started. And I wanted to add that we’re talking here today with CJ Vanston, a session keyboard player, producer, songwriter, arranger, recording engineer, you’ve done a lot of things. But you grew up in Midwest and then you moved to L.A. to pursue a career in the music industry. Did you have any reservations about the big cross-country move?

C J: [00:10:16] Well sure. You know, I rose through the field in Chicago, I wanted to be a session musician more than anything in the world and I was always in awe of the band Toto because they were not only a great band but they were all great session players. That was really my goal. Eventually our rhythm section’ they called us the “Toto of Chicago.” Within about two years I became the first call guy in Chicago. 4, 5, 6 sessions a day, five days a week. Incredible. The money was awesome, this is back in the heyday of jingles. Insane amount of money and playing at night. By the way five hours a night in a band, it was just all music. I feel for these kids today because there’s not a market to be able to live the way that I did which was just 24/7 music and money and you know not having to work another job. So I had done jingles, thousands. I guess between 3000 and 4000 jingles and I got so good at being in the studio, my studio chops got really good and my programming. And also in jingles by the way you play every style of music you know at 9:00 in the morning you’re with the Chicago Symphony and at 10:00 you’re doing a country spot and at 11:00, its a bebop spot and at 12:00 you’re doing electronic music, sound design. So what a training ground to be a session musician and learn every style of music. Once I got all of those skills in place I thought: “I need to make records man, I can’t keep making shrimp fly through the air for Red Lobster” so I had to come to L.A. and make records. There was a lot of trepidation about it because I left a lot of money behind, everybody told me I was crazy because I left this great living behind and I thought, well what better way to go than on top, you know. I came out here and the first song I worked on was number one hit, “Right Here Waiting” with Richard Marx and my phone started ringing right off the bat so I was very very fortunate, my timing was good. My instincts were good. My instincts have always been good and I’ve always followed them you know as much as I can and I think that’s really important for young musicians is to really follow your gut.

Michael: [00:12:31] So luck is part of it but you have to be careful in selecting opportunities?

C J: [00:12:36] Luck is such a small part of it in my opinion. I mean obviously you can completely step in shit and happen to be in a room and someone writes a giant song or something like that or… that’s luck, but mostly luck is when you seize an opportunity by stepping in and saying something and creating your own luck and creating the energy that you put off, not only with your music but with your personality and  your enthusiasm and so creating your own luck is a big part of this and obviously you’ve got to back it up. You get a lucky situation you’re going to have to deliver either way. So you might walk into a lucky situation but if you suck it’s not going to pan out, so I kind of don’t like that word that much. But there is you know there is an element of randomness. Let’s let’s put it that way. And but having the skills to seize those moments is what it’s all about in my opinion.

Michael: [00:13:33] It’s interesting and thank you for sharing that advice. We’re seeing a pattern here in talking to various musicians. It seems that preparation is an extremely important aspect of you know finding that lucky opportunity and then seizing it — without preparation it wouldn’t matter.

C J: [00:13:52] Well especially in the studio. You know when the when the heat is on in the moments there and the producers hired you and you got a roomful of musicians, he’s spending a ton of money and he says, Hey play me something like ‘da-da-da’ and you look at him deer in headlights you know you’re done working for that guy. That’s it. You got to deliver every single time and you have to have that deck of cards in your back pocket to be able to deal the hand they’re asking you for you know.

Michael: [00:14:21] Yeah I want to talk more about studios. Actually I think they caught the trailing end of that advertising boom in Chicago, worked at Paragon Studios in Chicago here with Marty Feldman.

C J: [00:14:30] Oh my God. Marty Feldman! Yup!

Michael: [00:14:33] He’s like a father to me. He taught me so much.

C J: [00:14:35] God, I didn’t know that, with the Flickenger console…

Michael: [00:14:38] Oh yeah. Yes, I vacuumed that console so much. I knew it’s every crevice.

C J: [00:14:45] Yeah, I know what you vacuumed out of it too, haha.

Michael: [00:14:49] Me too. Yeah yeah we won’t talk about it. Its the 80’s.

C J: [00:14:51] Well that’s not him, its what everyone else did. But you know the first thing I think about, first of all that that studio was up two or three flights of stairs —  it was it was awful for the cartage guys but we would come in with a you know 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. session, back in the jingle days. But during the night you know the Ohio Players or whoever it would be, the R&B bands would come in and record all night and we’d be joking: “Yeah. Good to see you! All right, let’s try a take — you put the headphones on and you go “Oh no! I’ve been slimed. And it’s the jerry curl on the headphones!.

Michael: [00:15:26] Yep, been wiping those off too.

C J: [00:15:29] Yeah. So it got to the point there was about four or five spray bottles of 409 and paper towels out there and the first thing you did when you walked in the morning to Marty’s studio to Paragon was wipe off the headphones.

Michael: [00:15:42] That was my line of fire training in the music industry because it had to be done quickly and there were moments when I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to pursue a career in the music industry.

C J: [00:15:52] Cleaning jerry curl of the headphones, that’s kind of when you go “OK”… but that’s what it takes man. That’s what it takes the whole thing is you know even as a producer it’s just preparing everything. So the musicians and the artists feel comfortable to deliver a performance.

Michael: [00:16:09] Let’s talk about the evolving nature of the recording process. Now you’ve done everything in the music industry from composing to making records to playing live. What is your favorite part of the music making process. What parts do you enjoy less.

C J: [00:16:24] You know that’s a hard one. That’s a tough one to say. You know when I get back into songwriting which I haven’t been doing as much. I’ve done that with Harry on this record but I’m talking about where you meet people and schedule a date. And you know and write for something. I just go oh my God I miss this so much. I love writing I love that initial creation. That’s always amazing. I’d say in general that initial moment of when you come up with a part come up with that thing, that initial spark would probably be my happiest most creative moments but then I think about what it takes to finish a project and that’s where a lot of people fall by the wayside in my opinion. It’s easy to kind of get something going but to finish it and really really send it out the door. I love that. I like putting the finishing touch on stuff and then that’s ignoring playing live and then you get out in front of people go oh my God why don’t I do this more. I really can’t pick one. I think just doing too much of one makes you want the other. And conversely you know I did a couple of world tours with Joe Cocker and Tears for Fears and Spinal Tap. And after you know month three you’re going you know what I want to get back in the studio. So. I’m ADD I need to bounce around you know. So just creating music, programming synths, checking out new gear all that stuff. I just love it all. It’s all so cool.

Michael: [00:17:51] Well, music is made in the box now. I’m referring to the laptop being the center of the music production universe. Do you miss large desks. How do you experience the shift in the production process?

C J: [00:18:07] The only time I miss larger desk is doing a band recording and every time I do a band recording or a rhythm section recording I’m on a larger desk. I don’t do those in my studio, although I will say I have set up a new system that I’ve been using that Roland has a big console with these digital snakes and programmable console that is working for me. But the only time I really miss a big console is a tracking session. Other than that I really have no use for it because let’s take for example this record. I just finished, this Derek Smalls record. Once we got to the overdubs stage, let’s say we’re doing some vocal overdubs and some fixes. He wants to change the lyric, wants to do this… We might work on six songs in one day, eight songs, and we want to one replace a word in the song. When I call the song up and if I’m on a large console, I’ve got to put a rough mix up. That’s 20 minutes at least just to just to get everything patched, patching in the delays – I don’t have any time for that. I don’t miss that at all. Whereas I’m a Logic guy. I call it up in Logic. It’s exactly where we left it. And by the way I’m always in touch mode or write mode. And I’m putting in rides right after a vocalist is done with the vocal I’ll comp it, tell the band to step outside, do a quick rough comp and I’ll put it write in. So the rest of the time we’re overdubbing we’re not listening to vocal pop way louder or now you can’t hear it… It’s you know I get everything in write mode. Well that’s something you can’t do on a large console in general. I mean SSLs have automation and things like that but in general that’s something you don’t use a big console for. I don’t miss it at all and I sure the hell don’t miss tape at all. Zero. Never. Nada. When I hear people talk about that, it just makes me crazy. It makes me nuts. I don’t know get it.

Michael: [00:20:03] I understand. Computers are great at remembering and obviously you can’t do any of that with an analog console.

C J: [00:20:10] And you know this magic warmth that everyone attributes to tape, this magic thing you put… you put something into it and it comes back different. I have no use for that. If I want something to sound different, I will change it. If I want it warmer, I’ll make it warmer, if I want it colder, more brittle, I’ll make it more brittle. That’s something the late Greg Ladanyi, I worked with for 20 years, who mixed the great Toto IV. He mixed that record. Incredible. And he he always said that about tape: “I don’t want something doing some mystical thing, I’ll do that.” So. Yeah that’s how I feel about that. No opinion.

Michael: [00:20:46] Speaking of computers, the Internet has changed the way we collaborate. How often do you find yourself having to email parts to other musicians who may be on the road you know, getting parts back from them to integrate into the final mix?

C J: [00:21:02] Tons! Half of this record with Derek Smalls was done that way. For instance, Donald Fagen you know, I sent him the stems and I sent him a little email about it: “It would be cool if you sang the bridge, maybe put harmony here and try this line…” And then you know four days later I get a Wetransfer, boom! There’s 12 tracks of vocals thrown up. It’s fantastic. First of all I love it especially for horn parts and things like that, with the guys I use, I trust. They’re working while I’m working so your workflow is so much faster and you do give up the ability to go, Hey what if you just hit that one note and did that. Yes, you do give that up, but with these hyper-creative people sometimes I don’t want that. I like letting them just do whatever they think you know if there’s a correction I have I can do that later. So yeah. That’s a phenomenal, phenomenal.

Michael: [00:21:55] We’re thinking that MixerFace R4, which you’ve had some experience with might be useful in this process of recording remotely and then integrating into the work. Any thoughts about that?

C J: [00:22:09] Well first of all this thing sounds amazing, which is the first prerequisite. If it sounds like shit, then I don’t care what the features are, you can flush down the toilet. This thing sounds great. A matter of fact last night I did a voiceover in my studio using my Neve pre amp, the same like I’m talking on. I brought it – I’m in my home studio now, I’ve got a separate studio – brought it home and I thought let’s try the same voice over the MixerFace R4 and I can’t believe it, it sounds better and I don’t know why — I don’t care. I don’t get wrapped up in that kind of stuff  — Neve 1073… I don’t care. This sounds better than whatever’s happening there. Some impedance thing? I don’t know what it is. This sounds phenomenal. You can hear it right now. This thing sounds phenomenal. So anyway start with that, but the fact that number one, you got battery power and the size… I can take this anywhere I can use an iPad or even my iPhone to do it. A real professional Vocal. Think about that. That’s nuts. Or keyboard part or guitar part. Whatever. It’s rugged. You know when I unpack this thing I was blown away with the tank like, I call it, military grade construction. You know that’s imperative in this stuff. There’s so much plastic crap out there that I know I drop at once and I’m screwed and I’m in the middle of Moldova and the session is done. So yeah, this is going to be a real useful tool for people. It’s got a swiss army knife element to it.

Michael: [00:23:42] Now you do most of your work at your studio called The Treehouse.

C J: [00:23:46] It’s true.

Michael: [00:23:48] It’s a smaller place and I know you’ve described it and other people have described it as a kind of a cozy control room, where a lot of people are sitting pretty much next to each other. You recorded and produced the latest Toto album on your own, pretty much in your studio and it’s an amazing album.

C J: [00:24:05] Thank you.

Michael: [00:24:06] There must be some stress working so closely with these strong personalities. How do you juggle the engineering and producers duties, making sure there’s always creativity in the room?

C J: [00:24:16] I actually have no idea how to do it you know. One point someone said: “Man, you’re so calm!” and I said: “Man, when I’m the calmest guy in the room there’s a real problem. I don’t know where I got that gene but I didn’t used to be like that. But I guess I learned it as a producer to be calm and you know I like people being close to each other and I liked that kind of contentiousness about people getting fired up about a part and somebody else wants to do it a different way, I liked that kind of thing. I liked the close quarters. What I find in big studios is every time you want to play back something somebody is gone and you got to send someone down the hallway or they’re out in the parking lot or they’re you know… not in my studio. Everybody’s in one spot and matter of fact, one of the things I did in that Toto 14 record is I put everyone kind of in a circle I’ve got enough seating that you can put the four or five principle guys in a circle and all overdubs that I could do… I do all my vocals in the control room now but the control room is… it’s cozy, definitely cozy. But I said you know you guys started in a garage. The Porcaro family, Joe Porcaro built them a rehearsal space in the garage. And I said that’s  how we’re going to do this — I want all the overdubs right in the middle of this room and I want everybody attending and sitting here. So they became performances as opposed to you know maybe when we do a vocal overdub it’s just me and the singer and the whole band’s gone. The first time they hear it is after it’s done. I wanted people to be performing in the middle of the room with the heat on, with everyone with headphones by the way, watching. And so what that also does is it takes the talkback out of the formula. I don’t have to hold a stupid talkback down when I think somebody is talking or not holding and when they think they’re talking you know, that’s all gone. Everyone’s talking directly to each other. So that intimate atmosphere really contributed creatively, it created a great work flow and a brotherhood and it made it easier for me to give my Al Pacino speeches you know about what great musicians they are and what we should be focusing on.

Michael: [00:26:30] Versatility came up several times during this conversation. I appreciate your ability and experience to do a lot of different things and in this podcast we want to showcase you know how do people get successful in their careers and music and it sounds like by learning a lot of different things… A lot of different career paths in the music industry. You could do it. A friend of yours, Jeff Baxter is known obviously as an amazing front man and also a sideman and he likes to talk about the discipline of playing rhythm guitar, something most people don’t like to do. How do you switch in the limelight and the background? What does it take to let the soloist shine?

C J: [00:27:13] Ah well you know that starts for me from playing with vocalists and the main thing is just listen to them don’t listen to you, listen to the vocalist listen to the soloist. I was in an R&B band they had a term called passing the plate. Only one guy gets the plate and if it’s the singer, he’s got the plate. And then when it comes to your solo, you get the plate and then when the guitar player’s soloing, he’s got the plate but you got to pass the plate. And you don’t grab the plate from someone else while they are you know doing their thing. So you know the years I played with Joe Cocker we were so tight, and I was able to send energy into him. It was uncanny. If I’d seen him kind of, I don’t know, getting a little tired or not into it, which was very rare by the way, we were really linked and I was able to send him energy without dominating the soundscape but just you know there’s an energy to backing somebody up that you’re supporting them. And then he would perk up and then send me energy and then I’d send him more and then the audience is sending energy, then we’re both sending it in. That’s the whole thing — building that energy up and emotion, and it comes from listening. Period.

Michael: [00:28:29] Speaking of sending energy around, you’ve played for Dalai Lama. Describe that experience. What is it like to be in a room with that man?

C J: [00:28:39] Well it was amazing. I got called to play this thing. it was 16,000 seats by the way in Louisville and I decided I was going to do a piano improv. And I went out there, I didn’t even know he was there. I looked out, I couldn’t see him and I went up and played my gig. I still don’t know if he was there. And got done and I saw everyone running to do something. I said what’s going on. He said well he’s meeting donors up in a room upstairs, in the conference room. Basically they had three backdrops with 30 people in front of each one in three corners of the room. And the Dalai Lama coming in for a photo op. And I said: “Is there music up there?”- “What do you mean?” – “Is there any music going on?” It’s kind of a stilted thing for him to walk around the silent room. And they said no. I said let’s get me a piano up there and give me a digital piano. And my cellist Michael Fitzpatrick and I went upstairs and we just decided we’re going to have music going when the Dalai Lama walks in the room and we started playing. I said ‘G’ and we started improvising and you start seeing the state department guys and then the photographers. And then his bodyguards come and you know – “Don’t talk to the Dalai Lama.” So the first thing I do when he gets over is I said: “How do we sound?” And he said: “Great, great.” And he’s tugging on my goatee, I don’t know what to do. But he has this giant smile on his face. And he walked away and then did this photos and left and I said What was that about? And he said Oh my God if he pulls your beard or your ear that means he loves you. My God, it took him five seconds to feel the energy that was coming from there. It was an amazing moment. So this went on for two days. Now at the end of the two days he finished his speech and I was backstage and we said: “Let’s let’s watch him walk out.” So he walked out. You know they had it roped off and he walked out and he turned and he saw me and he turned around and came back and put a scarf over my neck. He remembered me and he remembered Michael. Yeah and that’s the kind of guy he is. But it’s also you know honestly not patting myself on the back but it’s just musicians and artists in general. We put off an energy that I think sometimes we take for granted and that energy was picked up immediately by the Dalai Lama.

Michael: [00:31:07] That’s amazing. CJ Vanston thank you so much for spending time with us today. It’s a pleasure and an honor to have you talk about your experiences in the music industry.

C J: [00:31:15] Right on, Michael thanks for contacting me. First of all you’re a homie here in Chicago. That’s awesome and I love the gear you make. You know you still got your DACmini. That’s what I use in my home studio. It’s amazing sounding interface. The audio quality of your stuff is just ridiculous and this MixerFace has that Swiss Army Knife usability to it. This is something I’m going to be getting a lot of use out of. I really love this thing. So great job! Thanks for having me.

Credits: [00:31:51] Podcast music by Paul J deBenedictis. Recording and production by Fredd Villa. In this episode we interviewed CJ Vanston, a film composer, record producer, songwriter, and musical director. Until next time Michael Goodman and this has been the CEntrance podcast.

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