Music is a big part of my family and I was inspired by my uncle Eddy from Wolfville, NS who went on to become a canadian pioneer in rockabilly music back in the 50’s touring with Bill Haley & The Comets, Buddy Knox and later in the 60’s Dutch Mason. He’s a recipient of the ECMA Stompin’ Tom Award, inducted to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Nashville as an original Canadian Rockabilly, and the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame. My father Robert was also a fantastic guitarist playing many small venues in the states back in the 50’s and 60’s.
Eddy M Melanson and the Rock-A-Billys (1957)
Fast forward to the 80’s and inspired by my uncle I started home recording on a Tascam Porta One but it wasn’t until graduating from broadcast school in 1991 that I started working in real studios. As I was nearing graduation from broadcast school they wanted to send me off to some shitty little radio station to do god knows what so I arranged my own on the job training at a local studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia called Solar Audio. There I worked with Harold Tristnis on many projects but most notably we recorded Ashley MacIsaac’s first album Close To The Floor.
After that I did like most others did and went out west to find some bands to record. Grunge was just starting and I found myself working for MCA Records and the gigs took me further down into the states where I did records, demos and label spillovers in Oakland, Port Angeles, LA and Seattle. I bounced between the west coast and Nova Scotia for quite a few years and used to call Vancouver my second home.
Left: Paul Albert Sessions at the Centre For Arts, Halifax 1992. Top Right: Mixing Vertigo at Fiasco Brothers in Vancouver 1994. Bottom Right: Mixing Mass Effect video game at Blackman Studios in Edmonton 2007.
Somewhere in the mid 90’s I was asked to record the Rose Vaughan Trio who were doing a soundtrack for a video project, It was my first foray into sound for picture. I loved the experience and it stayed with me for a very long time. Soon afterwards I picked up my first computer and got connected to the internet and started exploring the world of multimedia. It was around this time I started Sonic Valley.
I did some web audio and taught myself web design and co-hosted and produced a syndicated radio show called Radio Atlantica where I recorded many up and coming bands and artists in our kitchen in New Minas, Nova Scotia and aired them on radio stations throughout the Atlantic provinces. That same year I was nominated for Producer Of The Year, Engineer Of The Year and Studio Of The Year. I was awarded Radio Show Of The Year for Radio Atlantica from the Music Industry Association Of Nova Scotia.
Recording Foldls Of Policy, now The Stanfields at Common Ground in Halifax.
Soon the rigors of working a full time gig at Musicstop in Halifax while producing and recording several albums at the same time began to take it’s toll and in 2004 I kicked out all the bands and went on tour with Matt Mays & El Torpedo. After that I decided to teach myself sound design for video games. After two years of self teaching and working on several popular mods, I scored a gig at Bioware as a sound designer. Game titles I’ve worked on include Mass Effect and the post release content, Bring Down The Sky and Pinnacle Station, Dragon Age:Origins, Dragon Age:Awakenings, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 2: Firewalker Pack, Sonic : The Dark Brotherhood and Star Wars – The Old Republic. In 2010 I left the corporate clutches of Bioware / EA Games and started my own business called Sonic Solutions doing sound design for games. I mostly focused on recording aircraft and producing sound addons for Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series
After Bioware I moved back to Nova Scotia and settled in the valley to do the big fish small pond thing only to discover the pond had dried up and all that was left was a murky puddle. I played in a few bands and did some recording but ultimately they just fizzled out. I took over a year off and barely listened to music. These days I’m playing again in bands and have started a new recording studio called Paradise Sound Studio.