Jeffrey Scott Kraft on the Journey from Analog to Digital
Prior to signing on as a student with Recording Connection, Jeffrey Scott Kraft already had years of recording experience under his belt, primarily all analog-based. “I was introduced to recording with tape machines, analog consoles, all the ol’ good stuff.”
He’d spent years working at Babyface’s private recording studio back in the 90s. So, he knew the workflow, the culture, and all about studio etiquette but he’d only had a taste of digital. Looking back, he can’t say he was initially impressed with the technology at the time, noting the peculiarities of working with digital back in the day: “It could’ve been Boyz II Men or something like that, but I remember it was 96 channels, half of it was Logic, the other half was Pro Tools. Back then, they didn’t link up too well together. So I used to spend 15 minutes to get it to link up to commence where it’ll work.”
But Jeffrey could see the landscape was changing—and fast! Digital would soon be big. Although he was still reluctant to jump on board, he knew he had to do it: “I wasn’t hip. “I didn’t want to go into the digital realm, I wanted to stay in that nice, warm analog world.”
Getting ahead in the world of recording made learning digital a necessity.
So what does a guy like Jeffrey who’s already spent years in recording do? He gets proactive. Seeing that he’d already learned about as much as he could by watching and assisting the often secretive engineers he worked with, he was ready to commit to getting structured, hands-on training from someone who could really help him take his career to the next level.
Jeffrey was matched with longtime mentor and chief engineer/producer Danny Baker at ES Audio in Glendale, CA. Apprenticing with Donny enabled him to experience what it’s like to work with an audio professional who is open and is invested in helping you succeed. Speaking of Donny, he says, “Working under him, going to school, he was the type of guy who loves to explain stuff, he loves to break it down, he loves to walk you through things, and does it in a matter that you don’t need a PhD to understand what he just said.”
So was making the switch from analog to digital seamless? Nope. Jeffrey definitely had some internal resistance to going digital. He says, “At first, I was a little nerve-wrecked. I thought there was going to be a lot more to it. After I sat down and spent a day on it, I figured it out. I realized that it was a lot easier and a lot faster than what I was used to.”
Now Jeffrey has moved into the digital camp, pretty wholeheartedly: “I now run an analog console and everything is digital through the Apollo 16, so I actually adapted the UAD format.” He’s opened a brand new recording studio Electric Mudd Audio in Las Vegas where he’s working with a wealth of really gifted local talent. Seems there’s no shortage of work when it comes to getting those demos recorded. He’s also looking at injecting some live instrumentation into the Vegas hip-hop scene, saying “I have this thing in my head to create a new style of hip-hop mixed with real musicality, trying to take it up where The Roots left off.”
Now a pro in his own right, Jeffrey has continued to keep in touch with his ex-mentor. In fact, Donny and Jeffrey are currently working on an album together and recently finished work on the latest Nickels & Bones album. And that’s not all. Jeffrey has now joined our illustrious team of Recording Connection grads who are now Recording Connection mentors! He’s looking forward to “paying it forward,” and says as a mentor “you find out where your students are at, what their capabilities are, what their talents are. And from there, just try to help each person bloom into what they want to become.”
Welcome on board Jeffrey Scott Kraft! We’re glad to have you mentoring in Las Vegas!