I grew up with music. My father was a square dance caller and my older brother was very active as a keyboard player and vocalist. I took 4 years of Royal Conservatory piano and theory when I was quite young and went on to drumming at age 10. My brother, David, went on to audio engineering and I was fascinated by knobs, dials and switches. When I decided to also pursue the recording industry David had a lot of very practical advice. Having worked with a gamut of engineers his experience indicated that many graduates of formal audio engineering gain a lot of theory and sadly much less on-hands experience. This led me to online research and my introduction to Recording Connection and the mission of James Petulla. I ordered the introductory package and was literally blown away by the testimonials. I admit I was pretty sceptical at first.

I signed up for the internship in 1998 with a great mentor in my city. It was also his first introduction to Recording Connection and he went on to mentor others after a successful experience. The timing couldn’t have been better as a musician and composer I had recently met at a jazz jam contracted to record his first CD of contemporary Christian Music. I had not only the experience of assistant engineering but also the pleasure of playing drums for his CD. He has since succumbed to diabetes so will be remembered as a great friend and superb musician.

After graduating Recording Connection I was unemployed. I was fortunate to be accepted into the Community Futures self-employment initiative. After 3 months of formal schooling in business plan development I presented my proposal and was accepted for both the grant and a business loan. I founded RMS Audio in 2003. I specialize in sonic restoration primarily from vinyl to CD. This is a niche market especially where I live as there is a large seniors demographic. I absolutely love what I do. This is a specialized area of audio engineering and as much an art as a science. Much of what I have learnt has been through trial and error but I wouldn’t have had any notion of how to proceed if it wasn’t for the great hands-on experience and education I received from Recording Connection.

I have worked on many fascinating projects. One of the most memorable was restoring some archived reels from CBC Radio Canada. This was a 4 hour interview with the last remaining western survivor of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. I have also done many collections of LPs, cassettes, spoken word reels and telephone recording used in court evidence. My expertise is also much appreciated for all the recording work I do gratis for the county and blues bands I drum with!

Another service I have come to offer is research into collectible vinyl. I continue to enjoy my work and of course the learning curve is ongoing. I was honoured to be asked to write a recommendation for the Recording Connection website and my recommendation to coin a phrase from Nike is “Just do it!”

Richard Sawchuk
RMS Audio
Kelowna, BC Canada

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