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Meet Robert Frank Salcido of Minor Chord Studio in San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Frank Salcido.

Robert, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was into music at such an early age, my brother and I was influenced by all the hard rock bands of the 70’s, Zeppelin, Sabbath, Kiss, of course, to name a few. We’d get our records on 12″ vinyl back then. I’d read every part of the album liners, credits, just everything front to back. I soon realized there were a lot more people involved in making these records, way more than just the band. By the time I was a teen, I found myself playing drums and guitar with likeminded friends around the neighborhood.

As time went on, I became a larger fan of the production aspect of music. I would study certain albums, not just for the music, but for the actual sounds that I was hearing, particular drums sounds, various guitar tones and such. I would talk to my friends about the snare drum on Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning” versus the snare on Slayers “Reign in Blood”. A few friends understood where I was coming from. Others looked at me like I was nuts, they didn’t get it at all, I was obsessed with knowing how these things were achieved. When I was 15, I got the latest Guitar Center sale catalog in the mail, I saw a four-track Tascam cassette recorder (the Porta 03 for you fellow audio nerds), I asked my dad if he would loan me the money to buy it, he drove me over to Guit Center Covina, that’s where my multi-track recording and production started.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In the beginning, there was a whole lot to learn. I didn’t have the internet at my fingertips, I didn’t know any engineers or anyone doing what I was doing. Getting frustrated, not understanding why things sounded horrible, this forced me to really think about sound, rooms, how everything was in relation to each other. I practiced and learned on that Tascam four-track for years, never coming out of my room.

I wanted to make records like the records that influenced me but I didn’t learn that overnight. When I was eighteen, I bought my first Fostex reel to reel an eight-track recorder and sixteen channel mixer. This is when I started recording bands, 1990 or so, getting better with every session to where I am now. I taught myself how to make cables, route patch bays, learned how various outboard gear is used. It was a long road.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
Today, I run Minor Chord Studio out of my home. (Luckily, my wife is a musician, so she totally understands that our home is basically a recording studio that we happen to live in) We specialize in multi-track audio engineering and production, songwriting, vocal coaching and artist development.

I specialize in getting the artist’s vision to come to life, if they like a certain feel or sound, I have the strength in knowing how to get there. My specialty is in tracking organic instrumentation, meaning a human playing an instrument, not so much electronic music. If a client needs session players or singers, we can provide that. We have a very comfortable, welcoming atmosphere that clients love, we’re always complimented on our hospitality, which is very important to my wife and I. Whether it’s a trashy punk band, jazz to classical, clients leave here with a quality product that they can be proud of. I guess we’re known for our quality product, laid back atmosphere and wealth of knowledge, minus the pretentious attitude.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
As of lately, we’ve been thinking about acquiring a larger space (mainly for drums and string sessions) but keeping the home studio for the smaller production aspects. I really don’t want to lose our home vibe which I think lends itself to the outcome of our sessions. I feel we’re always learning and growing our clientele which may force us to move onto a larger place at some point, I guess that’s just a sign of success, nothing wrong with that.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nathan Giraldo
Robert Frank

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