With the help of former classmate Jon Lesher, Jim Hudak has realized his dream and goal of setting up a solid, well equipped home recording studio. The equipment had been purchased last summer, but it took a few months to finish a major home remodeling project along with an extraordinarily busy holiday performance schedule to put the pieces together, coordinate the hardware, and plug in all the cables. Now it's about learning to use a boatload of new music and recording software. Lesher has been instrumental in getting Hudak wired up and connected. A 24-year-old recording engineer extraorinaire, Jon has lent his techno-savvy talents to Jim's enthusiasm and determination to get the equipment set up and working properly. It's no small task, yet Jon's made the process relatively simple. "I first noticed and met Jon during the two-year Recording Arts program we both took at Los Medanos College from 2003 to 2005," Hudak explains. "He was a quiet guy, and rarely took any notes in class, while I was feverishly writing down all that I could, trying to get a handle on the class material. Yet Jon always did well in the tests, and you could tell he had a good grasp of what the teachers were trying to get across. I went out of my way to introduce myself to him and let him know what my long range plans were." Those plans include the recording of hundreds of original compositions, the transfer of countless recordings of songs and live performances from analog tapes into the digital domain, and generally turning the studio into a "content factory" aimed at providing music for music publishers, films and soundtracks. "It's so much more cost effective to record in your own studio," Jim says. "For a typical album, roughly 75% of the cost goes into paying for studio rental, so this should really help reduce our overhead." To be sure, Hudak's studio isn't as fully equipped as any number of world class commercial studios. He recognizes that for some recordings of certain instruments, venturing into one of the more complete studio facilities will be necessary. But the vast majority of work will be able to be done without his needing to leave the comfort of his own home. "My learning curve is steep. I'm going to burying my head into a lot of books and manuels for the next several months. There's a lot I need to get good at, as far as getting to know my equipment and its capabilities," Hudak says. "But that's where having Jon here to help is so nice. He's grown up with this type of studio technology, as opposed to myself, who came up with reel to reel and cassette tape recording. The recording environment has changed an awful lot since then." Jim's studio is equipped with a powerful Apple MacPro computer system with built-in and external hard-drives for music and data storage, and a ProTools M Box 2 Pro Interface and M-Audio Monitors by Digidesign. An assortment of software packages have been installed, including ProTools 7.3.1. He also has a half-dozen high quality microphones, including the highly acclaimed AKG-414 for vocals, acoustic guitar and voiceover work. "It's definitely given me a new outlook on the configuration of my music, my career, and even my lifestyle," according to Hudak. "Now I really have to buckle down and put all this equipment to good use." Stay tuned. Some exciting new music is sure to follow.

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Jim Hudak

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