In the late ’70s, Frank and his band went into the studio for the first time. “Once I walked into the studio, something clicked, and he was interested in studio recording enough to seek out a college audio course. After graduation, he found job as close to the industry as he could get with no experience, doing advertising for a mom and pop audio/video store in Washington, DC. But it was a step into the industry, and a way to learn.
He answered an ad and got a job doing live sound mixing at the Bayou, a legendary club in DC. He continued to learn his craft, and got the bug for recording and sound.
He was clear on what he wanted to do, so he sat down with a phone book and called every studio listed, looking for any job he could get – he got lucky when Washington Professional Systems (the pro audio part of Chuck Levin’s Music Store) gave him a job as an assistant to Greg Lukens. He shadowed Greg, and gives Greg credit for mentoring his career, “because Greg was blind, he gave me insights into sound that I would never have known otherwise”.
The other benefit was the ability to bring home state of the art equipment to “play with” over the weekend, so he started doing recording and mixing for his friends. He met a lot of studio owners during his time there and made some valuable contacts. He honed his craft by doing live sound around the country, as he continued to work out of his home studio.
He watched the transition of the industry from tape to digital recording, making contacts with Oz Studio in Baltimore, and went into recording full time in 1990. It was a juggling act, since he was doing studio work, live sound and touring with national acts like the Toadies – there wasn’t a lot of sleep, but “I can sleep when I’m dead”.
In 1999, Frank opened Waterford Digital Sound Studio. He’s recorded over 500 albums for local and national acts, and is still touring with acts such as Nils Lofgren, WeBanjo3, Bob Mould, and The Obsessed.
Working Class Audio #224 with Frank Marchand!!!
Frank Marchand is a recording engineer, mixer, producer, live sound engineer, broadcast mixer and Maryland native since 1976. He learned to play bass in his high school band in the late 70’s and was bitten by the audio bug when his band went into the studio for the first time to record some original material. He then attended a four year liberal arts college that had only one course in acoustics and four track studio that the director would not let any one use. After graduation he found work in a D.C. based mom and pop Hi-fi chain that specialized in selling blank recording media such as cassettes and blank video tape. Working up from the sales floor to the advertising end of the business he then landed a Front of House or House sound job at the now vanished Bayou in D.C. where he cut his teeth as a live sound engineer. After the stint at the Bayou, he then landed a job at Washington Professional Systems where he was the assistant to sound guru Greg Lukens and owner Robert Levin. It was while working at WPS that he came into contact with the Northern VA, D.C., and Baltimore studio community and started to freelance at many studios around the region recording bands on the weekends while being exposed to the latest in recording gear at WPS during the week. He decided to go freelance full time in 1990 and has recorded over 600 records and toured all over the world doing live audio work as well. He has owned or been a part of 4 different studio spaces through the years and still maintains a healthy touring schedule. Mr Marchand has worked on Grammy nominated projects, and Billboard Number #1 records during his career. He has worked with such artists as: punk luminary Bob Mould, Toured with Calexico and Texas Rockers The Toadies, recorded projects for New Orleans rockers Cowboy Mouth, Annapolis natives Jimmies Chicken Shack, Doom Metal founders The Obsessed, Blue Grassers Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Gospel visionaries The Reminders and Celtic creators of Celt grass, We Banjo 3. He is comfortable with all styles of music and has worked with many artists you have never heard of.
Text Courtesy of Working Class Audio #224