Hey. I run Wandering Star Studios in Costa Mesa, CA. I'm also a touring singer/songwriter musician and sideman. Play guitar, mandolin, pedal steel, other stuffs. Love making music and working with songwriters.
I do a little bit of everything.
I produce songs, helping folks craft their songs to be the best they can be.
I engineer and mix in my studio.
I play guitar, mandolin, pedal steel, bass, organ, mandoguitar, casio sk-1... And I play these on sessions and as a touring musician.
I also tune pianos.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
Interview with Bobbo (Wandering Star Studio)
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I work with a lot of singer/songwriters and I often build up the song around them. I play guitar, mandolin, B3, bass, pedal steel and have a number of instruments that help build the foundation for their song to live on top of. I also have a few local drummers that I bring in for sessions.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Certainly Ryan Adams. I love his work with Ethan Johns. I'm always inspired by anything Daniel Lanois touches.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Protools 10. Focusrite, Golden Age Mic Pre. Vintage amps and guitars. Get the sound at the source.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Start with the song. Get the song mapped out with where it's going - smooth out rough spots, find the tempo. Record a scratch track with guitar/piano and vocal to a click. Bring in the drums then play everything to the drums.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Everything is in support of the vocal and lyrics. Play like you are singing it and you won't mess it up.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: The mute button. I can throw a lot of things at a song but the strongest thing is figuring out what not to use. It might be cool to have a violin part doubling the mandolin part doubling the guitar part but most likely it would be best with just one of those.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Lots of singer/songwriters. I really love alt.country/country/folk sort of stuff. I've recorded punk and heavy metal but it's not my wheelhouse.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: One? You want to save time in the studio - practice to a click track at home.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Ryan Adams. Love his creativity and his fearlessness to try new things.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Record digital, think analog.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: As soon as I started playing guitar I tried to figure out how to record it. Using two boom boxes to do "multi-track" recording before I even knew it was a thing. I've been running my own studio for a decade now but have been making albums since 1992.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: What a weird question. 1. My Gibson J45 2. Any portable recorder that can handle sand and water. 3. A couple of SM57's 4. Mosquito nets 5. Something to make fire
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen to their or my work and make sure it's a good fit.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How do you feel about chocolate? Have you ever read Kerouac? Here's W.C. Williams poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" - what does that mean to you?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I am also Jack Black.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How much will it cost/How long will it take? Both of these answers really come down to how prepared the client is before entering the studio. If you don't come in well rehearsed and practiced - it's going to take a long time and it's going to cost more.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I absolutely love it when a new piece of music is created. A moment ago there was nothing - now there's this thing that exists.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My Promise is that they will leave happy and loving their music.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I record digital but try my best to think analog. I don't have the means, space or finances to have a 2" tape machine and all the tape. With that said I try to approach my recording by getting the sounds at the source and not have to fly in samples or trigger drum sounds. Also - I've watched folks cut and splice tape, it is an art unto itself - an art that I don't want to get into. I'm very happy doing the digital edit.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet. Just joined.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I currently have 4 or 5 projects going in my studio. An Irish folk duo that we're doing an album together, me engineering and producing. A singer/songwriter that wants to be more rock than he's been before. Some soundtrack work that I'm doing independently. My own band album for release and tour in Europe.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I really enjoyed the Riddle & The Stars album "this is happening" because it was all recorded inside of two weeks and was just done in that one go. It was one of those "captured the moment" type of recordings.