Csaba Petocz

The Third Annual Csaba Petocz Master Class Scholarship with Chuck Ainlay

Audio-Technica, a manufacturer in transducer technology for over 50 years; the Recording, Radio and Film Connection (RRFC), a network of educational, instructional and mentorship programs developed for aspiring media professionals; and Clyne Media, Inc., a specialized marketing/public relations agency, recently hosted the third annual Csaba Petocz Master Class Scholarship at Peter Frampton’s Studio Phenix in the Berry Hill district in Nashville. The scholarship, which has become an annual audio education event created to honor the legacy of the beloved producer-engineer, was held on Nov. 2, and the lucky scholarship winners were selected by the Recording Connection to attend this advanced audio workshop conducted by mix engineer Chuck Ainlay (Mark Knopfler, Peter Frampton, George Strait, Miranda Lambert). Frampton donated the use of his studio for the day, and four students attended the all-day session.

Csaba was one of the greats, living and recording in Los Angeles and Nashville while working closely with the top names in the industry from Metallica to Larry Carlton, John Michael Montgomery to Alanis Morissette, Aretha Franklin to Elvis Costello, Morrissey, Al Stewart and more. The workshop, which was open to advanced audio engineering and music production students, had Ainlay focusing on the essentials of being an engineer-producer, with special emphasis on mixing, production and gear, along with the relationship between artist and engineer and how to get the best performance out of an artist.

The day began with Frank Wells, a past president of the Audio Engineering Society and the former Chief of Technical Services for Glenn Meadows' Masterfonics Studios who worked with Petocz regularly, addressing the students about who Csaba was—his work ethic, his dry sense of humor, his quest for perfection in his work, his ability to choose the right tools/equipment for the job, and how his vision to contribute to a project made him a great engineer and an important collaborator with each artist he worked with.

The sessions then began with Ainlay, along with assistant engineer Todd Tidwell, taking the students into the control room to do a dissection of The Peter Frampton Band’s recent release of the Willie Dixon-penned blues classic “I Just Wanna Make Love to You,” on which Ainlay was credited as co-producer and mixing engineer. The session broke for lunch, followed by a continuation of the “I Just Wanna Make Love to You” dissection, where the students each got a chance to sit at the console and do their own mix. The session wrapped up around 5 p.m. with parting gifts from Audio-Technica and the Recording Connection, followed by dinner at a nearby eatery.

For more information, please visit audio-technica.com.