May 13, 2023
Sheldon Gomberg spent the first part of his life as a musician, touring and doing sessions with people such as Rickie Lee Jones, Warren Zevon, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ryan Adams, Five for Fighting, Grant Lee Phillips, and more. He later transitioned into producing and engineering, working with such artists as Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite, Rickie Lee Jones, Peter Case, Peter Himmelman, Mark Eitzel, the Watkins Family Hour, etc.
All the Ben Harper records:
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite: Get Up!
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite: No Mercy in this Land
Ben Harper: Winter is for Lovers
Ben Harper: Bloodline Maintenance
Rickie Lee Jones: The Devil You Know
Rickie Lee Jones: Balm in Gilead
Peter Case: Highway 62
Peter Himmelman: The Boat That Carries Us
Peter Himmelman: Press On!
Peter Himmelman: Unstoppable Forces
I do a lot of records for the Sweet Relief musicians fund charity...
Sweet Relief III: Pennies from Heaven
If You're Going to the City: a Tribute to Mose Allison
Party for Joey: a Tribute to Joey Spampinato
That oughta be enough, or too much! :-)
On most of the records I do, I am producing, engineering, and mixing. Sometimes it's just one or two of those things.
I started out as a guitar player, but was asked to join a band on bass. I fell in love with the bass, and spent the next 30 years under the influence of that addiction! :-) I started producing and recording people more for fun, but it quickly became more than that, and became my life, and you don't hear me complaining about that, now do you?!
I started off listening to bands like Led Zeppelin, Santana, the Stones, Chicago, Yes, T Rex, Roxy Music, Weather Report, Pink Floyd, and artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Iggy and The Stooges, David Bowie, Eno, Jaco, Rickie Lee Jones, etc. I still listen to them to this day, along with a growing list of other great artists, and add to that a lot of jazz. Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, West Montgomery, Miles Davis, etc., etc. Kind of all over the place, and it still is to this day! I just like music. Call me crazy.
Well, I've kind of named a bunch of my influences and heroes, so I'd say getting to play with some of the artists I revered growing up, and getting to tour to a lot of beautiful places. Y'know, just getting to play and record music, period, and especially with great musicians, well, that's worth the price of admission right there!
When I first ventured into producing, I had a partner who was handling the engineering, and that was a good fit for me. In the middle of two records, he flaked on me and left me holding the bag, and I won't do that to people I'm working with, so I jumped into the deep end and took over the engineering. I had done it before, but not to where I would've assumed that role on a professional level, but at that point I did what I had to do, and when I was done, I decided there was no reason for me to have anybody else doing it, and put myself in that position again, so, 'trial by fire,' that galvanized my "engineering career." Actually by doing that, he did me the biggest favor he could've. So, in an odd way, I owe him for that! :-) I wouldn't change that for anything! A lot of times there are positives in the negatives. Always look for them.
I tend to lean towards older gear, most of the time. I have a Quad 8 Coronado that I love. Neve 1073s. RCA BA6As. LA2As. 1176s. Neumann U 47's. AKG 414 EBs. RCA ribbons. Coles 4038s. Royers. The good old Shure SM 57 always comes in handy! The newest piece of gear I'm excited about is the Audeze LCD-Xs. :-)
Run like hell! :) If you're looking to get rich, there are easier ways to do it. If you're passionate about it, there's no better life!
I don't usually use headphones for mixing. I'll use them to check stuff sometimes, but they are not usually a big staple for me. I'll listen to stuff in the house that way, though. Now that I've got the Audezes, I think I'll be spending a lot more time with my ear goggles in place.
These amazing headphones put me in a real sounding space, which makes it easy to make mix decisions, ie level, panning, and effects, with 100% confidence.
I've recently been using these headphones on a new Peter Himmelman record we're just wrapping up, amongst others.