Audeze interviews producer and engineer Glenn A Tabor III

September 30, 2023

Glenn A Tabor III is a Grammy winning music producer and engineer, who owns Gat3 in Charlotte, NC. Since 1996, the five studio complex has specialized in music and video production, including voiceover and ADR. In 2008, Glenn started a music engineering recording program to train engineers and producers in recording arts. 

Glenn A Tabor III in the studio with his Audeze LCD-5 headphones
"These headphones are different - they are not constrained or feel like small drivers on my head. They are open and truthful with depth like listening to great studio monitors in a well designed room."  - Glenn A Tabor III
Here's our chat with Glenn:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?

In the past twenty-seven years, I have had the pleasure of working with many artists and record labels in nearly every genre. This includes Bluegrass artists such as Grammy Nominated Kenny and Amanda Smith, Hip Hop Artists such as DaBaby and Lil Durk, gospel artists like Queen Latifah and Donald Lawrence, and corporate clients such as Audi, HBO, and Disney.

One very special memory was recording and mixing the Godfather of Soul, James Brown’s final and 59th studio album titled “The Next Step”. The magic he brought to the studio was nothing short of incredible.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

The primary roles I play these days seems to be mix and mastering engineer. Mixing in the new Dolby Atmos Sapphire room here at Gat3 with Audeze is an amazing experience. I also love mixing on one of the SSL consoles in either our Ruby or Onyx Rooms, and it’s always fun to work in the audiophile-centric mastering suite we call The Opal Room.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

I started playing drums in a rock band in junior high school and created a home studio to record artists and bands.

I listen to so many varied styles of music! So many producers seem to become renown for a specific genre, but fortunately I have been able to work on more styles than you can imagine. I don’t think I really have “my sound”, although I love HUGE drums! I really want to get into the artist’s head and make their vision come to life.

You could sum up my favorite style as simply a great song. I love songs that tell stories and convey emotion!

Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I was fortunate at a very young age of 13 to go to the studio with my mother who was a gospel singer. I watched the producer, engineers, and musicians record her first album and was immediately hooked. I knew at that moment what I was destined to do with my life.

Besides my mother, the musical influences I have are too numerous to name - many known and unknown musicians and “old-timer” engineers have given their time and talents to guide me throughout my career, that kind of mentorship is necessary and important to future generations. This is why I started an engineering school here at Gat3 in 2008.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

I think one of the most important factors to remove frustration when recording or mixing is phenomenal monitoring. You can only make good decisions on what you accurately hear! Great monitoring is necessary and critical. Accurate and musical headphones like Audeze can deliver that accuracy and enjoyment! 

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

I definitely love great microphones. I am fortunate to have collected hundreds during my career. The conversion of acoustic energy to electricity is a very important transformation in the process as is the opposite, which is playback (electricity back to acoustic energy)!

I also really love using Shunyata power and interconnects, along with Accusound multi-core cabling. Bricasti and Merging Technologies DACs and ADCs are the best! Grimm, Augspurger, and Bowers and Wilkins speakers are all spectacular.

I am excited to bring Audeze to our studios and recording students as well! I never thought I’d find headphones that sound like amazing studio monitors!

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

Listen! Listen! Listen! Get some Audeze headphones and great speakers and spend hours studying the sonics of the best recordings out there. Make a journal of the sounds and how they impact you and before long you’ll be creating those sonics in your own recordings.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

Honestly, headphones have traditionally been an issue for me. While I love the immediacy of the sound being “right there”, I felt most headphones didn’t tell me the truth about the source. I found the sound either overly analytical and separated lacking space or highly boosted in the treble and bass areas. My experience with the Audeze was NOT that way at all! They are extended in resonance and dynamics, but musical and pleasing. They are accurate and engaging and allow you to enjoy what you're listening to while being able to make good decisions.

Do you have any additional comments or stories you want to share?

Recently, when legendary frontman and guitarist Dave Mustaine of Megadeth was at Gat3 he told me (and my wife, the director of operations) a story about Finnish shipbuilders and how that applies to our facilities. It was an enlightening chat about families (my daughters also work at the studio in video and music) and passing skills down the generations. His discussion left an impression that won’t be forgotten.

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work? Can you tell us what you’ve been working on with them recently?

These headphones are different - they are not constrained or feel like small drivers on my head. They are open and truthful with depth like listening to great studio monitors in a well designed room. This is a fantastic product where you can actually HEAR what is going on.

While these are expensive at first glance, I think they are a real bargain. You would have to invest in an acoustic engineer and all of the expenses needed to design, construct, and tune a listening room or studio - not to mention the cost of world class speakers to hear this good. I recently mastered several songs using the LCD-5 exclusively. I went back and checked my work on my mastering system monitors when I was done for verification and everything was spot on!

Glenn A Tabor III's Audeze LCD-5 headphones