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Massenburg DesignWorks designs high-resolution software plug-ins for Pro Tools, VST, AU, Sonnox, Universal Audio and TC Electronic platforms. MDW was founded by Grammy® award-winning designer/engineer/producer/lecturer and audio industry legend, George Massenburg.
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About George Massenburg
Innovator. Educator. Inventor. Developer of state of the art technologies. Producer/engineer par excellence. Early adopter. George Massenburg is all of those things. In fact – though you’d never get him to admit it – Massenburg is something of a legend in audio.
It all began when, at the age of 25, he invented the world’s first parametric equalizer. A decade later, he founded George Massenburg Labs, a pioneering company that has released an extensive range of innovative console automation devices, analog signal processors, microphone preamplifiers and power supplies, all based on his original circuit designs.
Among GML’s most venerable products is the GML8900 Dynamic Range Controller, which reacts to loudness like our ears do, rather than to voltage levels.
An early adopter of modern recording technology, George has also worked tirelessly to improve analog-digital-analog conversion and digital processing methodologies.
Through his Massenburg DesignWorks line of high performance software products, he has redefined the concept of the plug-in as we know it. The company’s newest baby is the MDWEQ6-AAX Parametric EQ for Avid’s AAX platform. In addition, MDW’s patent pending DDRC (Digital Dynamic Range Controller) will soon be available for a variety of devices, from digital audio workstations to advanced broadcast audio level controllers.
Says Massenburg, “I perceive myself as being constantly motivated to relearn and rethink new possibilities — both technical, artistic and strategic.” As Associate Professor of Sound Recording at McGill University in Canada, he pursues a broad range of interests and research topics, including digital asset management, preservation and workflow; better teaching paradigms for music recording; and modern methodologies for multimedia in an educational context.
George’s first video production was of the 2011 McGill Opera performance of La Bohème, where he brought a new focus to the music and performance, rather than relying on traditional video production techniques. “Instead of teaching camera operators about music,” he explains, “we worked with musicians and recording students and taught them how to operate the new generation of cameras.”
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in Macon, Georgia, Massenburg became keenly interested in music, electronics and sound recording at an early age. By the time he was fifteen, he was working part-time in both a recording studio and an electronics laboratory. He majored in electrical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, but left in his sophomore year to explore options in freelance engineering and equipment design in Europe. While still in his twenties, he was appointed chief engineer of Europa Sonar Studios in Paris, France.
Upon his return to the U.S., George designed, built and managed several recording studios, notably ITI Studios in Huntsville, Maryland and The Complex in Los Angeles. In addition, he has contributed acoustical and architectural designs to many other facilities, including Skywalker Sound and The Site in Marin County. Perhaps his most famous room design is at Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studios. (see image right – Studio C). Using computer modeling to design an elaborate system of wall diffusers, Massenburg’s remarkable room has helped to establish this truly unique studio as a world class facility.
Over the course of his career, George has recorded and produced over two hundred albums with seminal artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Randy Newman, Little Feat, Journey, Toto, Weather Report, Kenny Loggins, Herbie Hancock, Lyle Lovett, Aaron Neville, The Dixie Chicks, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
His extraordinary studio skills have gained him international recognition and four Grammys (including a Grammy for Technical Achievement, making him one of a select group of individuals to ever receive that honor) as well as numerous Mix Magazine TEC Awards; in 1988 he also won the Academy of Country Music Record of the Year Award, for The Trio.
Massenburg has lectured at UCLA and USC in Los Angeles; Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington; the University of Memphis and MTSU in Tennessee; and at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music by Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music where he teaches on a regular basis.
Regularly published in professional journals and trade magazines worldwide, George Massenburg received the Gold Medal from the Audio Engineering Society in 2008 and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the AES Technical Council on Studio Practices. He is also a member of the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress and an advisor to the Committee for Library Information Resources.
In his spare time (!) George serves as the Technical Director and founding member of METalliance (the Music Engineering Technical Alliance), a strategic union of music producers and engineers dedicated to the highest standards of audio and delivery of music. Their mission is to promote higher quality in the art and science of recorded music.
Pictured (L-R) are METAlliance members George Massenburg, Niko Bolas, Chuck Ainlay, Elliot Scheiner and Frank Filipetti.