Engineer, Mixer & Producer
Sylvia started in the San Francisco alt-punk scene in the eighties fronting her own all-girl band. That band, “Revolver”, played the Mabuhay, On Broadway, the Stone, the Chi-Chi Club and other notorious North Beach nightclubs. Their self-produced demos caused a stir in the underground scene. So much so, that other bands asked for Sylvia;’s help in the studio. This led to her working with a number of notable Bay Area bands including Tuxedomoon, Exodus, MDC, Verbal Abuse, Christian Death, the Beatnigs, Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper, Raw Power, Doggy Style and the Adolescents.
In 1986 Sylvia co-produced an album for the Sea Hags with young up-and-coming guitarist Kirk Hammett, who had just joined the band Metallica for their “Master Of Puppets” album. The collaboration was so good that the Sea Hags penned a deal with major label Chrysalis Records and left for Los Angeles. Determined to not be left behind, Sylvia packed up and moved to Los Angeles and found a serious career in the music business.
Within two years Sylvia landed at Larrabee Sound working with Prince, Paula Abdul, Big Daddy Kane, Julio Iglesias, Seal and Aerosmith. Her big break came in producing comedy-rockers Green Jello’s debut album featuring the radio hit “Three Little Pigs”. This led to her recording the first two Tool records for Zoo/BMG Records.
Sylvia’s next big projects came through her association with Rick Rubin, including System Of A Down’s debut album, Danzig “Lucifuge II”, Geto Boys debut, Johnny Cash’s “Unchained” album, Donovan “Sutras, Red Hot Chili Peppers “Love Rollercoaster”, Smashing Pumpkins and Tom Petty “She’s The One”.
During the nineties, Sylvia worked mostly out of her room in Sound City Studios, on the Neve 8038 recording console that became an important ingredient to her signature sound. As the century ended, Sylvia left Los Angeles, finding the perfect creative environment to continue her career in the small town of Weed, California. Here she built RadioStar Studios – a sprawling multi-room facility featuring five studios, apartments, a theater, a rehearsal hall, retail shop and community kitchen. RadioStar operated for 15 years, drawing hundreds of musicians from everywhere in the world. Sylvia had several international hits including Spiderbait’s “Black Betty”, Cog’s “New Normal” and Animal Alpha’s “Pheremones”.
In 2012 RadioStar was put up for sale and Sylvia moved to Ashland, Oregon. She currently works on select recording and other creative projects. Sylvia travels widely and does gigs and seminars all over the world. Known for her playful style and fearless approach to recording, she is a popular invite to conferences and universities, often using stage-time to demonstrate unusual techniques for manipulating sound.
She’s the unpredictable producer and engineer known for her work with Tool, Johnny Cash, Prince, Tom Petty and the Red Hot Chili Peppers… but there’s a whole lot more to Sylvia than just music…
"I have a set of beautiful Warm Audio 500-series mic pres that I carry to sessions, wherever I am. I also love the WA-2A compressor and the EQP-WA equalizers. But honestly, anything Warm makes is worthy and I am not shy to use it if it is available."
"Recently I was working in an under-equipped studio in Bristol in the UK. The first thing I did was hook up my 500-series Warm Audio mic pres to use for the most crucial microphones: kick, snare, bass and lead guitar. Later in overdubs, I used the Warm audio pres to record vocals with one of the beautiful Warm Audio mics, the WA-47. While recording in Castle Röhrsdorf in Dresden, Germany, I used a set of WA-14 mics on the top of the toms. I loved how snappy the toms were! Warm Audio consistently manufactures great rack audio gear and microphones at a fraction of the price of similar models."
"As a collector of vintage gear, there is a list of extremely sought-after EQs and compressors that everybody wants, but few can afford. Warm Audio was the first manufacturer that made compressors and EQ that worked the same way as the expensive models, yet cost a fraction of the price. Many other manufacturers have since followed suit, but Warm Audio still does it best. I will always lean on the Warm Audio devices when I see them in the studio rack."
Warm Audio Gear
- WA-47 - Tube Condenser Microphone
- WA-47jr - FET Condenser Microphone
- EQP-WA - Tube Equalizer
- WA-2A - Tube Opto Compressor
- WA-12 500