Freshly back in the States from Down Under, Andy and Tycho founder Scott Hansen decided something had to be done, in scorched-Earth fashion if necessary. Andy flew to San Francisco from his home in Olympia, pulled the rig out of storage and dragged it back to Washington where he spent the holidays retooling and rebuilding it from scratch while pitching designs to Scott.
What did that mean, exactly? Well, as you might have guessed, a lot of it was very technical and involved things like “word clock distribution” and getting to “zero latency”. It involved rebuilding the system architecture so that the two tandem systems were integrated into one, optimized system; it meant creating redundancies so the rig could be more powerful, robust and efficient. But this isn’t just a story about computers. With the feeling of someone backed into a corner Andy said “fuck it” and wrenched back control of the system by not only retooling the computer rig but also replacing midi instruments with real synthesizers, incorporating analog gear like tube amps and mic pres downstream from the computers. That way, if the CPUs went down, the band would still be able to perform while it got up and running again.
Back on the road in Europe the band was definitely having fun again. Their collective anxiety relieved they began to goof around on stage, trying to make each other crack up and make mistakes, as people doing what they love should. Rather than being slaves to the machines that made the live show possible, Andy had helped the group find their way back into command. “They’re VCRs, we’re gods,” he says.
What is this story meant to communicate to you about Andy? It’s simple: he is passionate about all approaches to creation, all genres of music, and will bring the same level of commitment to your vision for your project that he brought to Tycho’s. He has operated at the highest levels of the touring music industry, felt the pressure and paces those situations can put you through, and persevered to deliver the highest quality product possible.
Andy has put in the work as a touring roadie and now wants to bring those same skills to bear at his studio in Olympia and, as he puts it, "bring my same roadie attitude of just make it as good as it can be. Quick, without a lot of fuss, and stay out of the way of the artist. Bring that live attitude and care for what an artist is trying to do to a studio environment.” Then, he smiled and said, “I think that people might really love having a sensitive, stage-savvy roadie in the studio with them.” I think they might.
- Ryan Norris