San Francisco - Greetings From The San Francisco Chapter Board: Mikael Eldridge aka Count

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Mikael Eldridge aka Count - Producer/Engineer/Mixer

San Francisco Governor


How/When did you get your start?

Aside from my fumbling around on my cassette portastudio and latter ADAT studio, I started in San Francisco at Toast(previously Coast).

What was the most interesting experience you’ve had while working?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it the most interesting experience, but I enjoyed working with No Doubt and on remixes for New Order and Radiohead

Who is the most interesting person you’ve worked with and why?

Probably DJ Shadow because he doesn’t work in a traditional way

Who is someone you would like to work with and why?

I’d like to work with Tom Waits. Seems like everyone I know has worked with him to some degree either in the studio, managing, photographing etc etc. it’s my turn Dammit!

What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?

Equipment is extremely over-rated. It’s what people choose to do with it that matters

What’s the best part about the San Francisco music scene?

The larger venues – we still are lacking in the smaller venues

What book would you recommend as a must read for someone?

Confessions of an Economic Hitman

What advice would you give to a young artist just starting out in the music business?

To some degree, you must become an engineer- at least enough of an engineer to record great demos. This is how you learn how to make great records- by making demos. Plus, there simply aren’t budgets to hire engineers anymore to sit there are record hundreds of takes of each of your band members overdubbing. That’s something the artist should learn how to do themselves. 

How are emerging technologies changing the music industry in general and specifically your field? Changing? Emerging?

I think you mean CHANGED. The change already happened years ago and the technology already emerged. Still waiting on someone to finally figure out how to make time compression/expansion actually sound decent. That’s long over due. Decent real time pitch correction on my laptop would be nice for pitchy singers like me for live shows.

What are your favorite performance venues in San Francisco?  

Bimbos and The Independent

What are your “secrets to success?”

Seek out working on the music you love the most. Gigs won’t magically come to you. You have to seek out the bands and offer to work for cheap or free. Only after building up a catalog of reputable work will you actually start getting offers to work on music you like. Yeah, it’s illegal to work for cheap or free, but in our industry it’s the only way it will happen.

Do you believe mentorship is important? Who were your mentors early on in your career and what impact did they have on your experience in the business?

It’s important, but almost non-existent these days since there are basically no recording studios left. That’s the environment you need to learn quickly. These days you tube is how people seem to be picking up things.

Who are your favorite new artists right now?

Well, my band Inu of course. If it weren’t my favorite, I wouldn’t bother doing it anymore.