Recording Engineer Extraordinaire John Cuniberti – from Launching Rockets to Surfing With the Alien and Beyond

photo of John Cuniberti

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Recording Engineer John Cuniberti and Sharkey at Opus Recording Studio, Berkeley, CA

John Cuniberti’s own site says his music career began as a 70’s rock drummer playing in Eddie Money’s first rock band, The Rockets. When the group disbanded in 1973, John turned his attention to live sound engineering. In 1975 John helped design and build a touring sound reinforcement company and soon found himself mixing on-stage monitors for Stevie Wonder.

In the early 80’s John became chief engineer at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco. There he recorded three Dead Kennedys albums and dozens of other punk, metal, and alternative bands of the era.

By the early 1990s, John received both platinum and gold records for co-producing and engineering six Joe Satriani records, including Satriani’s ground-breaking 1988 “Surfing with the Alien.” During the ’90’s John designed, manufactured and sold the first commercially available reamping device called the Reamp.

In 2000 John opened a CD mastering suite at the world-famous Plant Recording Studios in Sausalito. For the next eight years, John crafted his skills in the art of mastering. During his time there, John mastered over one thousand CDs for both major and independent record labels including Tracy Chapman, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Thomas Dolby, Aaron Neville, Jesse Colin Young and the Grateful Dead. In 2008 John won a Grammy for his mastering work on “Global Drum Project” by Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain.

After leaving The Plant in 2008, John built a mixing and mastering studio in his home. In this studio, he continues to work on projects for Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, PJ Harvey, Chickenfoot, Kevin Gilbert, the Neville Brothers, the Funky Meters, jazz guitarist George Cole and many others.

In 2016 John began work on his YouTube channel “OneMic the minimalist recording series.” In this series of eleven videos, John demonstrates how he records an entire band around one stereo microphone with remarkable results. The series was so successful that a new set of eight videos was recorded and filmed at Sun Studios in Memphis and Muscle Shoals in 2018.


John Cuniberti Home Page

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