Behind The Glass with Joe Barresi & Andrew Scheps Recap

Scott Englert

  • Photos: Tim Hiatt/
  • Photos: Tim Hiatt/
  • Photos: Tim Hiatt/

GRAMMY-winning mixer & engineer Andrew Scheps has worked with some of the biggest artists in the world including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath, Adele, and Jay-Z. GRAMMY-nominated, Joe Barresi has produced, engineered, and mixed some of the most important hard rock, metal, and punk bands of the last 15 years including Queens Of The Stone Age, Tool, Weezer and countless others. 


On Thursday, June 4, 2015 Andrew and Joe joined us for an intimate conversation at Shure headquarters in Niles, IL along with the Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter. During the discussion the two spoke on how they got started, attending the same university, and how their regimented course work prepared them with tools that separated them from the rest of the workforce.

Both Scheps and Barresi attended the University of Miami for the Recording Engineering Program. With this degree not only did they have to focus their studies on the recording process, but also a minor in electrical engineering that proved to be an invaluable set of tools that got both engineers a foot in the door at a pivotal time in music. Scheps recalls, “We all barely slept because we were constantly running around campus helping each other with projects and fixing the broken console that we were given free time to use.”

Because of their unique trouble shooting skills, both Andrew and Joe started as tech repairs in California – Barresi at Cherokee Studios and Andrew freelanced. At this time in music some of the equipment used was extremely expensive. If a machine broke not only did it cost a lot of money to replace, but also would hinder the ability to continue working. When Andrew or Joe would arrive to fix a piece of priceless equipment during a studio session - they quickly found themselves sitting in on sessions they claim to have had no business being at because the studio would be in fear that the equipment might break again. This is what lead Andrew to meeting and developing a strong relationship with Rick Rubin and to later became one of his preferred engineers.

Joe went on to find his home at SoundCity Studios where he recorded most of his albums prior to opening his own studio. Even with the advances in recording equipment moving digitally, Barresi continues the analog process that he has used throughout his entire career. Andrew also recorded and engineered the majority of his discography using analog equipment. The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Stadium Arcadium” album was the last full analog project that Scheps completed before making the transition to producing “in the box” (digitally).

While these two super producer/engineers have worked on many different genres, styles and with some of the biggest artists in the world the thing they both agreed on was “The drums gotta be loud and the vocals have to smash you in the face!”

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