Interview with Greg Wurth
Greg Wurth is an American producer/engineer, known for his work with Steve Vai, 2CELLOS and L.A. Guns. He is the owner and creator of Greg Wurth Audio, the manufacturer of the Oracle summing mixer. He is also a content creator on YouTube with his series "Inside the Studio with Greg Wurth".
How and when did you get started?
I always had a love for music as far back as I can remember. My parents had a record player and would play The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, & Michael Jackson for me. Listening to those records especially Led Zeppelin got me interested to learn the guitar. So around aged 12 I saved up and bought my first guitar. By high school, I would jam with various friends and formed a few bands. I never got really good enough for me to think that I could make money playing music. I knew I wanted to pursue something in music no matter what because that's all I cared about.
From the time of playing in high school I learned about multi-track recording and found that to be extremely fun and exciting. I read as many books and magazines that I could find on the subject. It was much different than now where you can look things up online and find videos on YouTube. From then on, I just knew that I wanted to have a career as a recording engineer. I moved from San Diego to Los Angeles when I was 21 and I'm still here today.
What have you been working on lately (that you can divulge)?
I've been working on quite a few projects with Steve Vai. The one that I can mention is a Live CD from the Generation Axe Tour that he did in Asia last year. The tour features guitarists Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt, Zakk Wylde, & Tosin Abasi. They all get their own set as well as jam together in between. It's a fun show and I'm sure people will dig the album. Other than that I am awaiting the finished recordings of the new L.A. Guns album to mix. I mixed their last album "The Missing Peace" which was a bit of a success for them.
If you were the age that you originally started today, and you had to start again from scratch, how would you approach things?
I'm extremely happy right now so I don't think I'd change a thing.
What is the most important part of a song for you?
All my favorite music has amazing melodies and that's what really makes a song memorable for me.
What is your favorite project that you've worked on?
Hmmm, this is a tough one, but I'd have to say the Steve Vai Passion & Warfare 25th Anniversary project. I got to dig into the tape vaults and revisit unfinished material that we turned into a brand new album as part of the package. I also sat in with Bernie Grundman just he and I together and listened back to the original 1/2" tapes of Passion and Warfare. That was a special moment watching him Remaster the record from the original tapes. The next I'd have to say L.A. Guns "The Missing Peace". This was the first album Tracii Guns did with Phil Lewis in 15 years or so. It was just a special moment to be apart of that reunion and feel the energy in the music. They really put their heart and soul into that and it shows.
Who is an artist you would like to work with but haven’t been able to yet?
Too many to list! I would have loved to work with Tom Petty...
Are you a big plugin user? If so, name some of your favorites!
I mix hybrid but definitely use a lot of plugins. I have so many favorites; Sound Radix, FabFilter, UAD, Plugin Alliance, Slate... there's too many to name really.
What is one thing that you can't get your sound without? Hardware, software or whatever else.
Who are some of your favorite producers & engineers today?
Again so many to name... Joe Barresi, Andy Wallace, Ryan Hewitt, Shawn Everett, Geoff Emerick...
What advice would you give to those new to the game?
Don't skip the fundamentals!
Outside of your day job, what music have you been listening to lately?
The Beatles "Let It Be...Naked" album. I like hearing it in its original form before Phil Specter touched it plus they included Don't Let Me Down which was missing from the original release. Tom Petty "Wildflowers", I can't get over how great that record sounds. It could have been released yesterday and it would still be fresh. As far as "new" music I've been listening to that new sing from Steve Perry "No Erasin". It's pretty exciting that he's finally releasing new music after so long. Talk about melodies, Steve is one of the best in that regard.