It’s not the transition most people usually make in their lives, going from hitting the town in the Big Apple with Hall of Fame rockstars like Mick Jagger and Bon Jovi to living in a quaint home with a nice yard and still working your quintessential dream job.
But that’s the life Tim Crich chose to live – and it’s one where he hasn’t looked back.
He’s built a happy life with his wife, Melissa, working as an audio engineer on movie sets during what can only be considered a golden age for B.C. film and entertainment.
Crich is a master engineer when it comes to sound and mixing – working for artists like The Rolling Stones, various local acts and even as far as John Lennon – posthumously, of course.
His two books – the Assistant Engineers Handbook and Recording Tips For Engineers – both have multiple editions and there is talks with publishers over printing even more in the future.
Crich would write down little details as often as could – eventually building himself a wealth of notes and knowledge.
Every little tidbit he tucked away is now something anyone can enjoy, from beginners to experts looking to perfect a sound or technique.
“I got this laptop, it was something like the late ’80s and I started writing things about how to do the job in the studio,” he recalls.
“I kept writing that until I had about 300 pages. I used to work as an illustrator, so I had a background in it, and I did some illustrations and released the Handbook in 1995.”
He still reminisces over his time spent in New York, where he was working at some of the most prestigious recording stereos in the world, such as Electric Lady and Power Station.
He said that gave him a launching pad to what would eventually be his home in British Columbia. He got a job working at one of the finer studios in the city: Little Mountain Recording Studios.
Moving to the city during the glory days of 1986 was one thing, but to do while working with the renowned Bob Rock was icing on the cake.
He said that the book was well-received, and is still shipped by the thousands to music classes around the world today. Its success was followed by an offer by a publisher to buy the book, and by 2005, they were asking him to do a second edition.
Closer to home, Crich doesn’t think he’s seen a better era for the film industry, and even though he prefers mixing albums, says there is excellent work to be had on movie shoots.
He said there is a lot of differences between working in the two mediums, even if it doesn’t appear so on the outside.
“It’s completely different. Yes, you have microphones, yes you still have mixers, but you’re only recording dialogue in movies,” Crich said. “In music, you’re not only recording the instruments, but you’re recording the groove and the sweat and what happens when everyone catches a wave.
“When you’re recording just dialogue, you’re looking for cleanliness and clarity. You don’t hear emotional things you can do with music. Just totally different worlds.”
He says the amount of film work he has right now and the money available to be made in the industry makes it a no-brainer, even if he prefers the musical side of the aisle.
“I’m fortunate enough I’m able to translate the skills I’ve acquired from the music side into this industry and still spend a lot of time in the recording studio,” he said.
He recalls working with some of Vancouver’s best at the famous Little Mountain Recording Studios, but sees a resurgence of talented bands and musicians bringing somewhat of a revival to the local music scene.
Crich sees a lot of parallels between the music being made now – with genres such as hardcore and post-punk starting to see a re-emergence – and the music that had people rocking back in the 1980s.
Now living in Maple Ridge, he prefers a more quaint life than the rock-and-roll lifestyle he lived decades ago.
He insists he will continue to make new editions of his books with the new knowledge he’s able to compile.
“They want more information for the website now, so I’m putting in some things I left out [in past editions] and that will come in the not too distant future.