Los Angeles, CA (October 1, 2014)—Sound Engineer and businessman Michael Stahl passed away Saturday, September 20th, due to an extended illness. He was 68.
Fascinated by music and sound as a child, Stahl got his start in the audio world through performing with bands in both high school and college. His mother, a co-principal cellist of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., also gave Stahl the influence and push to enter a career in music.
After graduation, Stahl was employed briefly as a Middle School history and math teacher, but the pull to use his musical and audio talents together lead him to opening a small recording studio in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The studio Stahl owned began to specialize in producing and recording advertising jingles for local businesses and also provided sound gear for live events on the side. When the early '70s gasoline crisis limited the ability of clients to travel to the studio, business dropped precipitously and Stahl chose to close the studio.
Stahl was then hired by Clair Brothers Audio, located in nearby Lititz, PA, where he worked for more than a dozen years, serving as one of the chief sound engineers on the company’s road staff. During that time Stahl traveled with acts like Michael Jackson, Queen, Chicago and Kenny Rogers.
In the 1980's, Stahl was eager to get off the road and spend more time with his family. It was during this time that he accepted the position of general manager for staging/production company Mountain Productions, but not long after, Stahl was back in the audio business, this time with Maryland Sound International (MSI), where he opened and operated MSI’s West Coast Division and was appointed General Manager of MSI, remaining there for several years.
Stahl was next offered the position of General Manager at ATK Audiotek. After serving nine years in that role, Stahl along with partners Scott Harmala and Mikael Stewart acquired ATK and he was named President. Stahl finished his successful career at ATK in the fall of 2012.
After 21 years at the helm of ATK, as well as 20 previous years of live audio experience, Michael chose to retire and pursue both recreational and professional interests.
Stahl had kept up his lifelong love of music that began as a child. He was an avid guitar player and collector and had amassed an impressive collection of vintage electric guitars. Michael is survived by his wife of 31 years, Judy, his adult children Michelle and Stephen as well as his grandchildren, Samantha and Michelle.