Cyrus Audio Ltd, the British manufacturer of amplifiers, phono stages, CD players, and streaming music players, held its first Virtual Vinyl Day live stream via Youtube on Saturday, April 19th. Simon Freethy (Cyrus’ managing director) interviewed a variety of luminaries from the HiFi and recording studio world, including David Baron, an internationally recognized composer, producer, and arranger for artists such as Jade Bird, The Lumineers, Meghan Trainor, Bat for Lashes, and Shawn Mendes. Simon and David shared a wonderful half-hour conversation on subjects ranging from David’s earliest studio experiences to the tools he uses to keep artists inspired and passionate today.
For the love of live music
David grew up in the music industry. He inherited his love for audio and recording from his father, Aaron Baron, a pioneer in high-fidelity remote recording. David’s earliest childhood memories, naturally, were with Aaron, attending Sinatra and Stevie Wonder rehearsals in NYC and recording concerts in the Location Recorders truck. David learned early about the value of raw performances captured on analog equipment. David explains, “Master tape is incredible, it’s your first-generation tape, probably the closest thing you’re going to get to that experience today is going to be vinyl. Digital does so much manipulation to get it to be ones and zeroes, there’s some ineffable soul or spirit that gets lost in the numbers.” David’s love of vinyl began when his father would play the raw unmastered concert recordings and he could hear the visceral excitement of a live concert performance. Many of these recordings found their way onto vinyl. His favorite record is a bonafide classic — and incidentally, also engineered by his father: The Allman Brothers’ Live at Fillmore East.
Capturing the magic
When producing and recording, David always strives to get the best performances from artists. He taps into the five senses to ensure artists feel fresh, inspired, and eager to record. David’s studio, located in the mountains and forest right outside of Woodstock (a two-hour drive from NYC), is surrounded by natural beauty, which makes artists feel at ease. Furthermore, to get the good vibes flowing he suggests high-quality coffee beans. Last but not least, his studio is equipped with excellent monitoring setup and a vast selection of instruments including a Steinway piano.
A lifetime in music
Baron’s stories are extraordinary, from recording Meghan Trainor’s #1 hit “All About That Bass” in 1 day as a demo, to an ill-fated session with actor Mr T. as a rapper, to even working with megastars like Michael Jackson and Lenny Kravitz. Throughout it all, his love of music and musicians shows, along with his love of listening to records on the best equipment possible.
Cyrus is a privately-owned specialist audio company built around its research and development team and based in Huntingdon, England. The company designs, prototypes, tunes, manufactures and supports its products from the company’s head office. Cyrus products are perennial award winners in the leading Hi-Fi circles and are known for their half-width design, a feature that has made Cyrus products instantly recognisable across the world.