In the last post, I mentioned the game I’m working on in my spare time for Nintendo Switch.
Back in 2013/`14, I was working on the same game for the mobile market, writing music and creating sound FX in preparation for release.
As part of this process, I needed to get my tracks professionally mixed and there happened to be a music studio called Lion Studio’s near my workplace, not so far from Science Park in Commonwealth Drive, Singapore. This is when I met John Herbert, the manager and chief studio engineer who had been working in that studio for a good thirty years plus.
In 2017, that same game is under development for Switch, which is a whole new level and tasked with writing new title music, I have worked on and completed it, and now I need to get the track mixed, so I reached out to John.
The reply didn’t come , so I considered if he might be on holiday or busy, so I decided to do a little research online.
This is when I discovered John had passed away on July 12th in 2015 from Pancreatic Cancer.
This was very, very sad news. I considered John a friend because I liked him. John was friendly, helpful, professional, easy going, skillful and experienced. When I used to pop by the studio at lunchtimes, I’d often find him in the food court below, sipping a tea enjoying the sunny weather and the local crowd.
John Herbert was one of the longest and most established recording engineers in Singapore. He recorded and produced for countless local artists in Singapore and Asia, such as Teresa Teng and Alan Tam from Hong Kong, Tracy Huang from Taiwan, Malaysian Rock groups “Search” and “Headwind” and M. Nasir, and Sho Jo Tai from Japan.
Well-known for his jazz recordings, he recorded local jazz artists and international jazz stars like Charlie Haden, Al Foster, Grammy award-winners Ernie Watts & Bob James, Baritone Saxophonist Pim Dijkstra from Europe and the late great pianist Bubi Chen from Indonesia. Classical artists who worked with John include Swiss composer Heinrich Schweizer, a Singapore- based composer conductor & educator Dr Robert Casteels, The National Youth Orchestra of Singapore, The Symphonic Wind Orchestra, The New Festival Orchestra, concert pianist Tedd Joselson, Guitarists Hucky Eichelmann and Guiliano Belotti, among many others.
I checked out the studio over lunch on Thursday 3rd August last week, worried it had been replaced by offices in the last two years, but no, it’s still there. I bumped into one of the guys transitioning tapes to hard disk, archiving all the work John did in all the years he was there, so his legacy can live on.
I’m due to pop by Lion Studio’s next week and discuss my needs before bouncing the track I have down to individual parts for mixing. I just hope the quality will be up to John’s standards, and it will be analogue, because I want a rich, warm original sound.
Wherever John is now, may he rest in peace, a true gentleman and scholar of the music industry. I will always remember him.