Philly Creative Guide

Creative Personality

Jeff Gordon | President and Founder of Jeff Gordon Productions

Interview :: Jeff Gordon
by Ruth Weisberg, 1 Apr 2008

This month's Creative Personality is Jeff Gordon, President and founder of Jeff Gordon Productions, a full-service audio production company located in Pennsauken, NJ. Jeff Gordon can be reached at: jeff@jeffgordonproductions.com.

To learn more about Jeff Gordon Productions, check them out online: www.jeffgordonproductions.com.


PCG: What were some of the early influences that made you want to get into music and audio production?

JG: Some of my first memories of music were bands like Chicago, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles. I started studying the drums when I was ten and very early on I knew I wanted to make it a career. As my musical skills developed, so did my tastes in music and I started to follow slightly more progressive bands such as Yes, Genesis, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Carl Palmer had a very strong influence on my music and at age 16 I began studying the guitar. I'm a drummer, with a strong love for the guitar. It was not until later in my music career as a professional drummer that I became interested in sound, initially simply to record, produce and mix my own music. From there it was a natural evolution into original music production and sound design. First and foremost; however, I remain a musician. Sound design and original music production are extensions of this passion.


PCG: With your pronounced guitar and drum chops at such an early age, surely you must've been in a band, right?

JG: Yes, multiple. I started playing in bands with my friends in high school and we performed for my friends, family, and when possible, the public. After high school, I started performing and traveling with professional bands. I spent 4 years in my early 20's traveling the country and performing in bands with a large variety of musical styles, including rock, top 40, Broadway, jazz, and many, many more. This vast experience has given me a diverse repertoire of music on which I base my sound design and original music production. Although I now spend most of my professional time in the studio doing sound design and original music, I remain active in multiple bands performing for charity events, local pubs, and creating and recording original Jazz-Fusion. Music is an addiction for me and I still need to get my fix by "playing out with the band."

Jeff Gordon, President and Founder of Jeff Gordon Productions

PCG: What a breakneck touring schedule. Then again, you can do something like that when you're in your 20's.

JG: After playing on the road for a few years, I did get tired of "the scene." Not simply from the constant pressure of the touring schedule, but also from the constraints of having to play for the band continually. I wanted to advance my own interests in music and sound and the hectic schedule did not allow time for that. So, I decided to build my own recording studio. I always had a strong interest in recording and I was interested in the combined creativity of creating, playing, recording, and mixing music. It was Scott, a friend from my high school band days who evolved into a New York advertising writer and producer, who suggested writing original music for television, radio, and film. It was a natural progression that allowed me to advance my love for music and sound in a new direction. I jumped at the new creative opportunity and that's how I "got into the biz."


PCG: What kind of stuff did you start out doing?

JG: Initially I started recording and mixing music, mine and other bands. I formally studied recording engineering and became intrigued by the art of putting sound to picture. I'm very holistic when it comes to sound production and enjoy doing it all: the music, the sound design, and the mixing. I like doing each individually, but I feel the most satisfaction when I can combine all avenues of sound to create a final production in line with my and my client's visions. It gives me great pride to have clients rely on my skills to fulfill their needs.


PCG: What made you start your own production company, and how did you know you were ready to make the leap?

JG: When I first starting building my own studio, I was mostly recording bands, producing artists and recording my own music. During the day I'd work at post houses, but at night and on weekends I had the freedom to engross myself with my new client's projects at my own studio. As time progressed, my personal portfolio expanded to include not only music production, but also sound design and mixing for television, radio, and film. My client base grew, as did the challenge and difficulty of their work. I began to realize that my production company gave me the most rewards and personal satisfaction and I was excited to meet my client's needs on a daily basis. That was when I knew it was the time for me to take that leap on my own and make Jeff Gordon Productions my fulltime commitment.

Jeff Gordon, President and Founder of Jeff Gordon Productions

PCG: Any particular projects/clients that stand out for you because they were unusual, challenging, or fun?

JG: Well, within Jeff Gordon Productions, I have a music company called Sound Farm Music. It's a partnership with Reggie Wu and Guy Petersen. We've been working on a very interesting and challenging project for a large international company based in the Netherlands who's entering the field of children's entertainment. We've written and produced the original music score for a new US based cartoon for young children. It's been an amazing opportunity and we've built a very good relationship with the Dutch firm. Not only are we discussing the future 52 planned cartoon episodes, but also many more new children's projects that are currently in the planning stages. It's truly a phenomenal creative opportunity and we're very excited to be involved and can't wait to see what the future holds.


PCG: With constantly evolving tools and technology in music/audio production, how do you stay current and on top of your game?

JG: I guess the best way to stay on top of your game in this industry, is to work a lot. It forces you to keep up with the new technologies to meet the client's needs. It's my goal to create the best productions for my clients within the current spectrum of possibilities. I make the time to read about the new and evolving technologies and I make the time to go to trade shows to see the latest and greatest equipment. I've had the opportunity to work in various post houses and thus been introduced to the various current video and audio gear. My friends joke that I've become a "techno-geek" or "gear-head" due to my interest in and knowledge of the latest and greatest in the field. I guess I can't argue with them as I do love learning and making the best use of each piece of equipment or software and I invest a lot of time and energy to investigate each and find the very best. In addition to my base hardware, Pro Tools HD, plug-ins, and virtual instruments have become key components of my studio, allowing me to expand and update quicker and easier than with previous systems. I'm very proud to say my studio's equipped to do everything my clients need and then some.

Jeff Gordon, President and Founder of Jeff Gordon Productions

PCG: What are your future goals?

JG: Well that's a very extensive question. Briefly, I want to continue on the paths that I've started. I want to continue to keep current with the ever-increasing technology and adapt future tools into my work. I'd also like to expand and do more music and sound design for feature films and animations. As you can see I'm already at work setting the groundwork and capabilities for this.

"I simply love everything Philadelphia has to offer and with modern technology, the world has become a simple extension of the city..."

PCG: And I've had the pleasure of working with you in your studio, too. Very cool facility. Speaking of cool, what are your thoughts and impressions on Philly as a creative community?

JG: I love working in the Philly community. It's a very tight group and everyone knows each other. There's such incredible talent here and it's great fun to work with it on a daily basis. I simply love everything Philadelphia has to offer and with modern technology, the world has become a simple extension of the city as well. Modern technology such as ISDN has allowed me to incorporate the best voiceovers from anywhere within the country and world. My work on the cartoon with the Dutch company is simply one example of so many in which the world has become small. It's now possible to bring together the World's best techniques and talent for each project. That's my vision at Jeff Gordon Productions, to use the best techniques and talent to turn my client's dreams into reality.

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