14 episodes

The Conduit is a podcast featuring candid conversations between professional musicians and music biz veterans who give you the unvarnished truth about being an artist in the music business today. Hosted by L.A. musician, producer, DJ and writer Dan Ubick aka Constantine “Connie” Price, The Conduit is real talk, no posturing. Learn from top music veterans as they talk honestly about their struggles and experiences and share with you their wisdom and knowledge. The Conduit is a co-production between Crewest Studio and DanUbe Productions, The Conduit will inspire, educate, entertain and empower up-and-comers pursuing their musical dreams. Follow today!

The Conduit Crewest Studio + Danube Productions

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    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The Conduit is a podcast featuring candid conversations between professional musicians and music biz veterans who give you the unvarnished truth about being an artist in the music business today. Hosted by L.A. musician, producer, DJ and writer Dan Ubick aka Constantine “Connie” Price, The Conduit is real talk, no posturing. Learn from top music veterans as they talk honestly about their struggles and experiences and share with you their wisdom and knowledge. The Conduit is a co-production between Crewest Studio and DanUbe Productions, The Conduit will inspire, educate, entertain and empower up-and-comers pursuing their musical dreams. Follow today!

    Mario Caldato Jr.

    Mario Caldato Jr.

    Growing up in a mixed neighborhood during the ’60s and ’70s had a significant influence on Mario Caldato’s Jr. musical style. Living in the golden age of music, he delved into the many different types through his AM radio, which eventually led him to start playing in his first band. The rush he experienced playing live cemented his passion for the art form, and he continued experimenting with different sounds and instruments. As he got older, he became interested in the technical and production side of music, and it is all history from there. 
    Today, Mario Caldato Jr., is a music producer, engineer, record collector, and selector who owns and runs MCJ Studios. He is most renowned for his work as a producer for Beastie Boys, which catapulted his career. He has since worked with many more top names in the industry, such as Young MC, Mellow Man Ace, Tone Lōc, and many more. Mario and Beastie Boys struck a bond, becoming close friends while working together, something he is incredibly grateful for. Mario is continually sharing his musical talents with other artists to help elevate their work and get them on the path to success. In our conversation, he gives an overview of his life growing up and his professional journey to where he is today. 
    We start our conversation by hearing about his musical influence growing up, how his neighborhood impacted his taste in music, his love for AM radio, the experience of his first concert, and why headphones changed his appreciation for music. We discuss the message in the music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, when he first became interested in the technical side of music, what it was like playing gigs in the early days, what he learned from playing in a club, and his first co-production. We also talk about how hip-hop brings music together, setting up recording studios with almost nothing, when to use musicians for recording, and how he helped find an incredible collection of tapes. Adjust your antennae, sit back, relax, and tune in for a one-of-a-kind conversation with Mario Caldato Jr.!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    We start by finding out about the type of music Mario was exposed to in his childhood.Hear about his background and what his life was like growing up.How his neighborhood influenced his love for music.Whether the type of music he enjoyed changed when he got older.Find out about the moment he got recruited into his first band and played live.The musical instrument he played as a kid: the organ.We hear about the time his dad took him to see Duke Ellington play live.How music from the ‘60s and 70’s influenced his musical style.Why using headphones for the first time changed how he listened to music.When he first became interested in the technical and production side of music.Who had the most influence on his interest in production and sound engineering.The various ways Mario and his band were able to find equipment.The musical influence behind the song Jungle Bugs-Night To Day.His approach to equalization of the instruments for Jungle Bugs-Night To Day.The lessons he has learned about the crowd from playing in a club.Ways in which hip-hop brought different musical genres together.What it was like designing and setting up a studio for Matt Dike.He shares his journey starting his first record label.How Mario decides when to use musicians and when to use samples.Mario’s experience working with Money Mark and what Mario appreciates about him.Hear about his involvement in acquiring a very special collection of tapes. Find out about what projects he is currently working on.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    a href="http://marioc.com" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Bernie Grundman

    Bernie Grundman

    From an early age, Bernie Grundman knew that he wanted to dedicate his life to sound, and he followed this passion throughout his time in school and the Air Force and on to Hollywood. A jazz fanatic and world-renowned mastering engineer, Bernie is the man behind some of the industry’s landmark recordings, including Carol King’s Tapestry, Steely Dan’s Aja, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Prince’s Purple Rain, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, to name just a few! Since Bernie opened his first mastering studio in Hollywood in 1983, thousands upon thousands of records have benefitted from his ears and his years of expertise.
    Bernie began his career path with Roy DuNann and Lester Koenig at Contemporary Records, where he mastered gems by jazz greats like Art Pepper and Sonny Rollins, before moving to Herb Moss and Jerry Alpert’s famed A&M Records in 1968, where he worked for the next 15 years before launching his own studio. As you’ll discover in today’s episode, Bernie’s easygoing demeanor, his never-ending quest to better himself, and his attention to detail are unrivaled, which is why scrolling through his discography could take up the better part of your day! 
    In this conversation, Bernie shares the story of how he decided he wanted to become a recording engineer and the steps he took to pursue that passion. He also emphasizes the importance of demonstrating enthusiasm, responding emotionally to music without prejudice, and making yourself unconditionally available to the artists. Ultimately, Bernie believes that, if you do what you’re passionate about, you’ll never run out of energy. At 81-years-old, he’s still deeply enthusiastic about the recording business and he shares his excitement freely with listeners in today’s episode, so make sure not to miss it!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    How jazz records and audio equipment influenced Bernie’s interest in mixing and mastering.The story of how Bernie decided he wanted to become a recording engineer and the steps he took to pursue that passion.What he learned about the recording industry from Roy DuNann.Valuable advice he received from Howard Holzer: “If you love your work, you’ll find a way.”How Howard helped Bernie get a job with Lester Koenig at Contemporary Records.The value of demonstrating enthusiasm; show them that you’re really interested!Why Bernie fervently believes that you should do what you’re passionate about.Why being of service to artists means getting on their wavelength; without prejudice.Understanding the emotional expression of the human experience that music offers us.Bernie shares why he is thrilled about the recent resurgence of vinyl.Some challenges with vinyl today and a word of caution from a recording standpoint.Where Bernie learned to cut lacquers and the impact Roy DuNann had on his career.Find out why he prefers 50s and early 60s bebop to what he calls ‘intellectual jazz’.His strategy for working on music that he doesn’t emotionally connect with.A day in the life of a mastering engineer and the importance of making yourself available.Bernie tells an incredible story from his time working on Michael Jackson’s History.How the Hollywood recording industry has evolved since Bernie started his studio in 1983.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios
    Bernie Grundman on Instagram
    a href="https://www.facebook.com/bgmastering/" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Adrian Quesada

    Adrian Quesada

    Adrian Quesada is musical royalty in Austin, Texas. A former leading member of the Grammy Award-winning Latin-funk orchestra, Grupo Fantasma, founding member of the ever-eclectic Brownout, and one-half of the worldwide phenomenon known as Black Pumas, Adrian is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter renowned for his unique blend of Latin traditional music, soul, and psychedelic rock. But his is no overnight success; Adrian has been on his grind for nearly two decades now, consistently working to refine his sound and build genuine connections in the industry.
    Born in South Texas on a steady diet of hip hop, soul music, and Mexican culture, Adrian has collaborated with everyone from Prince to Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, David Garza, and Los Lobos. Today, he owns and operates his own recording studio, Electric Deluxe, where he strives to push the envelope of modern music by delivering a timeless aesthetic and maximum freshness. His latest album, Boleros Psicodélicos, a sprawling tribute to the golden era of Latin American psychedelic ballads that he produced, engineered, mixed, and largely performed himself, is a testament to the relationships that Adrian has cultivated over the past 20 years and his relentless dedication to his craft.
    Above all else, Adrian deeply loves what he does and he shares that passion generously in today’s episode. Listen in as he reflects on his journey as a musician thus far and offers his wisdom on the importance of collaboration, the joys and pitfalls of songwriting, and how, if you show love and appreciation, people will respond, plus so much more! We invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy this conversation with Texas’ own, Adrian Quesada.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Adrian’s memories of growing up in South Texas and some of his early musical influences.Why Adrian has been challenging himself to write on instruments other than the guitar.How his interest in production evolved; looking back on the first album he produced.The hip hop artists he looked to for inspiration on the Grupo Fantasma records.Reflecting on the important role that collaboration has played for Adrian.Melding different styles together under the Brown Sabbath moniker and on their Public Enemy instrumental cover album, Fear of a Brown Planet.The major significance of co-signs from artists like Prince for Grupo Fantasma and Brownout.Adrian shares an incredible memory about Prince from their time working together.The role that winning a Grammy Award played in propelling Grupo Fantasma forward.The melting pot influence of Los Angeles on Black Pumas’ unique mashup style.Adrian tells the story of the first time he heard Eric Burton sing over the phone.How the best lyrics can evolve from your first instincts when listening to a track.How Adrian and Eric’s process of writing songs together has evolved over the years.Some of the joys and challenges of having his own recording studio, Electric Deluxe.Gain insight into Adrian’s 2021 album, Look at My Soul: The Latin Shade of Texas Soul.How people will respond if you show love and appreciation.Adrian’s latest record and labor of love, Boleros Psicodélicos, which he produced, engineered, mixed and largely performed himself.How Adrian is constantly discovering new music and opening new doors.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Adrian Quesada
    Adrian Quesada on Instagram
    Adrian Quesada on Twitter
    a...

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Ozomatli

    Ozomatli

    Like Sly and the Family Stone, The Clash, Fishbone, and Public Enemy before them, Ozomatli follows in the footsteps of a long line of musicians who aim to effect change through their music and lead by example. Today, you’ll hear from two founding members of the Grammy Award-winning group, Wil-Dog Abers and Raul Pacheco, about how they have used the universal language of music as a platform to better themselves and the world around them.
    Set to infectious rhythms and catchy melodies, Ozo’s sound is a blend of the many cultures found in the city of Los Angeles, but the band has found commonalities across the world, thanks to their many years of touring. Whether supporting Carlos Santana on his Supernatural Tour, working with reggae dons, Sly and Robbie, contributing music to films like Happy Feet 2 and Elmo’s Musical Monsterpiece, or creating their own kids’ album, Ozomatli keeps striving to improve, both as a group and as individuals.
    In today’s conversation, Will and Raul share key lessons from their time in the music business, from the importance of leveraging your label as an opportunity to be more creative to viewing your manager as a business partner, and we get first-hand insight into some of their career highlights. You’ll also discover how they have used the pandemic as a chance to continue learning and growing as musicians, plus so much more! Make sure to tune in today.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    What role music played as Will and Raul were growing up and who they looked up to.How Will was introduced to music via the trombone in the LAUSD Magnet program.The influence that Raul’s elementary school music teacher had on him.Insight into Raul’s history with the tres, a three-course chordophone of Cuban origin.Bassists like Larry Graham and Robbie Shakespeare who shaped the way Will plays.Key lessons about the ‘business of music’ that Will and Raul learned from recording for a number of different labels.The value of viewing your manager, your lawyer, and your label as business partners.How Ozomatli has used the universal language of music as a platform to affect change.Eye-opening moments from their government-sponsored international tour as cultural ambassadors for the US State Department in 2006.Raul and Will share some of the most challenging parts of being on the road.Hear how they both used the pandemic as an opportunity to educate themselves further.How they approached writing music for kids’ films and creating their own kids’ album.What they learned from opening for Carlos Santana on his Supernatural Tour.Ozomatli’s new LP, Marching On, and their commitment to becoming better singers.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Ozomatli
    Raul Pacheco on LinkedIn
    Raul Pacheco on Twitter
    Raul Pacheco on Instagram
    Wil-Dog Abers on LinkedIn
    Wil-Dog Abers on Instagram
    Pre-Order 'Marching On'

    • 58 min
    Andrew Sandoval

    Andrew Sandoval

    Breaking into the music business and building a sustainable career requires hard work, dedication, patience, and not a little bit of luck, but it also requires a single-minded focus on the music, which today’s guest has in spades! Andrew Sandoval is best known as a Grammy Award nominated reissuer, compiler, and engineer of historical albums, containing popular music from the rock era, but he also has ongoing independent careers as an author, DJ, journalist, songwriter, and professional musician. 
    Andrew’s journey began in 1986 as the editor and publisher of the fanzine, New Breed. This project blossomed into work as a reissue director for labels such as Rhino Records and PolyGram, where he compiled and reissued classic albums by everyone from The Kinks, The Beach Boys, and The Zombies to the Bee Gees, Elvis Costello, and Big Star. He also toured and recorded with the legendary Dave Davies of The Kinks, was a ‘tour producer’ for 60s TV pop sensation, the Monkees, and authored the 2005 book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story, which he has since released a fully updated and expanded version of. Additionally, Andrew hosts the weekly radio show, Come to the Sunshine on Luxuriamusic.com. His encyclopedic knowledge of and love for everything 60s pop is truly awe inspiring! 
    Today, Andrew joins us to discuss how he turned his deep love for music into an enduring and sustainable career, highlighting the critical role of self-motivation, learning by doing, and separating the art from the artist, as well as ensuring that your skillsets are versatile enough to help you make ends meet! Andrew’s story illustrates that, in order to make it in music, you have to love it, but you also have to do your homework, put in the time and, sometimes, fake it till you make it! Make sure to tune in today to learn more from the one and only, Andrew Sandoval.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Andrew reflects on what it took to create a fanzine like New Breed from scratch.How his deep love for music blossomed into a sustainable career.The story of how he came to work at Rhino Records and the education he received there.Insight into the process of reissuing an album and Andrew’s advice for getting started.The critical role that self-motivation plays in the music industry.How artists react when Andrew reissues albums with raw or forgotten recorded material.Why Andrew tends to separate the artist from the art.His experience of receiving a Grammy Award nomination for the Los Angeles Nuggets compilation, 'Where the Action Is!’A glimpse into Andrew’s journey as an author and the process of publishing a book.The story of how he became the Monkees’ manager and went on to revise the book.Why he chose to publish and distribute the revised edition himself through Beatland Books.Andrew highlights the importance of flexibility and versatility in the music industry.What his job as ‘tour producer’ for the Monkees entailed.What it was like to work with Mike Nesmith in the final months of his life.The preparation and passion that goes into running the radio show, Come to the Sunshine.Why Andrew believes that, to make it in music, you have to love it but you also have to do your homework and put in the time.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Andrew Sandoval on Twitter
    Andrew Sandoval on LinkedIn
    The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story of the 60s...

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Z-Trip

    Z-Trip

    Few DJs have had as big an impact on music and culture as Zach Sciacca, nor do they work as hard. Whether in the studio, behind the decks, or behind the scenes, he is always pushing the boundaries and honing his craft. Better known as DJ Z-Trip, Zach is a genre-bending Los Angeles musician, the recipient of the 2009 America's Best DJ Award, and a pioneer of the mashup movement.
    As a producer, he has worked with incredible artists across genres, including the likes of LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Kasabian, and Dan the Automator. His love for all styles of music and how they can work together is groundbreaking and inspiring, and his innate funkiness and technical ability have led him to compose scores for video games like EA Skate, create mashups for Activision’s DJ Hero, and score music for films such as Infamy, La Bare, and Bob Marley: Legend Remixed. 
    In today's conversation, Zach shares some major pearls of wisdom about the importance of pushing the boundaries whenever you have the chance and investing your energy in constant evolution, not what sells or attracts the most followers. We also touch on how the pandemic helped him reconnect with his ‘why’ and why he believes that true success is about the aggregate, not the benchmarks. Zach has a work ethic to be admired, as well as a deep love for music, an approachable demeanor, and a relentlessly positive attitude, and listeners will benefit greatly from hearing his story today. We hope you’ll join us!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    How the contrasting worlds of New York and Arizona influenced Zach’s taste in music.The story of how his collection of 12-inch singles led Zach to become a DJ.Some favorite examples of tracks that blend genres, like Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock’.The boundary-pushing sampling and discovery that drew Zach to hip hop.Insight into Zach's process of producing his own music, which started with pause tapes.The ‘Rockstar’ track on Return of the DJ that caught the attention of Zach's peers.Why he believes that the mashup requires a certain level of open-mindedness.The value of working with those on the same trajectory as you, rather than more established artists, and building the right team.Key lessons from Zach’s career: be risky, push boundaries, and don’t always play it safe!The work ethic and commitment to improvement that Zach demonstrates every day.What the pandemic taught him about reconnecting with his ‘why’.How live streaming and virtual raves influenced his practice and his mindset.Zach shares his belief in staying true to himself and allowing the universe to provide.Why he believes that success is about the aggregate, not about hitting benchmarks.His advice for DJs: play every gig like it’s your first and your last!He cautions musicians against getting caught up in the numbers, likes, and followers.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Z-Trip
    Z-Trip on Twitter
    Z-Trip on Instagram
    Z-Trip on YouTube
    Return of the DJ
    ‘Space Funk’ by LSDREAM and Z-Trip

    • 1 hr 5 min

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