Brad Sundberg was technical director to Michael Jackson for nearly two decades. He recently announced a series of seminars to take place this June in New York called "In The Studio with Michael Jackson" ( thread here: http://www.mjjcommunity.com/forum/th...ichael-Jackson)
We reached out to Brad Sundberg to talk about Michael's music as well as talk about his ""In The Studio With Michael Jackson" seminars. You can read his answers below. Also check the end of Q&A for information about seminars and how to get tickets to them.
MJJC: What exactly is the job of a technical director and what did this position entail, as you worked in this role on some of the MJ albums?
Brad Sundberg: There is the short answer and the long answer. The short answer is “be ready for anything.” The long answer would go something like this: My responsibility was to have whatever recording studio we worked in, anywhere in the world, be up to Michael Jackson quality. I worked very closely with Bruce Swedien (not just on MJ albums, but also Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, among others), and his attention to detail is second-to-none. Every microphone, every patch-point, every machine and device in the studio had to tested and (if possible) calibrated to perfection. It was not uncommon for this process alone to take 1-2 weeks before the projecting would even start. The funny thing is that so few production teams do this, yet it is a vital part of the reason our projects sounded so good.
Additionally, I would be involved in day-to-day recording, setting up microphones, headphones, booking studios, keeping tapes organized, getting Michael’s hot water ready for his vocals, transcribing Michael’s lyrics for the liner notes, even making coffee! With various production teams working on the same project, it made for long yet very rewarding days. The hard work and dedication was also very rewarding in that I was privileged to see and be a part of so much musical history being created.