There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
“A lot of people don’t know who I am until they’re in session and sitting behind me,” says audio engineer Billy Brady. “Then they say, “Hey, you’re him!’ ” The reason for such illuminating moments is that we’ve all been staring at the back of Brady’s head for years. A picture of Brady working a recording console has been featured in ads for Rockville’s Omega studios almost weekly in this paper. But after 20 years as an Omega man, Brady has joined jingle composer Paul Christianson in forming Bay Studios. The new venture takes its name from its location in a roundhouse overlooking Chesapeake Bay, with a panoramic view to Kent Island. While Omega is arguably the premier studio in the area, Brady feels no regret at leaving all those high-priced electronic bells and whistles behind. Citing technology’s egalitarian leaps, he points out a recent song he engineered, Nils Lofgren’s “Every Breath.” Brady claims it’s “selling great,” and no one knows it was recorded in Lofgren’s basement “on a little 12-track.” Bay Studios, however, is no basement operation. While offering modern, digital gear, Brady expects a major selling point will be the opportunity to record without acquiring the standard “studio tan” from hours spent in dim, windowless rooms. “One of the most frustrating parts of session work,” says Brady, “is punching [overdubbing to correct small errors]: “Rewind, punch, rewind, punch, rewind, punch.’ Now it’s fun, ’cause you’re sitting there looking out at the bay.” From the Beltway, it’s a 20-minute drive down Route 4, or call (301) 855- 0510.