Robert Margouleff Talks About Stevie Wonder
“I learned the concept of having the performer and the music occupy the same space from Stevie Wonder.”
Gregory Moss: What was your inspiration to further develop surround sound and this new technology of listening to music?
Robert Margouleff: I discovered surround actually during the recording we did with Stevie back in the 70s. We had developed a quad control room. Quad was a big development in music at that time and although it did not fly as a consumer format, we started to record in quad in the control room. It was an eye opener as we put Stevie in the middle of the control room, he was able to occupy the same space as the music. It changed my world forever. It is the reason those records sound like they do. As a matter of fact we originally mixed SUPERSTITION in Quad, it never saw the light of day! Now I have just mixed a multitrack of the same song in Head Phone Surround.
GM: What did you learn from working with Stevie Wonder?
RM: The list is endless…But I learned the concept of having the performer and the music occupy the same space from Stevie Wonder.
GM: What inspires you creatively?
RM: Great music and inspired performances.
Recording icon Robert Margouleff is once again at the forefront of modern music innovation with his pioneering work in HPS 12.1 Headphone Surround. HPS 12.1 offers an incredible personal listening experience by delivering 7.1 surround channels on the horizon and five channels above – on any headphones. The result is a heightened sense of situational awareness and engagement. HPS 12.1 is instantly available to everyone who uses headphones with their mobile devices.
Affectionately known as “The Godfather of Electronica”,” Margouleff helped to bring the Moog synthesizer into modern music with Stevie Wonder in the 1970s. According to The Atlantic, “Margouleff’s revolutionary work with synthesizers helped shape Wonder’s groundbreaking sounds.” Margouleff also produced DEVO’s 1980 classic “Whip It.” Now Margouleff is making history again with electro-popper Lexi Baker, producing her debut album Ultimate Reality in both stereo and Headphone Surround.
A studio genius who will be featured on the upcoming PBS Soundbreaking series created by the late Sir George Martin, Margouleff is an accomplished record producer, recording engineer and film producer. He is most noted for his work with electronic music synthesizer programming on Stevie Wonder’s acclaimed albums Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, and Fulfillingness’ First Finale.
Margouleff and collaborator Malcolm Cecil played a major role in bringing synthesizers to the forefront of popular music. Under the name Tonto’s Expanding Headband, their 1971 album Zero Time attracted Wonder and other leading artists to the emerging music technology. Margouleff has since worked with Billy Preston, Depeche Mode, Oingo Boingo, The Doobie Brothers, Quincy Jones, The Isley Brothers, and Joan Baez, among others.
According to Margouleff, audio engineers and record producers “should strive for the highest possible quality of creation – so that everyone’s experience can be the best possible.” He calls HPS 12.1 a “disruptive new production technology, based on mathematical and cognitive models of audio perception that allow the listener to perceive a sphere of sound.” All HPS 12.1 content is distributable through digital music and video retailers, including iTunes, Amazon, Google, Tidal, and Spotify.
For more information on Robert Margouleff, please visit his official website. www.margouleff.com.