Amid Hollywood film studios and rock clubs, is a triple threat industry professional: expert audio engineer; music producer and film mixer, Michael McDonald. The former UCLA football player has several gold and platinum records on his studio wall. They stand as rewards of his successful career switch from grid-iron to guitar, from tackling to the top ten.
Since 1982, McDonald has engineered for an impressive roster which includes: Patti LaBelle; Melissa Manchester; Ray Charles; Emmanuel; Wang Chung; Marilyn McCoo; Los Tiranos del Norte; Andy Williams; Billy Preston; The Whispers; Gladys Knight; Martika and hundreds of television and film projects for Disney, NBC, PBS, HBO, Fox and Dick Clark. In recent years, McDonald was the highly requested engineer for albums by such artists as: Louie Bellson (two albums); Michael Wolff (four albums); The Monkees (reunion album); guitar rockers The Hellecasters (three albums); legendary jazz drummer Alphonse Mouzon (six albums); poet and composer Rod McKuen; blues singer/actor Jim Belushi and the late Warren Zevon. Over the last decade, Mike's advanced "ears" have been contracted for mastering (digitizing and re-mixing) over 400 albums for vintage artists such as: Sophie Tucker; Liberace; George Gershwin; Cole Porter; Judy Garland; Louis Armstrong; Billie Holiday; Bing Crosby; Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mercer.
In 1988, at the beginning of the Soviet Union's era of Glasnost, McDonald co-produced the first "official" Soviet rock band, Autograf. "That was the year when the KGB was recording my phone conversations while I was hosting the only Soviet rockers to be allowed to leave their country", McDonald quips. Mike later made history as the first American audio engineer to record in Moscow at the Songwriters' Summit. This landmark collaboration between U.S. and Soviet songwriters (boasting American chart-busters Michael Bolton, Cyndi Lauper and Diane Warren) resulted in the album, "Music Speaks Louder than Words" (Epic). For this groundbreaking album, McDonald produced a cut for latin pop superstar, Emmanuel.
McDonald's talent for recording music of various cultures has allowed him to travel the globe, tracking and mixing for artists like: Japanese superstar Seiko Matsuda (Sony); Czechoslovakia's top singer Vaso Patejdl (Opus); Finnish pop princess Merve (EMI); Argentine rocker Miguel Mateos (BMG) and Australian crooner Peter Allen (RCA). Under his banner MiMac Productions (pronounced "My-Mak"), McDonald produced an album from the funk/metal band Total Eclipse (Tabu / A&M Records), a band which McDonald describes as "James Brown meets Metallica". An R&B artist Mike discovered and produced, Worthy Davis, won the Grande Prix (top artist, top song, and best performance) at the Golden Stag International Song Festival in Romania, a testament to Mike's keen ear for talent.
Michael began his guitar playing career in Bakersfield, California (a well-known haven for pure country music) experimenting with his home tape recorder. Along the way Mike became a successful guitar repair specialist, doing work for: Jackson Browne; Stephen Stills; Ry Cooder; Bruce Springsteen and Eagles. He used his income from session work as a guitarist and a successful tour to raise money for bigger and better recording equipment. In 1988, Michael moved his studio to a multi-room facility in Hollywood. It was there he engineered Martika's debut album, "Martika" (Columbia), featuring the Billboard #1 hit, "Toy Soldiers", which is enjoying new life as a hit with rapper Eminem.
All the while he was establishing himself as a great engineer in the music world, Mike held in his heart a special place for the movies. In 1990, through study and tutoring, Mike began to take on audio post jobs for the film and TV world. As proof of this attitude about perfection without a high price, McDonald's facility, Private Island Trax, has performed audio post services for over 200 film features, television series, and specials for the last 10 years. Recently, this affordable post house has seen large amounts of actors pre-recording dialog for the busy world of video games. On any given day, there will be an orchestra scoring on the large stage, cartoon characters voices being recorded in the looping room, foley for an action picture happening in the foley room, sound effects being laid into a drama in another editing room, and Mike mixing in the 5.1 Surround theater.
At Mike's four studio sound house in the heart of Hollywood, his staff of 25 were all trained by McDonald.
A true Renaissance man, McDonald earned a degree at UCLA in art history. This, after he passed the Air Force Academy exams hoping for an eventual shot at the astronaut program. His serious love for science and astronomy is satisfied now with his telescope and long hours creating sound effects for various sci-fi/space movies. Mr. McDonald has taken his encyclopedic knowledge of music (from every era and country) into the world of film and television. To date, Mike has digitized and remixed the film scores for 110 classic films from the 20th Century Fox collection, Paramount Pictures vault, and Ted Turner portfolio. As this makes him the most knowledgeable music score mixer in the country, Mike is frequently called upon to Music Supervise the scores of new films going into production. His personal knowledge of rock'n'roll, pop, country, and jazz, through his years of engineering and producing, combined with his hands-on understanding of the classical and contemporary scoring world, make him an awesome addition to the audio post world. As a reward for his attention to detail, the Dolby Corporation hired McDonald to mix their presentation music demonstrating their six-channel surround system.
IMDb Mini Biography By: Robyn Whitney