Van Halen Prince Engineer Peggy McCreary reflects on her career at Sunset Sound

Peggy McCreary reflects on her career at Sunset Sound

Peggy McCreary reflects on her career at Sunset Sound

Recording Engineer, Peggy McCreary started her career as an engineer at Sunset Sound in the 1970’s. Being one of the first female engineers was not an easy task but with in a short amount of time she was working 2nd chair on Van Halen and Elton John as well as being head engineer for 5 years with Prince during his most productive years. Peggy came in Sunset Sound studio 3 to share what she remembers from her start in the recording industry and how Prince was the greatest and most difficult artist to work with.

Most telling @ 17:00 in — “I didn’t know what output and input was…I didn’t ever let anybody know that I didn’t know very much.” — “So, but you were the actual recording engineer, working, setting up the sessions, doing full recordings, mixing stuff, but at that time you [didn’t know]?”

Peggy McCreary reflects on her career at Sunset Sound

41:44 in — “Music is a feeling for me…When I first got in the business it was run by musicians and artists.  And then half-way through I saw it change, and it started being run by accountants and lawyers.  It [became] a business, but I had [gotten] in at the very tail end, when it was still an art…and that’s what drew me to it, how it could make you feel when you listen to a song.”

Peggy McCreary is a highly respected recording engineer who has worked with some of the most iconic musicians in the industry, including Van Halen and Prince. During her career at Sunset Sound, a renowned recording studio in Hollywood, McCreary played a crucial role in shaping the sound of numerous albums and contributing to the success of many artists.

McCreary’s tenure at Sunset Sound coincided with the recording of several landmark albums by Van Halen, one of the most influential rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s. As an engineer, McCreary worked closely with the band members to capture their dynamic performances and create the signature sound that would define their music for decades to come. Her technical expertise and creative approach helped to elevate Van Halen’s recordings and contribute to their commercial success.

In addition to her work with Van Halen, McCreary also collaborated with Prince, another legendary artist known for his innovative approach to music production. As an engineer at Sunset Sound, McCreary had the opportunity to work on several of Prince’s albums, contributing her technical skills and musical sensibilities to help realize his artistic vision.

Throughout her career, Peggy McCreary has earned a reputation as a skilled and versatile recording engineer, capable of adapting to the diverse needs and creative visions of the artists she works with. Her contributions to the music industry, both behind the scenes and in the studio, have left an indelible mark on the world of rock and pop music. Her reflections on her career at Sunset Sound provide valuable insights into the art and craft of recording engineering and the collaborative process of making music at the highest level.

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