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Charles W. Ainlay (Chuck)

Owner / BackStage at Sound Stage Studios
Independent Record Producer / Engineer

After attending Indiana University's Music School, Chuck continued his music education by enrolling at Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee. With his sight keenly set upon a career in the recording industry, he furthered his experience by working as an assistant engineer at various studios on "Music Row" until he was hired as the chief engineer at the Castle Recording Studio. It was here that famed producer Jimmy Bowen and Chuck's paths crossed, hence, launching Chuck into a career as an independent engineer.

Chuck's acclaimed engineering career which has spanned a twenty-eight year period has allowed him to work with many of the world's finest artists, musicians and producers and develop a diverse list of clients that ranges from George Strait to Dire Straits. His engineering dominance in the country field has been recognized by many, including NARAS with multiple Grammy nominations for his numerous critically and commercially successful albums. The Nashville Music Association named him 'Engineer of the Year' in 1996 and again in 1997. Nashville's own Music Row Magazine voted him the 'Engineer with the most Top Ten Hits' in 1998 while the years 1999 and 2000 brought with it nominations for the prestigious TEC award from Mix Magazine.

Chuck's long-standing collaboration with Mark Knopfler has resulted in two albums by Dire Straits, as well as production and engineering credits on Mark's solo albums, Golden Heart, Sailing to Philadelphia, Ragpickers Dream, and Shangri La all of which have reached multi platinum status. This partnership has also produced two movie scores for the films Wag the Dog and Metroland. Many within the audio industry regard Chuck as the leader in cutting edge technology. After all, he produced the first all digital recording out of Nashville. His pioneering efforts in 5.1 surround sound have been acknowledged by his peers with the celebrated and critically acclaimed Vince Gill's High Lonesome Sound album, The 20th anniversary remix of Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms and the 25th anniversary re-mix of Peter Frampton's record breaking live album, Frampton Comes Alive. His dedication to the furthering of the format as well as his prolific command of the technology has been well documented in publications such as Surround Professional and Pro Sound News.

In 1999 Chuck entered into a partnership with Sound Stage Studios to create BackStage Studio, a state of the art, surround sound studio based around the Solid State Logic 9000J console.

Pro audio equipment Chuck endorses include AMD, Apogee, ATC, Audio Technica, DPA, Royer, Millennia Media, NHT, Steinberg - Nuendo, Universal Audio, Upstate Audio, Waves and Vintech Audio.

Chuck is a founding member of META Inc. which launched in January of 2005.

His community involvement includes serving on the Board of Governors and The Producers and Engineers Wing of NARAS, Leadership Music, SAE Advisory Board and the Nashville Chapter Board of the Audio Engineering Society.

Outside of the music business, Chuck is an avid water ski enthusiast who held the Tennessee State Men's III slalom record from1998 to 2002. Other interests include snow skiing, scuba diving, travel and walking the dogs.

© Chuck Ainlay 2003

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