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THE FINAL NOTE

RICKY MANNION Owner/Analog Designer, M House Studios

The Retailer: If you could see any musician, alive or deceased, play a concert for one night, who would it be and why? Mannion: I’m torn here. If I could’ve seen Pink Floyd playing together, I think I would’ve died. I vividly remember the first time I sat down and listened to “Dark Side of the Moon” all the way through. It totally changed my perspective on what music is and what’s possible through music. On the other hand, I was introduced to a lot of great music through my mom’s taste, and she’s always been a huge Bowie fan. We’ve got that in common, and I think it would have been so cool if we had been able to go see Bowie together.

By Brian Berk The Music & Sound Retailer: Who was your greatest influence or mentor and why? Ricky Mannion: I really look up to Rupert Neve. I admire his dedication to doing things the right way and not cutting any corners. The amount of proper planning and development that he’s always done is reflected in the quality and timelessness of his designs. I think Rupert designed the 1073 when he was in his 40s, so I suppose I’ve got about 20 years to put something decent together! The Retailer: What was the best advice you ever received? Mannion: My Opa always says “Nichts von nichts,” which means “Nothing from nothing.” You’ve got to put in the legwork to do anything cool. If you try and skip steps and go too quickly, whatever you’re trying to build won’t have the proper foundation. The Retailer: What was your first experience with a musical instrument? Mannion: When I was very little, I started taking piano lessons. I think that formed the basis of how I understand music. I felt that I could express things through a piano which I couldn’t say with words. The Retailer: What instrument do you most enjoy playing? Mannion: For roughly the last seven years, my favorite instrument to play has been the bass guitar. There’s something so soothing to 54

with other people is more rewarding.   The Retailer: What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Mannion: The first concert I ever went to was Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field in Chicago when I was about 14. My friend John and I were waving our arms around like lunatics right near the stage during the quiet part of “Let It Be,” and Paul just gave us this look. I think I peaked.

me about the warm tone of a bass and the way it can just tie a song together. I’m always picking up my bass when I have a moment just to noodle around a bit and listen for the tones and harmonics.

The Retailer: Tell us something about yourself that others do not know or would be surprised to learn. Mannion: I’m part musician and part scientist. Besides being a designer and consumer of musical equipment, I’m an engineer in the aerospace industry. Since I dove into small-satellite research during my time as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, I’ve loved being on the cutting edge of technological development. I love to work on open-ended problems because they allow me to develop creative solutions. I think the intersection of music and technology is profound, and we’ve only scratched the surface of the types of high-tech music gear that will come next. The Retailer: What’s your favorite activity to do when you’re not at work? Mannion: When I’m not working or practicing, I play video games. Of course, as a 22-year-old, though, my main priority is spending time with friends. I worry that we’re all growing apart a little bit at a time, and it’s critical that we make a conscious effort to stay connected. You can achieve a lot by hiding away to work on music by yourself, but I think you’ll find that playing together

The Retailer: What musician are you hoping to see play in the near future? Mannion: There’s a few on my list that I’m ashamed I still haven’t caught. My list of folks who need to come through the midwest so I can see them includes Rammstein, FIDLAR, Julien Baker and Anderson .Paak. The Retailer: What song was most memorable for you throughout your childhood and what do you remember about it the most? Mannion: As a little kid, my parents would put on “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie, and I would jump around on the couch with this inflatable air guitar, just rocking out. There’s some home footage of that, and I think it’s hilarious. When I hear that song, it always makes me think of my home and being a kid. The Retailer: What are your favorite songs on your smartphone/iPod? Mannion: My classics are “Immigrant Song” (Led Zeppelin), “Dani California” (Red Hot Chili Peppers), “Ballroom Blitz” (Sweet), “We Will Fall Together” (Streetlight Manifesto), “Cheap Beer” (FIDLAR), “Elizabeth” (Ghost), “Moya” (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) …there’s so many! I’ve literally always got my monitors in my ears listening to something. Lately, I’ve been on an odd 2 Chainz/Behemoth kick. (continued on page 50) OCTOBER 2019

Profile for Music & Sound Retailer

Music & Sound Retailer October 2019, Vol 36 No 10  

In the October issue of the Music & Sound Retailer, learn the latest news about the percussion industry, discover what many retailers and ma...

Music & Sound Retailer October 2019, Vol 36 No 10  

In the October issue of the Music & Sound Retailer, learn the latest news about the percussion industry, discover what many retailers and ma...