|Born||London, England, UK|
|Genres||Rock/Metal/Jazz/Jazz Fusion/Industrial/Pop/Death metal|
|Occupations||Musician/Record producer/Recording engineer/Mixing engineer|
|Instruments||Guitar and keyboards|
|Years active||70s to present day|
Neil's formal musical training began at the age of 4, when he started to take classical piano lessons, and several years later, at the age of 7, he took up classical guitar. At the age of 18, after leaving school, he got a job at Trident Studios in London as a tea boy.
After a six-month stint doing that, he was promoted to tape operator, and from that point to assistant engineer / engineer. Working at Trident was a great opportunity for him to learn from some of the top producers and engineers in the business, and also to have the opportunity to work in various different capacities on albums by artists as varied as Elton John, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Neil Sedaka, Marc Bolan, Jimmy Webb, Ace, Colin Blunstone, Hawkwind, Judas Priest, Linda Ronstadt, Mick Ronson, Queen, Strawbs, Supertramp, The Tremeloes, Peter Hammill, Stephane Grappelli, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and Brand X, to name a few.
After working his way up for four years, he left Trident and moved to France to work at Le Chateau D'Herouville studios in Pontoise, just outside Paris. After a fairly uneventful six months there, he was offered a job back in the UK, doing studio work and live sound for the progressive rock group Yes, and was happy to return to his native London to continue his career.
After 18 months in Yes's employ, Neil decided to return to the freelance engineering world, and worked at various studios in London for the next several years. Studios worked at during that time included Jam, Decibel, Trident, The Farmyard and Starting Studios in Tittenhurst Park, owned by Ringo Starr, where he worked for two years as chief in-house engineer.
In 1979, Neil started doing recording and mixing work in the US, and moved to New York soon afterwards. He has worked on over 500 albums to date.
He has worked with a large number of artists over the last 35 years, but may be best known for his work with Hall & Oates on three of their most important albums - 1980's Voices, 1981's Private Eyes, and 1982's H2O. Kernon was an engineer on Voices and co-producer (with the duo) on the other two albums, the sales of which not only revived their careers but made them the most successful chart duo in the history of American pop music.
The allmusic review of Private Eyes called it "one of their best albums and one of the great mainstream pop albums of the early '80s." and said that "the production is state of the art for 1981"
The allmusic review of H2O said that "the production and performances are precise and deliberate" but "when the productions open up a bit, the band still sounds terrific, but they never are given the opportunity to sound as big and bold as they do on Private Eyes."
In a review of a CD by Devolved, UltimateGuitar.com wrote of "famed producer/engineer Neil Kernon (Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Nevermore, Deicide, Judas Priest)".
In an interview with Sea of Tranquility webzine in 2007, Kernon stated that "real mastering engineers have the most fine-tuned hearing of everyone, in the sense that they work in the same environment all the time and know immediately if a mix needs a particular sonic treatment or not."
- Neil Kernon at Discogs.com
- Neil Kernon at allmusic.com
- MelodicRock.com interview
- Sea of Tranquility interview
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