Ryan Canestro was born and raised in Simi Valley. During the junior high school years his family relocated to Dayton, Nevada. After three years there, Ryan returned to Simi Vally for the first time to finish out High School. Shortly after graduation he took a job opportunity in Chicago, Illinois. It only took three winters there to realize that Southern California will always be his home. Once back he spent the next decade living in Orange County, California. This all changed when he met his future wife Stella. As soon as they started a family they together moved their lives to Simi Valley. They currently live happily in their home with their two young children.
Ryan’s path to audio recording started very naturrally early on in his life. His first recordings experiments on his own as a child were made with 8-track cartridges on a 70′s era home hi-fi. These experiments were more about figuring out how the devices worked and how things could be manipulated by connecting different devices in various configurations to get more interesting results.
Several boom boxes with built in microphones followed. There are some recordings that have survived from this era that have a surprisingly good stereo image. Because the microphones were attached to the tape machine, there is a large amount of noise transfer that happened mechanically that made the recordings feel that they were of a low quality. At the formative age of 14 Ryan realized this and set out to record the music that we was starting to produce at a higher quality.
The next big step came in the form of a used cassette deck from K-Mart with two mic inputs purchased from a kid in the neighborhood for $5.00. That and the addition of two $20 omni-directional microphones and stands from the local Radio Shack began the next era of the story. This method of recording went on for quite some time in a poorly acoustically treated garage. It was this same cassette deck where Ryan started to make samples and rudimentary loops.
About a year later Ryan then discovered that you could create overdubs with two cassette tape machines and a Radio Shack mixer. Play the first tape back while performing a new part and record both the the new tape deck. This was one of those moments that changes everything in his young mind.
In High School Ryan began playing with a band called Amber’s Will. It was with this band that he was introduced to his first professional 24 track 2″ tape recording studio. With the large console and a wall of gear, he was a kid in a candy store. This day began the life long obsession with recording that never wained throughout the years to this day.
Very soon after this event, Ryan purchased a used Tascam 4-track cassette tape machine. Now four mono tracks could be recorded and played back independently. This level of control had only been something that he knew existed now, but was not able to put his hands on it until this time. With the addition of some new microphones insluding his first Shure SM57 and an inexpensive multi-effects unit, the first “proper” studio was put together. Finished mixes were done on headphones and a boom box. The concept of studio monitors was still a few years off.
Following high school, with several different good paying corporate jobs, Ryan started his collection of guitars, amplifiers, microphones, and recoding gear. His first PC was another big leap forward. Even though the computers of the day in the late 90′s were underpowered to say the least when it came to processing audio, it began the integration of recording and modern computing that dominates the studio landscape to this day and will for quite some time. With the early PC, looping software, sequencer programs, and 2-track editors became a new obsession.
In his mid 20′s Ryan started playing with the Travis King Band. This was a huge time creatively and technically for him. It was here that he practiced many long hours and played many live shows with a great band which pushed him to be a better player and change his perspective which led him to where he is today. He had the opportunity with the band to track the “Lets Go For A Ride” EP at NRG Studio in North Hollywood with overdubs and vocals at Maple and Shag Studios in Orange County. This added fuel to the already burning fire to get a studio of his own.
With the first Mac G4 Powerbook and the original M-box he was his introduced to Pro Tools outside a studio on his own. Before he was only looking at the screen as a musician wanting to play with all of the toys. It was only a matter of months that he knew that he needed a bigger system with the ability to scale upward from there. With a loan from a close family friend, Ryan took a very large step when he bought his 002 Control Surface, a Mac tower with dual processors, Focusrite preamps, and new studio monitors. The system has continued to grow and evolve over the years. (The current gear list is on the “gear” page)
Ryan worked regularly at Crane’s Hollywood Tavern first in live sound, shortly afterward he redesigned and built the current sound system there, did live recordings, and promoted most evenings there while handling the performer bookings. A promoter profile article was written in Music Connection Magazine about him then. During this time he also worked for several other clubs in Hollywood including Hotel Cafe and out on the West Side at 14 Below, The Good Hurt, and Rusty’s Surf Ranch.
Currently Ryan owns and operates Ditch Road Records recording studio in Simi Valley, CA. There he continuously works on just about any project that involves recorded sound including voice over, movie scores, ADR, music production, mixing, editing, mastering, foley, podcasts, sound design, and music creation for all media. Location audio has also become a big part of his work.
He is one of the hosts on the home recording podcast cleverly named The Home Recording Show. Together with Jon Tidey they do a weekly show on how to get the most out of your home studio. The show continues to grow its audience to this day.