About TortoiseClimbing

Colleagues at Bias
Who Shaped TortoiseClimbing

Two colleagues at Bias were major influences on development of TortoiseClimbing Audio™ during the time they were there.

Bill McElroy

The first colleague at Bias that significantly influenced TortoiseClimbing™ is Bill McElroy. He has a knack for being supportive and helpful to his clients, and getting them comfortable recording in the studio. Terry and I certainly experienced the combination of his comfortable, and technical skills in making our Duet recordings. When I transitioned into recording Solo Collection I got to experience that on an even larger scale.

Bill also demonstrated his empathy and humanity during the time David was recording Solo Collection. At that time David's father was undergoing a series of health issues David was helping with, which at times unexpectedly prevented David from making scheduled recording sessions with Bill. The amount of flexibility Bill granted David during those times built a rapport that was a determining influence in why David decided it was worthwhile making a longer drive to again record with Bill in his new location at SlippedDisc in Ashland, VA.

We also shared a commonality illustrating how small the recording world had been in Washington, DC. That occurred prior to Mr. McElroy and Mr. Dawson starting Bias in 1973. One of the jobs Bill worked at was as a recording engineer at Edgewood Recording Studio in Northwest Washington, DC. (It was initially at 1129 Vermont Avenue NW near Thomas Circle, then moved to 1627 K St., NW). 

What made that a commonality or shared happenstance between David and Mr. McElroy was that David's college choir director (Fague Springmann) recorded a number of LP albums there. (He had a magnificent bass-baritone operatic voice "to die for.") One day at one of David's voice lessons with him, Professor Springmann (1933 - 1983), on the spur of the moment invited David to join him for an editing session at Edgewood Recording Studio on his next album. That was David's initial introduction to an inkling of what can be accomplished working with a quality recording studio. (For more on Mr. Fague K. Springmann, see Our Roots). Bill McElroy's working at Edgewood, is sort of a shared link to David's introduction to recording studios.

In about 1993, just as TortoiseClimbingAudio was completing the private album Solo Collection, for personal reasons Mr. Bill McElroy decided to leave the recording industry and go do other things in life with trains. So, he phased out of his role as partner at Bias.

(Notes. As mentioned in Beginnings of TortoiseClimbing, our plan is to revisit both the material recorded for Solo Collection, and a few other unreleased songs, and upgrade them to 1) meet our upgraded goal/mission and 2) publicly release as Nostalgic Solos, targeted for late 2024.)

As part of arrangements for his leaving, Bill recommended Ms. Gerber-Salins, an assistant at Bias that Bill had been helping mentor, should become his replacement as recording engineer for TortoiseClimbing™, rather than another employee of Bias. Ms. Gerber-Salins helped complete final touches of the Solo Collection, and continued as TortoiseClimbing Audio™'s recording engineer for the next project. (More about Ms. Gerber-Salins below.)

Upon leaving Bias, Mr. McElroy followed his dream to work with trains in a couple different jobs. But after a couple years, when his ex-wife moved to Richmond, VA, in order to be near his son, Bill too moved to Richmond, Virginia. At that point he returned to working in the mastering segment of the recording industry helping people who were making their own home recordings.

Specifically, he established a mastering studio in Scott's Addition, VA (a neighborhood in Richmond, VA), targeted at serving the expanding industry of home recordings. The business focus was to help persons doing home recordings to produce the best product possible from their home recordings.

Then in 2001 he opened the full service SlippedDISC recording studio a short distance north of Richmond,VA in the small railroad town of Ashland, Virginia. He explained he chose Ashland, because it is close to Richmond, and feeds his railroad love by having railroad tracks running through town.

Ashland is just north of the Richmond bypass interstate I-295, and just south of the King's Dominion theme park on I-95 at Doswell, VA.

As a result of these evolutions of people's lives, TortoiseClimbing Audio™ essentially came full circle to again working with Mr. McElroy at his new studio, SlippedDISC.  For more information about Mr. McElroy's new recording and mastering studio, click on SlippedDiscAudio.

Heidi Gerber-Salins'

The next significant colleague at Bias that influenced TortoiseClimbing Audio™'s evolution was Ms. Heidi Gerber-Salins. She came to work at Bias in 1991, with Bill McElroy as a significant mentor. In that role, as part of her responsibilities, she occassionally assisted Bill in David's recording sessions for TortoiseClimbing Audio™.

That too has it’s own back-story regarding Ms. Gerber-Salins' choice after college. While she held several different jobs, she was not attracted to them. One idea was to pursue becoming a gourmet cook. However, a chance course in recording convinced her that recording engineering was a natural fit for her, and she continued studies at Omega Studios' School of Applied Recording Arts & Sciences. Upon graduation from Omega's program she was hired by Bias.

Following completion of Solo Collection, over the next 4 years, David and Heidi slowly worked on the next envisioned album of Romantic Duets, dominantly from the early to mid 1990's, many made popular by films and musicals. In contrast to the solo piano accompaniment tracks dominantly used on Solo Collection, all accompaniments on that new recording were Karaoke sound tracks. Heidi played a significant role in facilitating some wonderful draft duet recordings with various artists.

She also facilitated David and others becoming involved with DC branches of several music organizations, where he met others working in the field.

For more detailed insights into evolutions of TortoiseClimbing™ from its simple beginning, see Evolutions.

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