Producer, arranger, songwriter and musician Neil Giraldo is most comfortable in his private production studio in the hills of Malibu, CA. The writing, recording and mixing facililty is located in a two-story barn on the ground s of the estate Giraldo shares with his wife, Pat Benatar, and family.
Giraldo, who has lived in various homes in Malibu over the past couple of decades, has always maintained a home studio. “I’ve had a studio at the house probably for the last 33 years. The new one’s kind of cool because it’s in a barn, and is about 25 by 25 feet. It’s got two stories to it; I use the upper part for administration and songwriting—and I’m working on a couple of books—and then downstairs is where all the gear is and where songs become recordings.”
“When we started to get successful and I finally had the money to be able to buy guitars, instead of buying more guitars I bought studio gear,” Neil recalls. “So in the early days I was buying Pultecs and Fairchilds and EMT 250’s. I was buying all this studio gear, because I felt like the studio was my home, and I felt really comfortable in it, and I wanted to have really good analog gear.” Although Giraldo began his professional career in 1978 playing guitar and piano with Rick Derringer, arranged and played all of the guitars on Rick Springfield’s 1981 #1 hit, “Jessie’s Girl,” and has performed on multiple instruments on every one of Benatar’s records, he considers himself a producer and arranger first and foremost.
“Now I have loaded my ARGOSY Dual15 Workstation with a collection of contemporary and vintage recording equipment. I have a Manley Mic/EQ 500, a couple Pultecs, an SSL stereo compressor, a Neve stereo compressor and a Dangerous Audio 2-Bus. I’ve got an 1176 floating around in there, and I’ve got a patchbay,” Giraldo says. “I’ve also got a couple of the Argosy rolling rack units, which I’ve filled up with GML EQ and a bunch of other stuff,” he adds. I have a Neve sidecar and all this vintage gear too.”