I seek not to capture mere volume, but intention and inspiration through tone.

Keith Banning

Keith's affinity for sound began on the backroads and byways that crisscross the cornfields of rural Iowa where he grew up.

Before the age of fourteen, Keith had worn through several sets of Walkmans and foam-covered headphones. From an early age Keith followed recording engineers and record producers the way most kids his age followed bands. He wanted to know, How did they capture the snare? What did they do to get the vocals to sound that way? More than anything, he wanted to know, how can I help make that kind of magic?

Fast forward the tape in his old Walkman and it whirs to the first Gulf War. Far from the backroads of Iowa, Keith's a young Marine driving at sunset alone on a desert highway in a warzone....loaded rifle at his side. His Walkman and battery-powered speakers perched on the dash. Daniel Lanois's Acadie album fills his cab and spills out of his open window—an arid alchemy of music, conflict, and solitude. 

"I've loved music my entire life," he says, "but I can trace my decision to become a recording engineer to this moment."

By the late 90s and early 2000s, Keith had engineered for local concerts in Iowa and his new home state of Oregon. But he knew he had a lot to learn if he was going to be able to produce the kind of sound he could hear in his head. He wanted to learn from the best. In the years that followed, he apprenticed with the talented engineer and producer Adam Samuels (Daniel Lanois, Warpaint, John Frusciante), and attended and participated in immersive engineering seminars hosted by the legendary Al Schmitt and modern mixing engineer Tom Elmhirst.

For more than a decade Keith has been crafting a studio according to the specifications of the masters that taught him. This has meant hunting down specific microphones, pre-amps, and other difficult-to-find components. With these tools at hand and his fast and efficient workflow, Keith, like the masters who taught him, doesn't just record sounds; his recordings aim to beautifully capture the emotions communicated by the artist.

The road from Iowa to Oregon has taken Keith around the world. He continues to develop his craft with master engineers, as he works with select artists to create music that affects people the way music has affected him from a very young age.