Ron Jacobson founded RBJ Productions in 1986, originally called MIDI Magic Studios. First located in Northbrook, Illinois the studio moved to Vernon Hills in 1991 and then to its current home in 2004. Ron discovered his love for studio recording after years of playing guitar, keys and drums in live bands. “I had the opportunity of recording projects at Streeterville and ACME studios downtown and I was hooked.” MIDI was brand new in the mid 80’s and, being somewhat of a computer geek, Ron immediately became very active in Chicago MIDI users group. He taught seminars on using computer-sequencing programs at CMUG meetings. “Our first studio was called MIDI Magic and we specialized in combining computer sequencing with 16 track analog recording. We had some great projects and great artists with a strong emphasis on sound design and innovative synthesis.” As digital recording emerged in the early 90’s the studio added 16 track digital tape based recording to the analog tracks and later upgraded to a 24 track hard disk system. Today, the studio uses ProTools HDx and Logic based hard drive recording with unlimited tracks and amazing sound quality.
John Slywka - Recording Engineer
John Slywka is a recording engineer, composer, sound designer, musician, and producer. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. He has been a 25-year voting member of NARAS and is an ASCAP composer. He has worked in the major markets of Miami and Chicago.
As a recording engineer his credits include: John Denver, Jon Secada, Placido Domingo, Lissette, Basilio, Meatloaf, the Romantics, The Soul Kings, actor James Whitmore, Dois No Choro (Julie Koidin & Paulinho Garcia), Shape Shifter (the video game), and a mountain of jingles. In early 2022, John composed, performed & recorded the underscoring for an audiobook of poetry called "Soul's Journey" by Sam Yau. John was composer / musician for the CD "I Grant I Am A Woman" by Corliss Preston which was successfully crowd funded at Kickstarter. He was co-composer / co-sound designer for Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” for the Taffety Punk Theater Company in Washington D.C. (it was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award) . In 2012, he contributed his bass parts to “Minminzemmi” on Julie Slick’s “Terroir” CD. In the fall 2013, he wrote and recorded the soundtrack for the Shakespeare Project of Chicago’s readings of “The Merchant Of Venice”. Early in 2014, he composed, performed, and recorded the soundtrack to the Marissa Chibas’ short film, “Clandestino”. John returned to the Shakespeare Project of Chicago for its sold-out fundraiser "Darkside" by Tom Stoppard in 2015 as video projection designer. Prior to coming to RBJ Productions, John spent two years at Chicago’s WYCC-TV and as staff recording engineer at Streeterville Studios in Chicago.
Lou Paskadlides - Recording Engineer
Lou has been with the RBJ Productions recording studios for over 25 years – first as a client, then a MIDI Programmer, now as a Recording Engineer. Lou’s passion for music and recording is indicative with over 15 years of experience and knowledge in engineering. Thanks to RBJ Pro Studios always looking to upgrade, Lou’s knowledge spans from production work in DOS programs to early DAW systems, to the latest Pro Tools systems. Lou has been educated and trained in Pro Tools by Digidesing/AVID.
Playing piano “since I can remember,” Lou enjoys a variety of genre of music; from Rock to Rap, Classical to Jazz, from Electronic to Blues to R&B and Country. As a song writer and producer, Lou has written music for client’s accompaniment, for radio spots and jingles, theme music and short videos. Lou prides himself in giving the client the best studio recording experience. “I think the key to a great recording session is efficiency. It’s great to be able to look at the client and say ‘I’m ready when you are.”
Jason Freeman - Recording Engineer
Jason has been involved in recording and mixing music since 2009, with a degree from Full Sail University’s Recording Arts program he is well trained in all aspects of studio work. From start to finish he will make sure every detail of your project is exactly how you envision it. He has a vast knowledge of gear and can help create the tones you need to capture your music in any way you’d like. He will work with any genre and any type of music and is always up for new challenges.