Our Talented Staff
Rick Barnes — Owner, producer, Chief Engineer
From humble beginnings in a downtown 8-track loft studio to a rockin’ full scale studio in Lakeview, Rick Barnes has seen a lot of talent in Chicago. An accomplished musician himself, Rick built Rax Trax to be a place musicians can comfortably feel right at home. His lack of ego may cause you to not notice that he has recorded, mixed, and produced Grammy nominated and highly acclaimed work. Having been in the musical trenches for years, Rick creates two things – great music and happy clients. Like the cool uncle you wish you had, Rick treats people like family and has been a mentor to countless musicians. He’ll even let you play his guitars while you work on your record. When not at the console, Rick plays guitar in the Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra and teaches in the music department at Columbia College. Make Rax Trax the home of your next record and Rick Barnes will make sure you’re glad you did.
Andy Shoemaker - Engineer, Producer
Andy is a Grammy nominated engineer whose interest in sound and recording began many years ago with a toy microphone and a laptop. These early experiments with audio led him to study audio engineering at Columbia College where his fascination with sound grew. Quickly moving through his studies, he gained the knowledge he needed, and through his time at Rax Trax he gained experience by working with just about every musical genre. He has developed a very versatile set of skills so he can bring a flexible, efficient workflow to suit the needs of any situation. Andy strives to capture your vision, patiently giving your project the individual attention that it deserves, so in the end you have great sounding songs to share with the world. He also works to make the recording process fun, so you enjoy both the process and the result. In addition to engineering, Andy is also the studio manager and the captain of the Rax Trax Bike Gang. When he’s not in the studio, Andy enjoys spending time with his family and listening to his kids' laughter, one of his favorite sounds.
Noam Wallenberg - Engineer, Producer
Noam Wallenberg grew up in a musical household and began playing various instruments at an early age. His interest in recording was sparked while playing with his dad's 4 track cassette recorder. Noam went on to study sound recording and jazz guitar at DePaul University. He began at Rax Trax in 2009. Over the last decade Noam has become a significant producer/engineer in the Chicago music scene and continues to push the creative boundaries of his artists. He’s had the pleasure of working with a wide array of artists including Alan Parsons, NEEDTOBREATHE, Bun E Carlos, Mac Miller, Dee Snyder, I Fight Dragons, The O’My’s, Donnie Trumpet, and Ricky Dillard. Noam also works as a session guitarist and is the bandleader for Jennifer Hall. He currently holds the Rax Trax title for “Smoothie Champ” and is a voting member of the Rax Trax Bike Gang.