Rick O'Neil
Senior Mastering Engineer / Owner

Turtlerock is owned and run by renowned industry veteran Rick O'Neil. Rick cut his first vinyl record while still at school at the tender age of 15, at Demo Disc mastering in Petersham in Sydney. He left school in 1985 and started at Festival Records as the first mastering engineer hired in 15 years.

Festival was a huge studio complex of the 'old school' variety with a recording studio, cutting room, record company and pressing plant all in the one building. Working in the studio at festival meant learning how to do everything from recording to cutting and pressing the vinyl discs, to working within the A&R department. After working at Festival for 10 years as their No. 1 vinyl disc mastering engineer, Rick left the company in 1995 and started Turtlerock Mastering. This unparalleled experience combined with the intimate contact of multi-million selling producers, artists and managers has given Rick an unprecedented insight into the unique machinations of the music business.

In a career getting on 25 years long, Rick has worked on over 10,000 major release records that have sold tens of millions worldwide. His credit list reads like a who's who of the Australian and international music scenes. While working for Festival, he worked face to face with the international hit acts of the eighties and mid-nineties such as U2, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Sting, Huey Lewis, Tina Turner and nearly all of the Australian music industry.

Since Turtlerock's inception, Rick has worked face to face with Madonna, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Pearl Jam, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Kylie Minogue. Of course, not trying to step around Turtlerock's core business, Australian artists. Turtlerock's clients include Powderfinger, Silverchair, The Whitlams, You Am I, Alex Lloyd, Delta Goodrem, Kasey Chambers and all of the major Australian labels.

Turtlerock's clients come from all corners of the globe including the USA, China, Canada, England, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Over decades Rick has proven to be one of the finest mastering engineers in the world.

He's also taken a keen interest in sound and technology. Aside from a mastering engineer Rick is a credible record producer and consummate sound engineer. He has worked in many studios in Australia and overseas, including a stint at the now defunct video post house Apocalypse. It was here that he gained a huge indoctrination into sound for vision. His first series of television ads (for Sony TV's) won the International Cannes Advertising Award for best sound and vision - the first Australian advertisements to do so.

Rick's opinions on life in and out of the studio can been found bi-monthly amongst the back pages of Audio Technology Magazine, which is the largest and most popular magazine of its type. You can read them here.

Rick is also a judge for the technical section of the Australian Ar ia Awards.

When not at work you will find Rick at home with his two children Dylan and Olivia (he is a single father) and their much maligned and misunderstood Jack Russell terrorist - Jackie. Or perhaps out on Sydney harbour fishing for Jewfish or maybe just messing around in his shed looking for the answers on why his latest woodworking project looks more like being unfinished by christmas than ever before.. but he always has a plan and a laugh on hand to help the process along. Life is simply too short to get stuck on the little stuff.

"What I want people to remember about Turtlerock is I have spent my whole adult life working towards running a studio of this caliber, Turtlerock is as good as a mastering studio gets anywhere in the world and better than most you will ever see”.

“My clients will never know the work I have to consistently put in to keep Turtlerock the best of its kind, and often when I am here under the console at 3am fixing something that no one would ever notice I just have to wonder what the hell I am doing!

The next day when I fire up the big speakers and dim the lights for the final playback of the mastering session and I see the smile on the clients faces, I remember...

I love this job, I get to set my own benchmarks and I love getting things just right"