Karl Matthew Bingle (born May 13, 1962) is an American Audio Engineer, Producer and Musician. He is best
known for being the drummer for bands such as "The Raves", "Champagne Alley" and "Professor Balls". He has recorded over
50 albums in various roles as musician, engineer and/or producer and created the first Digital Jukebox in the U.S. called
"Songbird" in late 1999/early 2000.
In the 1990's, Karl started his own studio and Indi record label called "Power Records" (later changed to "High Power Records" for legal reasons). The studio and label names were changed to "Mission Control" in 2000. In 2012, Karl was accepted as a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (aka "The Grammys") as well as the Audio Engineering Society (AES). He has also participated in several film and television productions as an audio engineer and appeared in the Discovery Channel series "No Opportunity Wasted" in 2004.
Karl Matthew Bingle was born at Fairchild A.F.B. in Spokane Washington, the son of air force seargeant Jack Dee Bingle (later a postal worker, professional photographer and amateur film maker) and mother Esther Arleen Martin who was a nursing assistant turned data entry operator. He has one brother Lonny and one half-sister Janelle by his mother's second marriage. His father was raised raised picking cotton in Haiti Missouri by an abusive father and mother who had suffered many strokes and was in ill health most of her life. His mother was raised in Kettle Falls Washington North of Spokane by her father (Chet Martin) who was a gas station owner, gold miner and mechanical genius, and her mother (Glenna Martin) who worked as a homemaker and part time postal worker.
He was raised in the Pentecostal Assembly of God Church, known for their colorful and often over the top evangilists and extreme practices such as "speaking in tongues" and "healings" that often turned out being hoaxes. During most of his childhood, drums and guitars were not allowed in the church and even considered of the devil. He would be one of the first to break through this barrier by convincing the religious leaders of his church that these instruments were not, in fact, "of the devil" in the early 1970's.
He spent summers with his grandparents on a 15 acre property in the mountains North of Chewelah Washington so remote that there was no radio reception and no indooor plumbing. As a child, Karl attended Hutton Elementary School, Linwood Elementary School and Salk Junior High in Spokane Washington. He graduated from Shadle Park High School in Spokane in 1980. His childhood jobs included delivering for and collecting on paper subscriptions starting at age 7, cooking at A&W and other restaurants through his High School years.
Karl Bingle began playing music in 1967, at the age of 5, first picking up drums, then guitar. He would later go on to take private guitar lessons, private drum lessons and eventually private violin lessons, but would ultimately settle on drums as his primary instrument. He played in school and city bands and orchestras, performing at the World's Fair in 1974 and appearing on multiple local television shows during his childhood, often touring during spring and summer breaks.
At the age of 17, Karl recorded a full-length instrumental album with his brother Lonny (a violinist) at Rainbow Studios in Dallas Texas. At the age of 18, he joined a Christian Rock band called "One Accord", who made one demo tape and appeared on NBC's telethon for the Children's Miracle Network. At the age of 20, he joined the "Paradise Highway Band" (formerly known as "Heirborn"), another Christian Rock group, with a sound resembling "The Eagles". That band was later changed its' name to the "Lehnen-Dwyer Band" after founding members Michael Jay Dwyer and Michael Lehnen. At age 24, he formed a group called "The Move" with founding members guitarist Jamie Nebel (later changed to "Jamie Frost"), bassist Mike Wertz and vocalist Bill Hay. "The Move" recorded one 5 song demo tape. After the exit of Bill Hay from the band, vocalist Dave Becker joined and the band name was changed to "The Raves" and recorded one single (2 songs) that was garnered some local radio airplay. In 1988, he left "The Raves" to form a band called "Champagne Alley" with guitarist Michael Lane. The group recorded one 5 song demo that gained international recognition including fans as far away as East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was during this period that he became fascinated with the technical aspects of recording and began aquiring amatuer recording equipment. After Michael Lane exited the band, he went on to record on full-length album under the "Champagne Alley" name penning 9 out of the 10 songs produced on his amateur recording gear. His final performance with "Champagne Alley" (in which Michael Lane returned as guitarist) was for a local radio station (Z-ROCK) at Riverfront Park in Spokane Washington in 1993. In 1994, he formed a band called "Professor Balls" with former "Foghat" and "ShyAnne" guitarist Eric Burgeson and "Perones" bassist Aaron Boschee and for the first time added a horn section consisting of Trumpeter Michael Lenke (Buddy Rich, Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton), Trombonist "Nimrod" and Saxist Russ Hoffer. The group made one full-length album but only performed a few times live sharing the stage with the "Perones".
During the recording of the "Professor Balls" full-length album, Karl's array of recording equipment began to grow and he teamed up with Eric Burgeson co-producing several albums including "Head East" lead vocalist Kurt Hansen's album "Distance". He went on to record work with Eric and his brother Lonny on several more album projects including two Gospel albums with Lonny and Grammy® winning singing partner Sherman Andrus (Andre Crouch, The Imperials, Andrus Blackwood & Co., Elvis).
In 2001, he joined legendary rockabilly artist Charlie Ryan ("Hot Rod Lincoln") as a drummer, also restoring old recordings and producing new recordings shortly before Charlie's death in 2007. He played a final show honoring Charlie in Ohio in 2008 sitting in with multi-Grammy® winners "Asleep at the Wheel" playing "Hot Rod Lincoln". He continues to perform on recordings for a number of recording artists and occassionally performs live.
In 1994, with his musical career evolving, Karl became even more fascinated with the technical aspects of recording and began working toward building up his own home studio. The home studio had rapidly evolved from a TASCAM 4-Track Reel to Reel machine to a 24-Track ADAT setup by 1996. During the "Queen" years (the house on "Queen" street in Spokane Washington), he teamed up with musical director and arranger Edward Myers producing several albums for the world reknowned "Singing Nuns". He also continued to co-produce several albums and singles with Eric Burgeson and his brother Lonny.
After building a new home (Fort Bingle) on 10 acres near Deer Park Washington in 2005, the studio continued to grow into a computer (DAW) based digital studio. With "Power Records" disbanded, "Mission Control Records" officially launched (to coordinate with the previously established studio name "Mission Control Studios" in 2006. The new label launched with the inclusion of his previous catalog of work. He continued to produce a number of Indi artists including former band mate Michael Jay Dwyer's 2012 solo album "Real World", jazz vocalist Jace Fogleman's self-titled solo album and singer Keyonna Knight's critically acclaimed cover of Meatloaf's "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad". He also produced a solo single for Chad Mitchell of the famous "Chad Mitchell Trio" called "Ship of State". During this time, he also co-produced an album with TV Anchorman Randy Shaw called "In Your Honor" to benefit World War II Veterans organization "Honor Flight" featuring local artists as well as nationally known artists such as "Sha-na-na", "Charlie Ryan", "Chad Mitchell" and "The Seldom Scene with Ricky Skaggs". He produced another album for his brother Lonny's group "Andrus & Bingle" called "A Servants Heart" and several more albums for "The Singing Nuns" as well as some solo work. Toward the end of the "Fort Bingle" studio days he began to acquire more tape machines including a Studer A820 2" 24-Track from ABC in New York, a TASCAM 38 1/2" 8-Track, and Otari MTR-10 half-track mastering deck. It was also during this time that he completed his education in audio engineering completing programs through the Audio Institute of America, the Berkeley College of Music in Boston, and Master Classes with world-reknowned producer Alan Parsons.
In 2017, he re-located to Pawleys Island South Carolina where he built his first publicly accessible studio having acquired even more and better recording gear from Wishbone Studios in Muscle Shoals Alabama. The new gear included a Neve VR60 Legend 60-channel recording console, a Westlake monitoring system and several other enhancements. The new 2,000 sq. ft. studio was completed and opened in April of 2018. Since that time, he has expanded into film and television work including work for HBO, NFL Films, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, the Science Channel and more. He recently recorded his first full film score featuring a live orchestra for the documentary film "DeRosa: Life, Love & Art in Transition" directed by Angelo Thomas and scored by Brooks Liebe. He continues to work with both Indi and established artists as well as doing audio books for authors.
In addition to his musical career, Karl has been a successful software developer, having developed dozens of systems for private companies and government organizations including applications used in hospitals throughout the United States - many of which are still in use today. He also developed the first digital jukebox in the U.S. called "Songbird" with business partner Dan Mackey and much of his technology is still used in digital jukebox systems today.
As a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (aka "The Grammys®"), he participates as a volunteer lobbyist through "Grammys on the Hill" helping pass legislation furthering the rights of music creators and "GrammyU" that helps mentor up and comming music creators in the production/engineering field. He also participates as a volunteer assisting the "Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art (PIFMA)" that produces events that raise money for musical education. He is also a voting member of the "Audio Engineering Society (AES)". He also works with Groover.com as a mentor to help artists by reviewing their music and offering helpful production advice and sharing their music on social media.