Friedel Knobel's Biography and Background
Friedel's career in the entertainment industry started more than 30 years ago. As a young and keen self-taught musician, he later became an accomplished guitarist and performed in a variety of musical settings, including various solo acts and bands on the local club circuit. His exposure to jazz in the early eighties led to a love for the saxophone, an instrument he found as flexible and expressive as the guitar.
Friedel is perhaps better known as a practicing sound engineer, audio technician, producer and recording studio owner of 25 years. He has worked on a multitude of music projects and audio productions, comprising every conceivable form of audio recording both in the analogue and digital domains, and includes work done for numerous record companies, music producers and arrangers, as well as recording of live bands, choirs and orchestras, television and film sound tracks, voice-overs, radio advertisements and various artists’ musical productions, many of which included session work on Sax and guitar.
He is respected for his knowledge and experience in the design, construction and installation of a number of recording studios, and is frequently approached by young entrepreneurs for help in this regard. In the late nineties, the Pretoria Technicon held his then most recently designed studio as an example of a prime professional facility to their students, and on occasion asked him to address them in aspects of audio engineering and contemporary technology.
Later accomplishments include the development and presentation of a specialized sound engineering course for disadvantaged students, as well as serving as a sound & acoustics design consultant to the music industry. He currently still practices as one of the resident live sound engineers at the Pierneef Theatre for the performing arts in Pretoria.
His exposure to a wide variety of music styles and genres, both in the studio and on stage, has given him a keen sense of discernment when selecting appropriate material for any function; as a Saxophone player and instrumentalist, his expertise in acoustics and quality sound reproduction also ensures a pleasant experience by the audience; both are arguably only matched by his passion in playing and professionalism in performance.
Of his unique diversity in the realms of "creative artist" and those of "logical analyst", he says:
" ... knowing what to do with the notes, is the musician's legacy; knowing how to make them sound good, the engineer's... I couldn't pursue one without the other! "
Great Saxophonists / Sax players listed as early influences and favourite listens:
- Dave Koz (I love this guy!)
- David Sanborn (passion & tone)
- Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra)
- Sadao Watanabe (Live at Budokan)
- Kenny G (romantic commercial)
- Stan Getz (latin & jazz standards)
- Charlie Parker (improvisation)
- Michael Brecker (jazz)
- Grover Washington (soul, jazz-funk)
- Stanley Turrentine (blues, R&B)
- Paul Desmond (Take Five)
- Plas Johnson (Pink Panther)
- Fausto Papetti (old time standards)