Paul Schmidt's Biography Page



Who Am I ? 


By profession I am an engineer of the electrical discipline, working over the years in the printing, bottling and power generation industries. I have also had a turn as teacher of industrial controls and microprocessors at the college level. I am fascinated by the history of subjects that involve me, and I enjoy the study of the technology of past generations.

By avocation, I am a free lance multi-instrumental musician; tuba is my main instrument, and I double on related low brass such as euphonium, tenor horn, valve trombone and bass trumpet. Consistent with my practice of involving myself with the historical equivalents of my modern pursuits, I have taken up the historic predecessors of these instruments, including the serpent and ophicleide. I also enjoy playing the various saxophones in those musical styles that existed when Adolphe Sax invented the instrument. I have been known to play recorder, crumhorn, and other early woodwinds when the need arises. I have also studied the french horn, slide trombone, bassoon, clarinet, violin, piano and organ, eventually giving up on these since there are only so many hours in the day. I do maintain a low level of proficiency on the keyboard in order to better engage in one of my hobbies; pipe organ tuning and maintenance. I have also done many arrangements for groups I play with, and publish much of it under the name Heavy Metal Music.

My frequent performances with various musical ensembles eventually led me to the studio scene, and for many years I played sessions at recording studios in the Chicago area. I gave this up due to scheduling conflicts with my day job, but I learned a lot about the professional handling of recording equipment. I set up a small studio wherein I helped to produce and engineer recordings for local groups. I also dabbled in electronic music, trying with some success to emulate the multi-layered classical synthesizer recordings of artists like Wendy Carlos. Today, I engineer CD recordings of live concerts for many Chicago area classical music groups.

My other hobby is bicycling; I enjoy getting out on my Trek road bike and riding for hours. In addition to the multitude of shorter rides, there are the metric and full centuries (rides of about 60 and 100 miles, respectively). In addition, I annually repeat a handful of favorite one and two day rides whose routes are based on those I learned while on various organized cycling outings; I am sharing these routes via this website. My riding is always on a 'road' bike, and almost always on country roads in northern Illinois and Wisconsin. And, just as with my engineering and music passions, I have embraced historic cycling; I have a few highwheel 'Ordinary' bicycles, and ride them by myself, with modern bike outings, for parades, and with the antique bike organization The Wheelmen.

Refer to the links above for more information on these subjects.

I come from a military family, and as a 'military brat' my background is unusually fragmented. Places I have called home, for various reasons and for varying durations, include northwestern Wisconsin, west-central Minnesota, Wichita (Kansas), Fort Worth (Texas), Madison (Wisconsin), Cocoa Beach (Florida), Tachikawa (Japan), west Illinois near St. Louis (Missouri), Stuttgart (Germany), and Chicago area (Illinois). My high school and college time was divided between institutions in Germany and Illinois, culminating with a degree in Electronic/Electrical engineering. I have also studied music at the college level, but never bothered to obtain a degree.

To me, music is the highest art form.

I love limericks.

After music, movies are the greatest art form; they not only have the greatest appeal after music to most people, but they incorporate all the other art forms.

I need trees....everywhere.

I love the change of the seasons, and the Midwest of the USA will probably always be my home because it has lots of trees, moderate cold in the Winter, moderate heat in the Summer, and an actual distinguishable Spring and Fall.

Places that are Desolate, Damp, Humid, by Oceans, in Mountains, are always cloud covered or hazy, don't have trees, are dark most of the time, are light most of the time, are noisy, are overly urban or are too rural are nice to visit but I don't care to live there.

I prefer brunettes to blondes and red heads!

Short of sheer stupidity, deliberate ignorance, or physical attack, nothing 'offends' me. But it might piss me off.

I don't care what the subject of a joke is, or whether it is tasteless or 'juvenile' or politically incorrect. Go ahead and tell it to me, and the worst that might happen is I won't laugh.

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Copyright Paul Schmidt 2002