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Ryan Ulyate: "We're on the verge of a Hi-Res revolution"

By Robert Baird |

Ryan Ulyate's been producing and recording music for artists like Electric Light Orchestra, George Harrison and especially Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for over 40 years, often out of his studio, Ryan's Place, which he laughingly refers to as "a little shed in Topanga Canyon."

Along with Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, Ulyate pored through untold hours of tape—some in boxes just labeled "Jam"— to assemble Tom Petty, An American Treasure, a career-spanning 2018 retrospective that focused on obscure, overlooked tracks that could be newly remastered for this set. Shocked and saddened like many by Petty's sudden death in October 2017, Ulyate found this set to be both an affectionate farewell and a way to honor his departed friend.

Ulyate has always felt that music fans were never hearing the whole story. Given the compromises made at every step in the mastering and production process, information disappears, the sound loses its life and power and the final product was always lacking. He's been on a mission to find a way to make that "wire between the artist's brain and your brain be as short and direct as possible." "Hi-Res is that conduit," he adds.

"Hi-Res for streaming is fantastic idea, I've heard some of these new technologies," says Ulyate. "And we're on the verge of this revolution."


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