43+ years of fun and games…
Paul Christensen and his wife Donna founded Omega Productions in March of 1973. The Company specializes in live concert television specials, as well as live concert CD recordings. Omega also provides live event production and consulting services to the Entertainment and Sports Industries.
The Christensens co-produce all their projects working as a team… an approach they believe is responsible for the success of 48 years of marriage and 43+ years of award winning production excellence.
The company was originally founded in 1973 to supply live music recording services to the record and television industries, a service that continues to this day. One of their three 48 track mobile recording trucks was the original Wally Heider Mobile 2, which they purchased from Chris Stone, owner of the well respected, LA based, Record Plant Studios. Many of the over 300 artists with which the the company has worked, were projects done live in the field with the Omega Remote Unit.
From 1982 to 1992, Omega maintained a 48 track recording studio facility in Dallas, co-located with a video post production house, Video Post & Transfer. It was during this period that the Christensens fulfilled their goal to learn the television and film business from the inside out. In addition to studio recording, the facility was one of the pioneers of audio post for television and film. During this time Mix Magazine recognized the studio by inviting them to grace the cover of the May 1982 magazine. During this period, the company worked on numerous studio projects with Prince, Anderson, Buford, Wakeman & Howe (Yes), Asleep at the Wheel, New Edition, Paul Shafer, Talking Heads, DFW Mass Choir, B. B. King, Joe Ely, Tony Orlando, Chet Baker, NTU 1 O’Clock Jazz Band, Carl Perkins, Brave Combo and Jimmy Stewart among many.
Looking at the big picture…
That 10 year experience enabled the Christensens to integrate their knowledge of music recording and concert production with what they had learned about television and film. Omega’s producing philosophy integrates all of these disciplines…. recording, studio, stage and concert, with the latest developments in television and film, assuring a greater level of success and cost savings. Omega can take control of all aspects of a recorded event, assuring that there is a memorable concert, as well as a successful CD recording, DVD or BD (Blu-Ray Disc).
They have recently been called on to produce more internet based live concert events, which are streamed live to world wide audiences. Their understanding of new media, the internet and the newest forms of production allows them to assist their clients in leveraging today’s emerging music markets.
A rich tapestry of music…
During the company’s 43+ year history, Paul Christensen and his wife Donna and their staff have worked with over 300 of the best known personalities in the business: comedy stars such as Bob Hope, Steve Allen, Jack Lemmon and David Brenner; Broadway legends like Ben Vereen, Tommy Tune, Lena Horne and Chita Rivera; film artists Michael Keaton, Charlton Heston, Jimmy Stewart and Dennis Quaid and music legends like Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.
Their work has crossed all lines of music… from the jazz of Ramsey Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie, Michael Franks and Al Jarreau; the rock of U2, Van Halen, Little Feat and Neil Young; the country of Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, George Jones and Garth Brooks; the blues of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bobbie Blue Bland and Robert Cray; the R&B and funk sounds of The Neville Brothers, The Meters, The Commodores and Johnnie Taylor, to the gospel sounds of Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond and the Mississippi Mass Choir.
Omega Productions Studio Facility (1980-1992) (Omega Audio)
In 1980, Neil Feldman approached Paul Christensen with the idea of building a major video post, film transfer and computer animation facility at Dallas Love Field Airport. The plan was for Feldman to create Video Post and Transfer and Paul Christensen would build a 48 track recording studio to support the scoring, music and audio post needs of Film and Video clients located in Texas and the contiguous states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The facility would be full service and be located in the old Braniff terminal of the airport. Omega has the distinction of being the only large scale recording studio ever successfully located in a commercial airport.
Christensen had been running a successful remote recording operation since 1973 and the addition of the studio operation would allow the company more opportunities to diversify into audio post for film and video. During the studio’s ten year operation in Dallas, they provided assistance to the CMX Corporation in the development of the first industry large scale audio post editing and mixing system. At the time, CMX was the leader in large scale video editing systems.
The heart of the operation was an Amek M2500 32 x 24 automated console along with Otari MTR 90 24 track and MTR 10 2, 4, center track and 1/2 inch 2 track mastering recorders. An Adam Smith multi synchronizer system controlled all the machines including 2 MTR 90 24 track units used for 48 track recording. Besides the CMX partnership, the company was also one of the first users of Mitsubushi’s 1/4 inch 2 track open reel digital mastering recorders. All of the facility’s operations pre-dated the advent of computers for production. At the height of Omega’s operations in the late 80s, the company owned three Otari 24 track recorders. One recorder lived in the studio, while one unit was assigned to the mobile. The third recorder was available for 48 track recording in the mobile or studio, as needed.
Omega became known as a leader in audio post for film and video as well as for hosting projects for several major clients and artists such as Prince, Anderson, Burford, Wakeman and Howe (Yes), Talking Heads & David Byrne, New Edition, HBO, B. B. King, Asleep at the Wheel, Paul Shafer, Joe Ely, Tony Orlando, Chet Baker, Carl Perkins, Brave Combo, Sweden based Silkheart Records, Warner Brothers Records, MCA Records and Universal, to name a few.
Omega Productions Remote Facility (1973-1992) (Omega Audio & Productions)
After being released from the US Air Force in 1971, Christensen began to turn his interest in music and recording gear into a part time endeavor, doing small projects for his friends, churches and other groups. One thing led to another and Omega Audio was formed by he and his wife Donna in 1973. Paul and Donna like to say, “In a period of 6 months, Donna was expecting their first child, they purchased their first home under the GI Bill and Paul quit a lucrative position as a Manager of a 1.5 million square foot warehouse operation, Great Southwest Warehouses, a subsidiary of Gulf Atlantic Corporation.” Paul concentrated on remote recording doing any project that involved a live performance or recording on-location.
With a loan from a local bank, the company purchased one of the first semi-pro recording consoles, a TASCAM Model 10, which supported a whopping 12 x 4 configuration. Adding to this arsenal was a TASCAM Series 70 1/2 inch 4 channel recorder. In addition, Christensen expanded his inputs by building a Gately Pro Kit, adding another 6 inputs. Soon a used small low boy van was purchased and converted into a mobile studio, which by 1980 had been replaced with a larger van, which could support a 24 track recorder rented from local studios. Heady activities for the company at that time.
Soon after Christensen completed the studio operation at Love Field, he had the opportunity to purchase what would become Omega’s third and final mobile unit, the venerable former Wally Heider Mobile 2 originally built for Wally Heider in San Francisco in the 70s. Chris Stone, owner of the Record Plant Studios in LA agreed to part ways with the unit, which had recorded some of the most prestigious projects in concert history. including a Rolling Stones tour and The Band’s Last Waltz, among scores of other projects.
Omega continued the tradition adding to the roster with artists like, U2, Van Halen, Little Feat and Neil Young, B. B. King, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis,
Fats Domino, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers, Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks. The original classic API 2098 console, 32 in x 16 bus x 24 monitors with 550A eq, was the heartbeat of this unit. The board was originally custom built for Wally Heider in 1972. The console later found a home in RCA Studio B in Nashville and today is in daily use in Columbia Studio A in Nashville. Quite a legacy for this fine lady, which tracked so many famous projects and artists over a 44 year history.
Television and Live Event History (1990-present) (Omega Productions)
One of the advantages of being co-located with Video Post & Transfer in the 1980s was the chance to learn the pro video and film business first hand. By 1990, Paul Christensen had been asked to serve as a technical producer on several concert shoots where Omega was also hired to record the event. One thing led to another and soon Paul and Donna were producing live concert shoots and other live entertainment events. During the 90s and 2000s they produced a bevy of projects across the US and overseas in London.
The Christensens produced concert shoots for HBO, Malaco Records, Jive Records, Verity Records, Universal, Alligator and Warner Brothers Records. There were
shoots for live dates including B. B. King, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Johnny Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland, Jordin Sparks, Fred Hammond, Donald Lawrence, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Marvin Sapp, Hezekiah Walker, and Dottie Peoples.
During the next 25+ years, the Christensens served as Live Event Producers for the 1994 World Cup Games in Dallas; a 12 year run as Game Day Entertainment Producers for the Dallas Cowboys Football Club; Live Event and Television Producers for the Spirit of America Rally for North Texas Rotary Clubs and Armed Forces Radio and Television Network; Oklahoma Centennial Concert Television Producers for OETA/PBS; Live Event Producers for ACT ONE Grand Performance Fundraising Gala for the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation and Television Producers for the Louisiana Hayride, 50th Anniversary Homecoming Concert, among others.
The Christensen’s continue to produce live television specials and entertainment events of every genre, including an awards show they have produced for over 25 years, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Awards Show for OETA/PBS and the Oklahoma Heritage Association.
Paul Christensen is a graduate of Peacock Military Academy and Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he met his wife, Donna. He is married to the love of his life, Donna Garrison, who co-produces all Omega events, as well as his life.
The Christensens live on the Texas Gulf Coast in Palacios, TX. In 2010 they purchased a commercial building built in 1909, which they recently restored for their home and offices. The state of Texas recently designated the structure as a Registered Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL). They can see the water of Tres Palacios Bay (Matagorda Bay) from their windows. Their son Clay lives near Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Kim, son Frankie Nathan, daughter Cassandra Gail, son Adric Lewis, son Garrison Paul, son Hartley Clay and new daughter Mabel Ann (say that three times quickly!). Their daughter Faith lives in Neuburg, Mecklenburg-vorpommern, Germany, with her daughter, Hope Vivian and newly born son, Credence Clay.