From an early age, Rob enjoyed tinkering with reel-to-reel tape recorders provided him by his father. Years of fascination and experimentation with tape recording led to his first semi-pro projects recording bands in his hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania. While still in his early teens–not yet old enough to drive–he frequented local venues, lugging a bulky tape recorder and a case stuffed with reels of magnetic tape, microphones, cables, and audio adapters. In 1972 Rob's band RMI-TMI, in which he played keyboard, recorded an album at New York's landmark Media Sound Studios. After completion of the album Rob stayed on to intern in the studio for six months. These experiences helped Rob land his first professional position at dB Studios in Chicago in 1973. There he honed his razorblade editing and mixing skills while recording innumerable jingles and radio and television spots and managing the studio's extensive sound effects library.
From 1974 until 1979, Rob was head engineer and part owner of Plaza Sound Studios in New York City, a classic recording facility situated high atop Radio City Music Hall. His years at Plaza Sound coincided with the advent and growth of the New York punk rock scene. Trolling downtown for new artists to record, Rob made contacts at CBGB's, the epicenter of that scene, and managed to position himself in the middle of it all. Rob was privileged to be the recording engineer on such seminal albums as the Ramones' debut album Ramones, Blondie's Blondie and Plastic Letters, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids' Blank Generation. Throughout his Plaza Sound years, Rob made records with a diverse array of artists including KISS, Ace Frehley, Rupert Holmes, Twisted Sister, Salsoul Orchestra, Robert Gordon, Link Wray, Martha Velez, Sunny Fortune, Genya Ravan, John Miles, The Laughing Dogs, and many more.
In 1979 the Rockefeller Foundation sold Radio City to the Disney Corporation, and Plaza Sound Studios closed its doors. So began the free-lance chapter of Rob's career that continues to this day. Early free-lance projects had him recording albums with KISS, Julie Brown, and The Elektrics and mixing a Top 40 single for Agnetha Faltskog of Abba. In time, Rob made the jump from engineer to producer, and, over the decade that ensued, produced singles, EPs, and/or albums for Twisted Sister, Lawrence Gowan (currently of STYX), Tim Moore, Jailbait, Single Bullet Theory, Regina Richards, The Go, Surgin', and Queen City Kids, among others. Notably, Rob co-produced, engineered and mixed the debut album by the Go-Go's, Beauty and the Beat. That album went multi-platinum around the world, topped the US Billboard album charts at #1 for six weeks, spawned two hit singles, was the first #1 album by an all-girl group who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments, and, incredibly, was crowned the CMJ (College Music Journal) Top Album of the Decade (1980-1990).
Rob's efforts over those busy years have garnered him a variety of acclamations and awards such as Billboard's Top 15 Producer of the Year (1982), Pro Sound News' Engineer of the Year (1983), Pro Sound News' 2nd Runner-up Producer of the Year (1983), one RIAA (US) Gold Single, two RIAA (US) Gold Albums, and two RIAA (US) Platinum Albums, eight Ampex Golden Reels, two BPI (UK) Gold Albums, one CRIA (Canada) Gold Album, one CRIA (Canada) Platinum Album.Today Rob resides in Florida with his wife Teresa, Broker/Owner of Florida Realty Fusion. Though still taking on occasional music projects, Rob has refocused his sound recording skills toward production sound for feature films, documentaries, commercials, and broadcast television.
Top 15 Pop Producer of the Year (1982) - ProSound News
Recording Engineer of the Year (1983) - ProSound News
Second Runner-Up Producer of the Year (1983) - Billboard
2 RIAA (US) Gold Album Sales Awards
2 RIAA (US) Platinum Album Sales Awards
1 RIAA (US) Gold Single Sales Awards
2 BPI (UK) Gold Album Sales Awards
1 CRIA (Canada) Gold Album Sales Awards
1 CRIA (Canada) Platinum Album Sales Award
8 AMPEX Golden Reel Awards
• The Go-Go's multi-platinum selling debut album, BEAUTY AND THE BEAT, co-produced, recorded and mixed by Rob Freeman, topped Billboard's Top-100 Albums chart at #1 for six consecutive weeks! It spawned two Top-20 singles, one of which, "We Got the Beat," peaked at #2.
• BEAUTY AND THE BEAT became the first #1 album in music history by an all-girl group who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments.
• BEAUTY AND THE BEAT was named #1 on the College Music Journal (CMJ) Top-1000 Albums of the Decade, 1979-1989! (That's of the decade, folks!!)
• In its 1982 year-end wrap-up charts, Billboard bestowed the following awards upon The Go-Go's and BEAUTY AND THE BEAT:
#1 TOP POP ARTIST OF THE YEAR
#1 TOP POP ALBUM ARTISTS
#1 TOP POP ALBUM ARTIST DUOS/GROUPS
#2 TOP POP ALBUM
On those same Billboard year-end charts, The Go-Go's BEAUTY AND THE BEAT ranked above a distinguished list of huge-selling albums by artists that included The Rolling Stones, Foreigner, Asia, Journey, John Cougar, The Police, Genesis, AC/DC, Diana Ross, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ozzy Osbourne, Loverboy, Olivia Newton-John, Alabama, Willie Nelson, Vangelis (whose "Chariots of Fire" soundtrack knocked BEAUTY AND THE BEAT out of the #1 position on the Top-100 Album chart), Stevie Nicks, Kenny Rogers, Rick Springfield, and Air Supply.
• Rob's production of Tim Moore's beat-ballad single "Yes," propelled by its popularity as the love theme for a well-known Novela (Spanish soap opera), remained at #1 simultaneously on the Brazilian and Portugese record charts for an astonishing six months!