Roy D. Wallace


After working at River City for over 10 years, Producer and Engineer Roy Wallace purchased the business in late 2012 from the original owner, and promptly began the task of moving the business to a new location, reconditioning some of the studios coveted vintage audio equipment (most of which was part of the studio’s original equipment purchase in 1977), and procuring new and updated equipment to better suit the needs of clients.

Music has been a huge part of Roy’s life.  Beginning at the age of four when he started playing violin using the Suzuki method and continuing to the present, playing drums and percussion in The Sweet J Band and in the studio on various projects.  Through grade school, Roy played music in numerous youth symphonies including the prestigious Blue Lake International Youth Symphony, and sang in the Grand Rapids Choir of Men And Boys. He continued with his musical studies throughout college where he majored in violin and percussion performance for two years, before change majors to Recording Technology.

Roy received his Associate of Arts in Recording Technology from Grand Rapids Community College in 2002, and a Bachelors of Science in Music Industry Management with a certificate in Direct Marketing from Ferris State University in 2004.  Upon completion of his Associates degree, Roy promptly began work at professional recording, live sound and A/V companies where he has been involved in sound design for many independent films, television commercial production, as well as live sound design for corporate events, product unveilings and Fund Raisers.

In 2010, Roy did the final mixing and mastering for the film “The Genesis Code” filmed in Grand Rapids, and release nationwide in theaters with international distribution on DVD.  Roy has co-written, produced and recorded many award winning albums for many artist, such as Mission Orange, Sweet Japonic, Dan Walker, The Southpaw Players and Ultraviolet Hippopotamus to name a few.  In 2011, Roy’s work on Ultraviolet Hippopotamus’ third album, “Square Pegs, Round Holes,” which reached No. 3 and spent much of the year in the top 25 of the Relix Magazine/ National Radio Chart and was voted “2011 Studio Album of the Year” by the Home Grown Music Network. It also received similar nominations from several radio programs, including “Best Jam/Funk album” at the 2012 WYCE Jammie Awards.

Roy is a very passionate advocate for the recording and mixing arts, and the preservation of the “Studio Environment” and the creativity it produces.  He believes the best recordings, mixes and film audio post, comes from the collaboration you only get when creative people all work together in the same environment, and have the tools necessary to facilitate their creative ambitions.

When not at the studio or performing, you can find Roy working on VW buses, mountain biking, Hiking, Cross country and downhill skiing, and generally enjoying the great outdoors.


Joe McCargar


River City Studios opened its doors in May of 1977. Joseph McCarger arrived in late August, making him the longest serving staff member at RCS. With Jackie Heldt, Joe holds down the week-to-week finances at the studio. He is also one of three regular recording engineers and performs as a voice actor on radio and television commercials and long-form audio for various “industrial” information/training audio productions.

Joe is the engineer of record for dozens (hundreds?) of vinyl and CD music productions from symphonic to hip-hop and has travelled extensively through Austria, Hungary, Germany, Russia, Finland and Estonia recording choral music on-location.

Since 1980, Joe has been a professor at Grand Valley State University, teaching courses from introductory to advanced for music, radio/TV and film/video students.

Joe is a bit of a microphone fanatic, and has grown a collection of fine and unique microphones which he uses with relish in the service of outstanding River City audio.

Joe is also an avid “fast recreational” bicyclist and follows professional bike racing via any form of media available.

Joe considers his work with both River City and Grand Valley State University as two parts of a dream job, which, through good luck and hard work he is privileged to have pursued for more than 35 years.


Austin Ruhstorfer


Austin Ruhstorfer has worked with award winning, multi-platinum selling artists, as well as local West Michigan, Detroit and Chicago artists alike and spanning almost every conceivable genre. Austin specializes in the Rock & Alternative, Hip-Hop/Rap, and Electronic genres of music production, but is very much as comfortable in just about any genre of music from Classical to Country, Blues to Metal.

Austin was Born in Grand Rapids, MI. but grew up on Michigan’s east coast on Lake Huron. He began his musical journey at age 9 with piano lessons and then drum lessons by age 12. By his mid-teenage years, Austin had shifted his musical focus to synthesizer keyboards, electronic music programming, as well as learning to play guitar. After performing around the local Port Huron and Detroit music scenes in various rock bands for a few years,  Austin returned back to Grand Rapids to attend Grand Rapids Community College to study classical guitar and pursue a degree in music. Shortly after, he changed his major and enrolled in GRCC’s Recording Technologies program and began his career in music & audio production.

Austin started working at River City Studios in the winter of 2007 and is known as the studio gear aficionado of the West Michigan area. Whether it’s a classic mixing console; vintage microphone, EQ, or compressor; to new software plug-in technology, chances are Austin knows it well and can give you the complete history behind each piece and what sound characteristics they impart.

On the rare occasion that Austin is not in the studio working, he can be found doing some of his favorite extra curricular activities, which include: playing video games, cooking, programming new sounds on his collection of synthesizers and keyboards, exercising, reading, boating on Lake Michigan, writing songs for and rehearsing with his own band, New York Lights.


Jackie Heldt

Jackie has had the wonderful privilege to work for River City Studios for the past 19 years. Where has the time gone!   Most likely, she is the person you will meet, walking in the front door or when calling the studio. She loves the fact that each day is so different and brings such diverse creative sessions…whether recording audiobooks, creating local Radio/TV spots, or Rockin’ out with amazingly locally talented musicians as well as national acts (AC/DC, Aerosmith and Rascal Flatts, to name a few).

Jackie wears many hats at the studio – from session scheduling, accounting responsibilities,  CD duplication, and even an occasional voice-over session, there is never a dull moment! She is grateful for a career she loves and all she has learned over the years along with the incredible staff she works with everyday that she regards as family!

She is a huge Sports Fan – Football, Baseball, Basketball – she loves them all and being in the music world she has learned not many musicians care about the box score…however she continues to educate any who will listen and continues to hold out hope for a Detroit Lions Superbowl win!