Meeting Topic: AES Nashville Section "Student Hang Time" an Enjoyable Success
Moderator Name: Michael Hanson
Meeting Location: RCA Columbia Studio A - Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee
The Nashville Section of the AES held a "Student Hang Time" at historic Columbia Studio A on Thursday August 29th 2019, with at least a hundred area undergraduate and graduate audio students in attendance. Nashville is fortunate to have a number of prominent recording and audio schools, and students were in attendance from the host school Belmont University, Middle Tennessee State University, SAE Institute - Nashville, The Blackbird Academy and more.
The mission and educational benefits of the AES were promoted by Executive Committee members, who each gave brief summaries of their careers and expertise, reflective of the deep and varied talent pool of Music City. AES student section leader presidents also discussed their plans for the year. Students conversed with local audio professionals, and interacted and networked with faculty and other students throughout the three-hour event, well-fortified by AES-provided pizza and soft drinks.
"I was very proud to see the interest and involvement of the students. It was a delight to see and hear", says AES Nashville Section Chair Michael Hanson. "It was also wonderful to notice students mingling from different schools and talking about their experiences. The ideas, knowledge, and camaraderie being shared this evening was unique."
Committee member Wayne Chomik, Senior Design Engineer at Harrison Audio, says: "The students were wildly enthusiastic (I'm not kidding). They have varied backgrounds, but are all very interested in music and audio. I was quizzed extensively about the electronics side of things."
AES Nashville Section Committee member and Uno Mas Studio owner/engineer Doug Sarrett comments: "It was a great turnout! My biggest takeaway was talking to the kids who are brand new and didn't know what a producer does, or a mixer, or the difference between a beat and a stem. There was genuine excitement from them to know new things about this career they are beginning!"
Columbia Studio A was originally built by Owen and Harold Bradley, whose Quonset Hut recording studio next door began and anchored historic Music Row. Innumerable hit records were cut in Nashville Columbia studios by artists including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Marty Robbins, Johnny Horton, Charlie Rich, The Byrds, Patti Page, Dusty Springfield, Elvis Costello, Simon & Garfunkel, and many more. Kris Kristofferson worked as a janitor there to pay for his fifty-dollar-a-month apartment, and four Bob Dylan records were recorded in the room: Blonde on Blonde, Nashville Skyline, John Wesley Harding, and Self Portrait. Attending students were fortunate to be able to speak with the legendary Nashville engineer Lou Bradley, who worked with many of these artists, including on the Dylan records.
Section Chair Hanson says: "Following the event, I was thanked by several students ranging from their first semester (days/weeks) in college, to their last semester. They mentioned how nice it was to feel welcomed and involved, and asked when the next event was. I hope this is the start to bringing like-minded people together to share their knowledge, skills, abilities, interests and future goals concerning audio, in a safe and accepted environment."
Vice Chairman Barry Cardinael concludes: "All in all, the event provided an opportunity that epitomized the AES Mission: 'to promote the science and practice of audio, by bringing leading people and ideas together'."
Written By: Mark Rubel, The Blackbird Academy