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Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Denis Martin

We are happy to post some interviews with the student recording competition winners of the AES133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!

gold award winner of category 3 (modern studio recording): Denis Martin


SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Denis: I'm from the east coast of Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia. I started my studies in Nova Scotia at Acadia University with a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance. From there I went on to the Masters in sound recording at McGill, which I'm currently completing. I would definitely consider myself focused on music recording, particularly rock/pop, however I do a lot of classical and jazz recording as well!

SDA: Tell us about the production of your competition entry. How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? Stories? Inspirations?

Denis: My competition entry is from a session at the Banff Centre, Canada, during their Summer Jazz Workshop. The tune I entered was one of three from the session, which lasted roughly 6 hours. All-in-all things had to be accomplished quick! I couldn't have done it without the whole production team. The mixing took place in september at McGill over the period of a couple weeks. The mix was totally in the box, so I could easily work on it for about an hour at a time here and there. As for inspiration or references, I couldn't think of much! One image that stuck with me, mentioned by the composer, was that he wanted it to sound like an epic Lord of the Rings scene, enter Lexicon! 

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?

Denis: My passion for audio was initiated and continues to be sustained by a passion for music. Honestly, without music I wouldn't have a whole lot of interest in the field. 

SDA: How did the AES help you on your way of being a successful audio engineer?

Denis: The AES is a great place to meet new people, and it gives the chance to present your current work. Whether that be a recording, a research paper, or a new product.  

SDA: What are your highlights of the AES133 in San Francisco?

Denis: San Francisco! It was my first time in California. My flight home ended up being delayed by a couple days as well, and I had a great time in the city!

SDA: What was your funniest experience as an engineer so far?

Denis: There's been quite a few, I can't necessarily think of the best. A recent one would probably be a guitar solo I was tracking a couple weeks ago. The musicians had one of their friends come in and lay down the most abstract "out" solo possible on a funk/pop tune. I guess you'd have to hear it, but the first pass was pretty hilarious. I'm pretty sure that's the solo that has to stay on the track...  

SDA: Can you tell us your biggest mistake you made during a production?

Denis: Something I've definitely be trying to work on lately is to concentrate on the musicians/music at all costs. Some of the bigger mistakes I have made have been due to getting too caught up in the engineering.

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Denis: I don't think I can answer that, that's a tough question. Looking at my itunes, some of my top play counts are on Mother Mother's new album The Sticks!

SDA: Do you play any instruments?

Denis: Yes! I play a lot of percussion, drums, and I used to play quite a bit of piano. I try to play guitar sometimes.

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Denis: Yes! The most recent one is squash, we play 2-3 times a week for a couple hours. I also love longboarding, hockey, and mountain biking.

SDA: Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Denis: Ideally, still here in Montreal or Toronto, working as a freelance engineer/producer for rock/pop music. Although I'd be down to go pretty much anywhere!


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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