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Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Adam Primack

We are happy to post some interviews with the student recording competition winners of the AES133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!
silver award winner of category 4 (Sound for Visual Media): Adam Primack
SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Adam: I'm from Claremont, CA- a suburb of the greater Los Angeles area. I recently graduated from Vancouver Film School's Sound Design for Visual Media program in Vancouver, BC. During the program that spans a year, I was introduced to all aspects of audio post production for linear and interactive media. As a result, recording and designing sound, be it for a short film or video game, have since become true passions.

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

Adam: This was my first entry to the recording competition- my final project at Vancouver Film School. I was given about 8 weeks to find a piece to work with and realize an original surround mix. After endlessly searching for a short film, I first tracked down some animation students at Supinfocom Arles in France who had recently created their thesis film, "Hambuster". I spent 2 or 3 weeks recording foley, dial, hard effects, and backgrounds ( I made a real effort to use original recorded material, though some library effects would find their way in there). 3 weeks were spent editing and designing sounds, and another couple of weeks were spent on the mix stage. 

SDA:  What initiated your passion for audio?

Adam: Like many sound geeks out there, I come from a musical background. However, I wasn't introduced to digital audio theory until my final year of undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara. I was majoring in Film Studies but I hadn't found any direction to take within that interest. It was actually during a year-long electronic music course, in the Music department with Curtis Roads, where my entire world was thrown upside down and I discovered the true role that sound can and does play in our storytelling. Learning from such a profound figure in the audio community as well, was an inspiring kickstart to my ambitions with sound. 

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

Adam: I found the AES conference (my first) to be a unique opportunity to socialize with a massive group of people with very similar interests. In daily life, I'm very much aware of how annoying my "sound rants" or audio-centered conversations can be with friends and family. But for a few days, it was so refreshing to be surrounded by others who couldn't get enough of it- not to mention, having the chance to sit around with sound designers and engineers that I really look up to and admire. I'd say then, that in this light, AES really helped me in the beginnings of creating a professional social network.

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

Adam: The real highlight for me was hearing all of the pieces from the student recording competition and hearing about their production from the students themselves. Sharing drinks and laughs with some pretty iconic sound professionals was also a significant highlight. 

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

Adam: Funniest experience - recording foley for my project, I was faced with the task of creating sound for a baby's soother. The first thing that I turned to was an actual pacifier...The image of me sucking on a rubber nipple over and over is probably still engrained in my recordist's memory, and it was hard to keep from just erupting in laughter as I squeezed, sucked, and slobbered all over it. The things we do for the love of sound...

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

Adam: My first day on set as a production sound mixer, I armed the recorder but failed to actually record the first take of a scene. Thankfully, I was spared any sort of scolding or lecture because someone had spotted a major continuity error that required shifting of lights and makeup. Still, I felt like a goof.

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Adam: According to Wikipedia, it was originally slated as "man getting bit by an alligator, and he screamed." We all know it as the "Wilhelm scream". 

SDA: Do you play any instruments?

Adam: I was raised playing piano, and now I enjoy playing all kinds of instruments- whatever I can get my hands on, really. 

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Adam: A recent hobby that has somewhat taken over my social life is home-brewing beer. In just over 6 months, I've brewed over 100 gallons of beer and there's no end in sight...all of the friends and family that receive free bottles certainly aren't complaining.

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

Adam: In 10 years I'd like to be sound editing/designing full time at a studio here in Los Angeles- ideally working on feature films.

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

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