1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?
I grew up just outside of Chicago but moved to Nashville about 4 years ago to attend Middle Tennessee State University. I finished my undergraduate audio production degree there in 2015, and now I’m working on finishing my masters in recording arts and technologies here at MTSU. I plan to graduate with my masters in the Spring of 2018.
2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?
Like most people, my musical journey started out by being a musician. I took piano lessons as a kid, I played clarinet and trumpet in my school band, and I was a guitar player for a variety of rock bands throughout high school and college. I was lucky to attend a grammy winning high school that had music theory classes and a small MIDI based computer lab. This was my first introduction to music technology and the power that it had. Eventually I invested some money into a basic recording setup of my own so that I could record and produce my own songs. It wasn’t long before I became totally obsessed with audio. I used every chance I could to learn more about how to make better sounding music. This new found passion is what brought me to Nashville to attend MTSU and where I now produce local bands and songwriters.
3) Tell us about production of your submission? What is the story behind it? What inspired it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry?
The song I submitted for the competition was written by a friend of mine Natalie Madigan who is also a student at MTSU. I originally demoed a few of her songs as part of a class project during the later part of 2016. I was really impressed by her work so we decided to do a song together in our free time outside of class. The song was written to raise awareness about sexual assault and therefore had a lot of emotional depth to it. I wanted to maintain that feeling with the production of this song so we used a lot of dark tones, big reverbs, and ethereal sound effects. The production started out as just a piano and vocal recording. After the piano and vocal was recorded, I took the tracks home and programmed some strings and a bass line for the song. Next we recorded the drums. Then after adding and chopping up some additional sound effects and synth parts, we recorded the various background vocals parts heard in the track. The entire process from demo to a finished mix was probably about 4-5 months since we had to find time to work on it between our busy schedules and school work. This was my 3rd time entering the competition. Last year I won bronze, and this year I won gold.
4) What/who made you join AES?
My school is who really got me to join AES. When I first came to MTSU and was researching various organizations that were involved with audio, AES was one of the first names to pop up. I wanted to be involved in everything any anything audio that I could so it seemed like a no brainer to join the AES.
5) Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 143st AES convention in NY!
I think my favorite experiences at the the 143rd AES convention would have to be both winning gold in the student recording competition, and going to the student party at Jungle Studios. I had set a goal a while back to win gold at the AES student recording competition so the moment my name was announced as the winner was a moment of pure elation. It was also really cool to see and spend time in Jungle Studios knowing that some very successful artists had stood and created some hit songs in that very same room. As always, the AES convention is always a great opportunity to see and reconnect with old friends.
Posted: Thursday, December 14, 2017