1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?
I was born and raised near Tulsa, Oklahoma. I moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music and join their Music Production and Engineering major. It had been my dream to attend Berklee since I was 13 and getting to be a part of such a musically rich culture was more than a dream-come-true.
I’ve been so lucky to study under some of the most talented audio engineers in the industry and learn from them first-hand. Having my engineering projects graded by Susan Rogers is nerve-wracking, to say the least, but it lead me to set strong foundations as an audio engineer.
At Berklee I was able to work on dozens of different projects, ranging from folky string quartets to 12 piece funk bands. Being around such incredible musicians who are so dedicated to their art meant I was never at a loss when looking for new material to record.
Now I’m a freelancer in Boston. I work for Berklee’s Internet Radio Station (The BIRN) and assist engineers and studios around the city, such as Dan Cantor at Notable Productions and Robin Moore at WGBH. Since I graduated I’ve found that the learning never really stops and I’m eager to work hands-on with seasoned professionals in the audio industry!
2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?
My father is a music enthusiast and his library spanned decades, from jazz to early rock and roll to 80s disco, he loved collecting music. We would have contests on who could find the coolest new artist on the charts. I spent my childhood making playlists with him on CDs and sharing them with our family and friends. Every activity was embellished by the smooth tones of Motown or folk hits of the 70s.
I started writing music at a very young age and was always eager to share my songs. My parents bought me a guitar, I taught myself how to accompany my voice and by the time I was 13 my mother had me in the studio working through my songs with producer Jung Song from Tulsa. During this time, I became fascinated with recording. I found myself envious of the job behind the glass and asked a million questions to gain insight on exactly what the job of “engineer” and “producer” entailed.
I was lucky enough to attend a program at a local technical college during high school for music production. It was there that I finally got my hands on a microphone, learned how to mic a drum set and got certified in ProTools. This lead to my acceptance into Berklee and my journey through the Music Production and Engineering major there.I don’t think I could ever give up the feeling of anticipation when walking into a studio before set-up and preparing for music to be created. I’ve never felt more at home than when I’m behind that glass. I am honored to be an active part in bringing artist’s music to “tape” and enabling them to share it with the world.
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?
Brandon Hassan is not only one of my favorite clients, but a dear friend of mine. His music is volatile and passionate and working with him in the studio never fails to excite. I submitted to two categories at AES, Traditional and Modern studio recording, with two of my productions with Brandon. Both productions probably accumulated 40+ hours each if you include every recording session and mix sessions. Because Berklee only give 2-hour studio slots, everything had to be pieced together bit-by-bit. The songs are a part of Brandon’s band SHAH, who are all incredibly talented and enjoyable people. It was a blast!
These were my first entries into the AES competition and they both won awards! It was my last shot for submitting my work before I graduated and I’m super thankful that I did.
4) What/who made you join AES?
My second year at Berklee I went to an AES convention in New York. Dan Cantor at Notable, who also was a professor of mine, convinced me to go. I was completely enamored the whole weekend with the gear, the talks, and the people I met! Everyone is so kind and it’s so fun to be in a huge group of people who are all there for the same reason: to nerd out over audio. AES has always been a no-brainer. I want to be a part of the audio engineering community and joining was the first logical step.
5) Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 143st AES convention in NY!
Well, seeing Andrew Scheps mix Iggy Pop was incredible, along with all the other great minds at the Mix With the Masters booth. It’s cool to hear the pros talking about the mindset to have during the process, as opposed to worrying about technical stuff (which you can always learn). There was such a wide range of experience there. Getting to talk with professionals at booths and get ideas for the steps I should take in my career in the future was an invaluable experience.
Posted: Monday, February 5, 2018