Honor Graduate Audio Institute of America: Audio Engineer
A little about myself and my background:
I own a home studio which I named “Music In Your Life Studios” in a small town in New Hampshire. While I never really aimed to make it to the “big time” I do have extensive experience working with music and sound production and sound recording.
Right after College, I spent several years in a couple of different a bands that played in clubs in and around Boston. (Don’t worry you’ve never heard of either one of them.) The city clubs had their own sound systems and sound engineers, so all we had to do was set up and play. While in Boston, I got my first taste of studio recording as our band also made demo recordings in two different area studios.
While we did get some minor notoriety and some sparse airplay on the radio, the real take away was that I was really fascinated by the recording process and making recordings. Ultimately, after a few years of learning how competitive the music business was, I decided I wanted to move back closer to our family’s home in New Hampshire. I changed my goal to play in bands only for fun, and to have my own home studio. I took a course in Audio Recording, and graduated as an honor student.
At the same time, I found a way to make a living combining my interests in music with my interests in sound production. I had been a DJ at my College radio station all 4 years of College, and so plagued the local commercial radio station until they hired me. Over the next few years I began to assemble the first vestiges of a home studio beginning with first a four track cassette recorder, and then graduating to 8 track reel to reel. I then moved on to 16 track Digital, and finally to the unlimited tracks that can now be had through modern recording software. (I started with Pro Tools LE, and now use Cakewalks’ Sonar.) I also gained a ton of insight in to the mechanics of sound and recording, both working at the radio station, and in my home studio.
Meanwhile I was still hacking around playing in a couple of garage bands-one big difference- was when we were playing gigs around rural New Hampshire and Vermont we had to do our own audio. SO naturally I became the sound engineer for the band, working sound at the same time as playing, which as anyone who has done it knows, can be quite a trick.
One of the opportunities our band had at the time was to play in a local Battle of the Bands competition. But, in to participate, we had to have a CD in order to enter. At that time, I was in no position to be able to pull off a professional grade recording, so off we trekked to a local recording studio that had done extensive work for professional broadcast. Once again, I got to spend a fair amount of time in a pro studio learning and watching how everything from laying down tracks to editing to mix down all worked. I continued to be fascinated…..
Ultimately the late night schlepping of equipment, low pay, cigarette inhalation, and personal dynamics of working with people who had changing priorities, put more focus on recording things at home. I did spend a couple of years playing solo gigs and doing open mikes, but that wasn’t as much fun as making my own recordings. I also made one more foray into a pro studio recording and released a single of an original song called “Miss New Hampshire” just for fun. That recording was released through CD Baby (a service some of you may already be familiar with), I later partnered with them to become a ****Certified Home Studio Partner*****
There is still one more twist to this story, and then I swear…I’ll wrap it up……! After running a successful on-line business selling music instruction materials, I eventually got into to giving music lessons to students on guitar and drums. The on-line business was soon cannibalized by former customers who became imitators, and then the big dog ....Amazon .com moved in-I had to make another shift. I moved into the world of education, and taught music at a local elementary school as a supplement to giving lessons. I also worked as a part-time recruiter at the local Community College, which eventually parlayed itself into a full time gig in the College’s Continuing Education Department. While working in Continuing Education, I developed and taught a number of music and recording related course. I also taught business classes on line for College Credit as well as providing independent studies for a couple of students-as the College did not have a music program.
All of this combined experience is what has brought me here today. Now that you know my story, it is my proud honor to share some of the knowledge that I have gained over time with you-so that you can reach for your dreams, expand your hobby, or just plain have fun learning about something you love! Let’s move on and begin to learn more about sound….