Instructor Profile: Reavis Mitchell
All of our SAE instructors are industry professionals drawing from a vast range of diverse professional experiences, so it’s quite entertaining to hear their various stories of past or current projects. One such story comes from SAE Nashville Instructor Reavis Mitchell (pictured above), who played an integral role in designing, programming and building a mobile production machine called the “Beat Thang.” Read More
Student Spotlight: Reid Willis
“Student Spotlight” is a recurring segment where we feature an SAE Institute student and some of the projects they’ve been working on. This week’s featured student is Reid Willis from SAE Atlanta.
Four bleak synthesizer tones descend in a chilly progression to open Radiohead’s Kid A, generating the unique atmosphere of an album that’s the aural equivalent of an animatronic hug: a pre-programmed electromechanical assurance that everything was, is and will continue to be all right. It’s a promise that the album conveys in a manner that is vaguely comforting and familiar, despite the unmistakably frigid dispassion of the machine’s caress.
For SAE Atlanta’s Reid Willis, the album –which was produced, engineered and mixed by SAE alumnus Nigel Godrich– was also an initial glimpse into the whirring, automated cybersoul of electronic music, a genre that has enchanted Willis since the 8th grade. Read More
SAE Institute Alumnus Nick Bertke, aka Pogo, takes us down the rabbit hole to discuss his unique brand of sample-based music, which remixes sounds and visuals from classic movies to create an ethereal blend of pop nostalgia. Another snippet from our upcoming doc: “DUST: the Art of Sampling.”
A few hearty thanks are in order: first: to Nick for allowing us in his studio space, and second: to our incredible family at SAE Perth for filming the interview.
SOUND ADVICE: “MIXING (SECRETLY) WHILE TRACKING”
“Sound Advice” is a recurring feature in which SAE Institute instructors offer helpful production techniques. Today, we learn tips on how to expedite the mixing process courtesy of SAE Nashville Instructor Cameron Henry.
I don’t like doing tedious activities when I mix. Editing, compressing, and EQing a bloated number of drum & guitar tracks are annoying chores for me. While I am aware that all those tasks are essential to a great recording, I prefer to focus on the vibe & overall sound of a mix, and I loathe time spent having to sort and organize while I’m trying to mix.
Early in my career, I was guilty of leaving myself too many mixing decisions at the final stage. As a result, my mixes suffered (don’t tell anyone) because I was too focused on menial, left-brained activities instead of keeping my focus on the overall vibe. Now I’ve learned to trust my creative instincts early on, while making more critical decisions during the tracking process. Often, I see young engineers struggle with this, so I’ve outlined my approach to certain critical tracking procedures to help get you in the habit of not leaving decisions to the last stage: Read More
Live From ‘The Chateau:’ Alex Peterson
SAE Alum Edited Video Game Sound, Signed Indie-Folk Band
A woman’s sharp, bloodcurdling scream pierces the chilled air and deadens when it runs into the padded walls of an enclosed room. Read More
Student Spotlight: Steven Chen
“Student Spotlight” is a recurring segment where we feature an SAE Institute student and some of the projects they’ve been working on. This week’s featured student is Steven Chen, from SAE Miami.
With such a large Latin influence, words adorning the shops, stores and street signs of Miami are understandably printed in both English and Spanish. Consequently, navigating the city’s cultural climate is significantly easier if you’re bilingual.
For Steven Chen, ATP student at SAE Miami, the creation of music is also a process that requires two different languages of understanding. Read More
Sound Advice: “Vocals & Compression”
“Sound Advice” is a recurring feature in which SAE Institute instructors offer helpful production techniques. Today, we get pointers on tracking vocals and compression from SAE Atlanta’s Course Coordinator, Scott Kieklak.
Tracking vocals properly can be a little tricky: a great deal depends on the vocalist and their performance chops. A vocalist who has not had much experience in the recording studio can create a lot of work for the engineer on the back end. Some engineers feel that heavy compression while recording is the answer. However, I personally don’t subscribe to this approach. The process below will assume a lead vocal. Read More
A Link in the Chain: Daniel Berger aka ‘BT’
SAE Alum Contributed Heavily to Classic Rap Sequel
“Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm and Head… we have the power to resurrect the dead.”-repeated chorus throughout Raekwon’s “North Star (Jewels),” the closing track on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
“No man can judge for another. But each man must weigh all facts and circumstances, and find truth through his own judgment of righteousness.”-Papa Wu, in his closing meditation on “North Star (Jewels)”
These two layered loops thusly end the cinematic journey of one of Hip-Hop’s most beloved masterpieces: an echoing, cryptic prayer to a higher power dwelling within one’s self, and hard-earned gems of wisdom spoken by a spiritual mentor.
Student Spotlight: Rob Ballingall
“Student Spotlight” is a recurring segment where we feature an SAE Institute student and some of the projects they’ve been working on. For our first Student Spotlight, we’re excited to showcase Rob Ballingall, an aspiring engineer and producer studying at the New York City campus.
“I’m not a big city person,” says Rob Ballingall, a statement that sounds more than a bit contradictory considering Ballingall is currently leaning over a mixing console located at the SAE Institute campus in Herald Square: practically the geographical center of a city that is arguably the world’s “biggest” (considering all connotations of the word). Read More