Professional Sound - June 2022 - Page 34

But it was these people who are like , “ I ’ m here because I ’ m better , I had to grind , I ’ m here purely because I worked harder than everyone else ,” when really , you ’ re talking about internships in the music industry , and most of those are unpaid – the only people who can take unpaid internships are people who can afford to take unpaid internships . But all these engineers at these studios are like , “ I succeeded purely on hard work .”
And we were talking about , we have had a lot of luck to be here ; I had a lot of luck to get out of engineering school with no debt because of my parents , and to be able to get a good paying job , which paid for a lot of this ; plus for James to be able to get a job at Guitar Center – all that had to fall into place for us to do this . And we kind of recognize that a lot of the reason that so many of the major engineers are cis , white men is specifically because of the barriers and attrition within the industry . So , it ’ s like , “ Alright , we ’ ve been lucky to get here , so we want to reduce the barriers to entry for other people .”
And that means sometimes I ’ ve had people who are paying me to do a mix , but they ’ ll come in , and I ’ ll try to teach them about what I ’ m doing – I see that as a victory for everybody , even if that means they don ’ t need me in the future .
PS : It ’ s great to hear how the studio has blossomed into something so communal and musically diverse . Beyond learning new techniques and delving into styles you hadn ’ t worked on before , how has this experience informed how you approach your work ?
McCullough : One of the biggest things that I ’ ve learned since getting into this more , which isn ’ t something that ’ s really covered in school or in a “ how to mix ” book , is how to really internalize the musician ’ s vision and how to really , really get it and almost read their mind about what they want .
I think one of the biggest approaches for me is trying not to make it about myself , sticking to the artist ’ s vision , and not steering them away from that unless their vision is somehow catastrophic [ laughs ]; or they ’ re lacking a coherent vision in some sort of way , in which case I might try to focus it . But if there ’ s clear vision in the demo mixes and they ’ re sending references where they ’ re like , “ I want it to sound like this ,” that makes it pretty straightforward .
The other thing , which we ’ ve touched on a little bit , is that we ’ re very anti-gatekeeping towards audio recording and the music industry in general . I remember when I was in school , these engineers would come to us and would talk to us and have these presentations they would give and I didn ’ t really have the language to describe what I was actually thinking ; but every week , I was just like , “ God , these people are so insufferable ,” but I didn ’ t really know why .
Goldmann : Clients will come in , and they ’ ll have a really good experience and they ’ re like , “ Not only did I get a really good product out of what I came in to do , but I also learned a ton about what I can do in the future .”… So , it ’ s like , not only are we trying to elevate the entire community ’ s ability to create a good product on their own and through us , it ’ s also just good for us , as well , because they ’ re going to want to come back and work with somebody that they enjoyed working with …
If you don ’ t mind if I drop a plug really quick – we at Nu House have recently started what we call the Trans Musician Fund . We basically made a bunch of T-shirts ; if you buy a shirt , or contribute directly on coffee , or download the compilation that we ’ ve posted on our Bandcamp , the proceeds from all of those sales after we recoup costs goes into a fund that we then use to offset costs for trans musicians to come work with us , and we have a bunch of money in that fund .
So basically , if you ’ re a trans musician that perhaps wants to get some really high-quality recording , production , mixing , or mastering done , but you don ’ t necessarily have the funds to do so , hit us up ask about the Trans Musician Fund ; we ’ re going to use that to offset the cost of your project so that we can still get paid and keep working while reducing the cost on you as well . So , everybody kind of wins . So yeah , that ’ s kind of our big thing that we ’ ve got going on right now . It ’ s available on our Bandcamp – nuhousestudios . bandcamp . com – you can also check it out on our social media on Twitter and Instagram , both of which are just @ nuhousestudios . So yeah , if you want to get perfect , hit us up . And if you want a really nice T-shirt , they ’ re in a nice light blue and yellow at the moment . And once we sell out of those , we ’ ll probably make some more cool colours !
Audrey Leyenhorst is a freelance producer , recording engineer & mixer , and the former Assistant Editor of Professional Sound .