April 26, 2016
If you don't think the bulk of your movie or live performance experience comes from the sound, imagine how you feel when you can't hear the lead actor's lines or when a microphone squeals. In a moment your experience is ruined.
With this in mind, Paul Smith, an adjunct faculty member of Susquehanna University's Department of Music, traveled to the south of France recently for Mix with the Masters, a music production seminar led by music producer Sylvia Massy, best known for her work with Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash.
Held at the world-renowned Studios La Fabrique in Saint-Rémy de Provence, Smith spent a week with sound engineers from around the world, learning cutting-edge techniques he plans to pass on to Susquehanna students.
While at the seminar, Smith was trained in skills including parallel compression, re-amping base and drum tracks, ambient drum miking and various unusual recording techniques, like recording sound through a drill.
"It was amazing and took me somewhere completely new," Smith said. "And that's the job of a sound engineer. It's like chipping away at a sculpture until you have something cool. That's the beauty of art."