I started taking night classes, at the tail end of high school, to try to “get ahead”- and was taking things like basic electronics, basic synthesis, and keyboarding. A friend of mine suggested, after graduation that we start taking these recording studio classes and I just fell in love with it. The blend of science and art was something that I had always yearned for as a little kid- I used to say that I wanted to be a “science artist” when I grew up, so I guess I found that perfect pairing in record production and being a modern composer. As a record producer I am there to help the artist or band get their songs ready for recording, really fine tune the arrangements, the song structure, and talk about their vision of what the recorded version will be like, since live versions of material can vary from recorded versions, for some artists/genres. I usually work with them a few times in a rehearsal or band practice to see how everything is fitting together, and make sure everyone is playing at their best, and when I can I’ll attend some live shows too- so I have a better sense of who they are as performers, but also what their songs are like live. I plan out everything for the recording process (this includes things like what kind of production it will be, what kind of drums sounds, etc)- we as a team decide on what recording studio is best going to fit the budget, artistic, and technical needs of the project, as well as finding any session players. I’ll generally spend some time with the engineer at the studio we end up working with, where possible- to plan out our sessions together. (Since I dont own a studio- which I actually think is beneficial, although sometimes confusing to what people typically assume a recording engineer might be.) I like to go over the mic list extensively and plan out what mics we are going to use on everything, and where possible get there early on the day to do a lot of the miking together with the resident engineer. I like to make sure that I and the engineer are on the same page for getting the sounds I and the artist/band wants. I also some times help artists with their MIDI- so they’ll bring their midi files to me before a session and I’ll do a lot of sound design work and really help highlight the best qualities of the arrangement and the parts that the artist/band have written. In post production I like to continue to hand hold the artist through the process, choosing the most appropriate mix and mastering engineer for the project, and generally being both technical and creative liaison for the duration of post production to guide the process and make sure that the sonic vision of every nook and cranny of sound is accounted for.
As a composer- its an entirely different job- what can I say! I am lucky to have a music production background in my work as a composer because what I create always has a high quality production value. I love to write music for a variety of things- be they film, TV, commercials, video games, apps, and I’ve even written music for ballet and dance. Heck, I would write music for roller coasters if some one would ask me. I’m really interested in working with painters and visual artists too. I’m a lapsed visual artist myself, so I’ve always been fascinated with the interplay between music and visual arts. As a composer I offer clients and collaborators the scope to support their story telling, brand, or artistic vision- and I bring with me a tool kit of diverse music styles. People always worry about budgets, and I know that’s pragmatic and important, but I believe if the vision is there, there’s a way to build things- to any scale.
Finally, I’m also some how, a writer now? This is a complete shock to me. Well… not completely. I accidentally ended up writing a book during the pandemic, that was based off of years of research from another book I had contributed to. I’m active as a journalist in music production and music technology, so while some of that writing is quite technical, and while its not always the most easy thing to write about, testing the equipment makes me happy. I love gear, I love music, and I love what I do. As an author, though its really a different bag, and its been a learning experience- that’s for sure. People have asked if there will be more books, and the jury is still out on that.  At the moment, I am still trying to promote my recent book (https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781493065066/Conversations-with-Women-in-Music-Production-The-Interviews) which has been out for just over a year now, and focuses on the lived and shared experiences of women working in audio and recording engineering.