2015 Recording Arts Alumna
- Program: Recording Arts
- Employer: Doner
- Position: Audio Assistant
- Website: MeredithNorman.com
As a young child, I was always fixated with the sounds of the world around me. I would listen to music all day and try to figure out how each instrument blended together so seamlessly. In my early teen years, I started buying various music production programs. I would sit on the computer for hours making little beats. Eventually, I figured out how to manipulate sounds and create full songs. In high school, I taught myself how to play guitar and bought an interface, condenser microphone and Cubase to start recording instruments and vocals. Before I knew it, I was recording friends in my little homemade studio.
After high school, I attended Central Michigan University for two years to study Audio Engineering. At CMU, I was part of a record label that recorded bands and put on live concerts for local artists. I also took some broadcast classes to get a feel for the radio industry. During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I interned at a post-production studio in Southfield, MI called Ron Rose Milagro. I was so obsessed with music; I never thought working at a post house producing commercials would interest me. Little did I know, I would come to love recording voiceovers and creating sound design. Post-production was a whole new world of audio that I’d never been exposed to!
After two years at Central, I choose to transfer to complete my degree at a more industry driven college which specialized in the recording arts. I was referred to Tribeca Flashpoint by an audio engineer that had worked in the industry for a while. I toured the school and fell in love with the faculty and equipment! The gear was modern and fresh in the industry. During my first year, I studied both music production and sound design. I always loved music production, but I started to develop a passion for working on post-production, video games and advertisements. One of the major reasons I loved sound design was because I could still incorporate music into the project, while also working with sound effects, dialogue and voiceovers. To finalize my decision on which path to continue studying (music production vs. sound design), I decided to do an internship at a music-recording studio in my second year at Tribeca. This was very valuable because I had real life experiences in both parts of the industry. After a hard decision, I decided to finish my final year at Tribeca in the sound design path.
After college, my ultimate goal was to move back home to Michigan and find a job at a post-production company. This was a very scary time in my life because like most college graduates, I wasn’t sure where I was going to work. To ensure that I was prepared when I left college, I started interviewing with different companies prior to graduating. Fortunately, I interviewed at an advertising agency called Doner and accepted a paid position to be their audio intern for the summer. After the internship, I am happy to say I was offered a job to stay with the agency and become an audio assistant for the company’s new studio.
My advice for aspiring audio engineers is to be humble and always strive to improve your skills. Constantly seek new work opportunities and be open to different projects. The more versatile you are, the better off you will be. Also, network with everybody! Don’t be shy, ask questions and be flexible when working with all different types of people. This industry can be tough, but there are jobs out there if you’re willing to work hard enough.