AES 2014 Speed Mentoring Sessions

AES 137th Convention

SPARS Speed Mentoring – Mentoring Answers for your Career
Location – Los Angeles Convention Center Room 409 AB
Friday, October 10, 2014
Time: 12:30 pm – 2 pm
Registration Required

Ask SPARS

SPARS once again is hosting speed mentoring sessions at the 137th AES Convention being held in Los Angeles, October 9-12, 2014.  The Ask SPARS mentoring sessions will take place on Friday, October 10th. These mentoring sessions feature recognized industry professionals in the fields of Gaming, Mastering, Live Sound/Live Recording, Sound for Picture and Studio Production. The mentors will meet with participants face to face in small groups to offer advice, share their experiences and answer questions about the industry and careers.

The Ask SPARS sessions is made possible with the support of AES and the Game Audio Network Guild (GANG), as well as the cooperation of our talented line up of mentors.

GANG Logo


Who should attend:
Current students, recent graduates and recording professionals who are seeking answers to questions, guidance in their careers and networking opportunities with established industry professionals. Mentoring is a life long process. SPARS believes members of the recording community should seek mentoring opportunities at every stage of their career.

This year’s categories will be:

* Gaming  <<Register>>

* Live Sound / Live Recording <<Register>>

* Sound for Picture <<Register>>

* Studio Production 1 <<Register>>

* Studio Production 2 <<Register>>

* Mastering <<Register>>


As of today, the following mentors are registered to attend in the below categories:

Gaming: <<Register>>

Mike Csurics

Michael is a voice director, sound artist, writer, and entertainment industry vagabond. Notable past projects include: Bioshock 2, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Alone in the Dark, and Kidz Bop. Throughout the industry he is a known crusader for pushing the bar in dialogue and vocal performance, bringing his passion and experience to every collaboration.

In 2014 Michael founded The Brightskull Entertainment Group a for-hire production services house providing development partners with progressive narrative, voice, sound, and music.

Michael contributes extensively to the larger game development community as a frequent lecturer at industry trade shows, and by working on committees for the Game Audio Network Guild (GANG), and the Game Voice Actors Coalition (GVAC).

Outside of work Michael upcycles classic cars and motorcycles at his shop, 37 Motors and continues to make rude noises with guitars and microphones. He is a loving husband and father of two, makes his home in Los Angeles, keeps his roots in New York City, is proud to have been born and raised in the Catskills.

Dren McDonald, Sound Designer, Composer, nerdtracks.com

Dren has worked in the game industry as an audio director, composer and sound designer on titles such as Transformers: Age of Extinction The Official Game, Desktop Dungeons, Skulls of the Shogun, Ghost Recon Commander, Ravenwood Fair and over 40 others. He currently acts as Director of Development for GANG (Game Audio Network Guild), operates his own game audio company, nerdtracks.com and is a frequent speaker at GDC, GameSoundCon, Casual Connect, and IndieCade. This past winter he taught the inaugural game audio course for the UC Santa Cruz Games and Playable Media Masters Program. He also kickstarted and released The String Arcade, a recording of video game music arranged for string quartet.

Chanel Summers, Co-Founder, Syndicate 17; Adjunct Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media & Games Division; Chief Product Officer, Score Music Interactive

Chanel Summers began her career as a pioneering designer and producer of video games, developing innovative products ranging from high-performance 3D vehicle simulations, to action/arcade platform games, to hardware peripherals while working at early industry-leading companies such as Mindscape, Velocity and Mattel Media.

Recruited to Microsoft in the late ’90s, Chanel was responsible for the release of that company’s first multiplayer internet game, Fighter Ace, a precursor to the rise of online gaming. Chanel was subsequently selected as the company’s first Audio Technical Evangelist, in which capacity she was responsible for launching innovative audio technologies such as DirectMusic (a revolutionary method of creating and delivering interactive music and sound design) and also dramatically increasing the use of Windows as a platform for audio creation. With the inception of Microsoft’s Xbox game system in 2000, Chanel was tapped to help design and promote the audio capabilities of the new hardware and to create the industry’s first support team for content creators: a team of graphic artists, sound designers, composers and game designers who would work with the development community, coaching game creators to take advantage of the capabilities presented by Xbox. As a result, Chanel became a widely recognized figure in leading industry organizations, as well as the published author of a number of articles and technical white papers.

After leaving Microsoft, Chanel co-founded Syndicate 17, an audio production house based in Seattle and Los Angeles that specializes in writing and producing original scores, cues, and sound effects for everything from films and television shows to video games and web sites. In addition, Chanel is also a highly sought-after professional drummer, recording with and performing frequently in a number of nationally touring bands, working alongside such bands as Missing Persons, The Dreaming, Smile Empty Soul, The Last Vegas, Endless Hallway, and Vast, and showcasing in festivals ranging from CMJ to SXSW.

Chanel is a frequent lecturer at both music and technology industry events around the world, as well as at leading educational institutions, captivating audiences as diverse as TEDx, Trinity College (Dublin), SESAC, the Irish Music Rights Organization, the Seattle Interactive Conference, the Develop Conference, The Centre for Digital Media (Vancouver, BC), and the Dublin Institute of Technology. Chanel sits on the advisory board for The Academy of Entertainment and Technology at Santa Monica College, is a member of the 5D Institute, a cutting edge research organization exploring the future of narrative media through World Building, and also consults on new developing game audio technologies and game audio designs. Chanel has also developed and is teaching a new course at the University of Southern California¹s Interactive Media & Games Division in the School of Cinematic Arts which focuses on the art and aesthetics of creating audio for video games and has also worked with the USC faculty on the creation of a dedicated minor in interactive audio for students looking to specialize in that area. Most recently, Chanel has been appointed the Chief Product Officer of Score Music Interactive, a revolutionary new start-up based in Ireland that is creating an interactive music publishing software technology.

Tom Salta

MTV VMA nominated composer Tom Salta is one of the most versatile and prolific music artists/producers working in film, television, advertising and video games. Renowned for crafting emotionally engaging soundtracks for multimedia, Salta has received widespread industry acclaim for his world-class produced scores featured in video game titles such as HALO: Spartan Assault, HALO: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, From Dust, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Red Steel (IGN Award for Best Original Score), Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X series. In addition to these scoring assignments, Salta produces music for commercials, Hollywood film trailers and the world’s #1 dance game series Just Dance.


Live Sound/Live Recording: <<Register>>

Danny Leake, Urban Guerrilla Engineers

41 year Veteran Master Music Engineer, former Chief Music Engineer of Universal Recording and owner of the mastering studio, Urban Guerrilla Engineers; Artists worked with include Janet Jackson, Hank Williams Jr., Kanye West, Willie Nelson, Destiny’s Child, Lupe Fiasco, The Police, Stevie Wonder, Kurt Elling, Tom Waits, Aretha Franklin, Ramsey Lewis, BellBivDevoe, New Edition and Johnny Gill.

Music Engineer/Mastering credits include Janet Jackson’s “Black Cat”, Toms Waits “Frank’s Wild Years, Dennis DeYoung (Styx) “The Music of Styx” Live,”,  Kurt Elling’s Grammy Nominated “Live In Chicago”, The Grammy Nominated Martin Scorcese’s The Blues, Lupe Fiasco’s Grammy winning duet with Jill Scott, “Daydreamin” and Usher’s OMG Live at the 02 DVD/Blueray.

Danny also has over 25 years experience as an accomplished Live Sound Engineer. He has worked the “Front of the House” for artists like Stevie Wonder, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross, Dennis DeYoung, Ramsey Lewis and many others. Has worked all over the World at concerts like The Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, The Isle of Wight “Bestival” in the UK, and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration at Buckingham Palace. Other festivals include Hyde Park Live and The Glastonbury Festival in the UK, The Summerfest Festival in Osaka, Japan, and Bonnaroo in the US.

He is an expert at integrating Orchestras with high volume rhythm sections live. He has also worked live concert Radio/TV Broadcasts. (The Tom Joyner Skyshows)

As a former member of The Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees he helped facilitate the Recording Engineer/Mixer Grammy, the Mastering Engineer Grammy, the Dance Music and Remixer of the Year categories to the Grammy Awards process.

Juan R Garza

My dad was a radio broadcast engineer and I grew up in that environment in the 60’s. Later studying fine arts and communications in college but fell back on electronics as a vocation by the late 70’s. Since then, I have worked in the music industry as an audio technician, recording engineer, production manager and stage manager.

I have worked with luminaries such as David Crosby, Kenny Loggins, Eric Burdon, Jim Messina, John Cleese, Toto, Alan Parsons, Jim Brickman and Grammy nominated Latin artist- Christian Petersen just to name a few.

At the start of my career in the music industry I was very fortunate to work with great mentors in the best studios on major projects. After many years in the studio I went out on the road as a production and stage manager for live shows.

My career in audio has allowed me to work in recording studios, theaters, movie sets, sound stages, television shows and concerts with many different artists, engineers and technicians.

The combination of art and technology was a good fit for me. I really think of engineering and electronics as artists tools like a painters palette and brushes , my real passion is communications. Helping those that have something to say via cultural diffusion using these tools in science, art and technology. Hopefully this will make our lives a little bit better now and in the future.

Craig Doubet

Based in Los Angeles, CA. A graduate of the School of Music at Indiana University, he began his career in the entertainment industry as an intern at Universal Recording in Chicago, IL. Beginning in 1986, Craig spent the next decade recording dozens of acts of all descriptions.

Relocating to Los Angeles in 1987, Craig worked as an engineer, studio manager, and maintenance tech at several studios. He has recorded, mixed, or assisted on albums from Mana, Dwight Yoakam, Faith No More, Nirvana, and Ozzy Osbourne, among many others.

Since 1995, he has been busy as the FOH mix engineer and system engineer on international tours with Michael Buble, The Jonas Brothers, kd lang, Luis Miguel, Sergio Mendes, The Gipsy Kings, Monica Mancini, Patti Austin, and The Bird and The Bee. Known as a singer’s mixer – he has specialized in providing impeccable sound for great voices.

In addition to consulting for professional manufacturers such as Yamaha and Avid, Craig also has significant experience with over 13 years in design and installation of professional audio systems, such as: Kodak Theatre, Hollywood; Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth, and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Kahului HI. He also was project engineer for Low Voltage Cabling projects at the Staples Center, Los Angeles; similar projects at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA; and site manager for installation of ride controls and A/V systems at DisneyQuest Chicago.

He also has extensive training and experience in audio system measurement and alignment using Meyer Sound Labs SIM or Rational Acoustics Smaart systems in countless venues and applications including theaters, churches, sports arenas, and outdoor venues though out the world.

Jeremy Lemos

Jeremy Lemos is an American sound engineer and musician living in Chicago.  He currently is a touring sound engineer for many bands including Sonic Youth, Pavement, Iron & Wine, and The Shins. He began as the house “sound guy” for the legendary punk club the Fireside Bowl.  He has mixed 1000 bands in venues ranging from basement shows with one mic to The Hollywood Bowl to headlining Coachella.

Lemos also ran the Chicago recording studio Semaphore Recording for over ten years, and recorded records for Smog, Stereolab, and Jim O’Rourke.  Involved in many musical projects, his main outlets have been White/Light, a duo with guitarist Matthew Hale Clark and Acteurs, a duo with singer Brian Case of Disappears.  White/Light has performed at The Cartier Foundation in Paris, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and many other venues around the world.

He is currently obsessed with modular synthesis, coffee & traveling.


Sound for Picture: <<Register>>

Lorita de la Cerna

A 20-year veteran of film and TV post production specializing in foley and ADR with over 300 film / TV credits.  Started as a music engineering assistant at Universal in Chicago, working on Janet Jackson’s Black Cat and Tom Waits’ Frank’s Wild Years.  Moved to Los Angeles in 1994 to pursue film sound, which is her passion.  She was the foley artist on Sharktopus 1& 2The Best Man Holiday and The Office and the foley mixer on Teen Wolf and Awkward.  She was nominated for a  MPSE Golden Reel Award in 2012 for her foley work.  Here is a more comprehensive list of her credits.

Eric JohnsonVP of Post + Sound, Trailblazer Studios

Eric began playing music professionally at the age of 16 playing in a local R&B band in his hometown of Winston-Salem, NC. In 1986, while attending North Carolina State University’s School of Design, Eric founded his own company, Johnsound Productions. Eric’s early work included composing, writing, and recording jingles for local and regional clients. Eric also did studio production for artists seeking recording contracts. One of his first clients was Tyka Nelson who is the younger sister of Grammy Award-winning artist Prince. Eric helped write and arrange Tyka’s first single, Marc Anthony’s Tune which made Billboard Magazine’s Top Forty chart during the summer of 1987.

In 1988, Eric began to move away from producing artists and began to concentrate on music for advertising as well as soundtracks for non-broadcast corporate video and film projects. In January of 2003, Eric joined Trailblazer Studios to launch the music and sound department providing custom music, sound design, and mixing for film, video, radio, television, theatrical, and multimedia presentations. Clients include commercials for Travelocity, Nationwide Insurance, Chevrolet, Sherwin Williams, and Cracker Barrel as well as television projects for Discovery Channel, TLC, OWN, HBO, National Geographic, PBS, and DIY/HGTV. Trailblazer has also provided sound for a number of gaming clients including Virtual Heroes, Red Storm Entertainment, and Codemasters.

Jeri Palumbo

Jeri has been a broadcast engineer and audio specialist for past 20 years in Sports and Entertainment and 10 years prior on the music industry side of audio, as well as television post-production. With a primary focus on live remote broadcast events, Jeri’s work has included NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, the SuperBowl and The Oscars in addition to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. Jeri has worn the hats of broadcast engineer/mixer, field audio, RF technologies and comms. With a current emphasis in RF Technology, Jeri served on the RF Coordination committee for NBA All-Stars and will serve in the same capacity for the Rose Bowl 2014. Jeri also served on the NFL’s Enhanced Audio team on it’s debut roll-out.

Jeri’s education began at The Juilliard School of Music as a composition/orchestration major. She began her early career in the recording studio serving as both MD (Music Director) and scoring charts for various artists/bands.

Rick Senechal, Audio Lead, Microsoft Production Studios, Redmond, WA

Rick Senechal currently leads the audio group at Microsoft Studios. MS Studios is a full service production facility located in Redmond Washington. They offer services ranging from broadcast, post, music, brand music and music supervision, UI design and general audio production. Microsofts’s work is played in every global market with an up countable number of plays.

Starting as a drummer and then transitioned into audio production, in the early years, he ran the recording program at Fairhaven Studios on the Western Washington University. During that time he created curriculum for four university level audio classes.

He has a heart for music production and creating educational opportunities aimed at increasing the skill level of the local audio community thus drawing more production to the Northwest.


Studio Production 1: <<Register>>

Geoff Gray, Owner / Head Engineer, Far and Away Studios

Geoff Gray founded Far & Away Studios, Inc. in New York in 1977 with a tape recorder purchased from his mentor Les Paul. Now in Boulder Colorado, Far & Away is going strong with a combination of analog and digital formats. Geoff currently has seven students in a recording program with former students finding success in the audio field.

Geoff’s first studio experience was recording his band at 914 Studio. Hooked after the first day moving faders, Geoff has gone on to record Bill Perry, Richie Furay (Poco, Buffalo Springfield), Isa and JoeAlan, Rick Roberts (Firefall, Flying Burrito Bros.), Wayne Kramer (MC 5), Thomas Jefferson Kaye, Sonny Sharrock, Larry Campbell, Joel Diamond, Brian Tarquin, Mindy Jostyn, Jock Bartley (Firefall, Graham Parsons), David Snider, Nelson Rangell, Patrick Shanahan (New Riders) as well as many demos and commercials.

Geoff currently has two labels, BHP which features the Guitar Masters Series, and Skycoast Productions (SESAC) with producer David Snider.

Geoff is a NARAS member and SPARS member.

Pat McMakin, Director of Operations, Ocean Way Studios

In over 30 years in the music industry, Pat McMakin has worked successfully as a recording engineer, record producer, songwriter, GM of Sony Tree Studios, and GM Tree Productions (Sony/ATV’s music production/ artist development company).  He has worked with a wide variety of artists including Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Brooks and Dunn, Lonestar, Brenda Lee, N’Sync, Steve Martin and countless other artists, producers and songwriters. McMakin has produced and engineered in a wide variety of musical genres including country, rock, pop, jazz and classical music. He was employed at Sony/ATV for over 25 years. In March of 2008 McMakin assumed the leadership of Belmont University’s Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studios where he currently serves as Director of Operations.

Erik Zobler

Erik Zobler has had a multifaceted career in audio.   He has been engineering, producing and mixing for more than 39 years.  He has a long list of credits including artists such as Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight, Anita Baker, Jeffrey Osborne, Sara Vaughn, Miles Davis, Nancy Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke, Esperanza Spalding, and many more.   He shared a close working relationship with artist/producer/jazz great  — George Duke — working on all of his projects since 1979.  Erik has worked for Paramount and Sony pictures (and others) as a Y-1 scoring mixer.  He has also traveled to multiple continents as a FOH mixer for George Duke and other artists.  In 1976, Erik took a position of “apprentice engineer” (an IBEW moniker) at the CBS owned and operated studio in San Francisco, where he was trained in the art of vinyl mastering by George Horn.   He still does mastering for a select group of clients.  Erik Graduated from San Francisco State University with a BS degree in Broadcasting.

Chuck Zwicky

Chuck Zwicky is a NY based mixing engineer who has earned several gold and platinum records in his nearly 30 year career, working with artists as diverse as Prince, Jeff Beck, Reggie Watts, Dead Prez, Soul Asylum and the Jonas Brothers.

Studio Production 2: <<Register>>

Sylvia Massy

Mark Rubel, Co-Director of Education, Blackbird Academy / Owner, Pogo Studio

Mark Rubel is Co-Director of Education and Instructor at The Blackbird Academy, Nashville TN. His Pogo Studio, based around the Fantasy Studio C API/DeMedio console, has been the site of thousands of recording sessions since 1980, and is in the process of relocating from Champaign IL to Nashville. A musician since 1970 and audio educator since 1985, Mark writes occasionally for recording magazines, and serves as a consultant and legal expert witness.

Anthony Schultz, Owner, Big T Productions; AES VP of the Eastern Region of US/Canada

Anthony Schultz has been an audio engineer, music producer and composer for over twenty-five years as owner/operator of Big T Productions (est. in 1989). He served three consecutive two-year terms as the Chair of the Boston Section of the Audio Engineering Society and was elected as AES VP of the Eastern Region of the US/Canada in the summer of 2014.

He is an Assistant Professor at The New England Institute, where he has taught since 1997, specializing in MIDI and Audio Technology.

Originally from the Chicago area, Tony attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Production & Engineering in 1988. He received a Masters Degree in Music Technology in 2007 through an online program from the University of Newcastle in Callaghan, Australia.

He has presented at a number of colleges including Berklee College of Music, Harvard University and the Royal College of Music in London. Past clients include; RCA Records, Mercury Records, Virgin Records, WFNX, Filene’s, Home Inc., EF Education, Schneider & Associates, Softskull Press Inc., Brand X Filmworks, Dudnyk Healthcare, Teatro de Marionettas de Venezuela and NAHB Production Group.

Tony is also founder of Tonedog Publishing (ASCAP) and is writing a book about his journey in the music industry. He is also a member of SPARS and NARAS.


Mastering: <<Register>>

Lisa Chamblee, Studio Manager, Oasis Mastering

Lisa’s journey into self-expression and creativity through the arts began in Worcester, MA, where she studied ballet, jazz and modern dance, played different instruments, and even appeared as on-air talent for the local cable TV show Youth Unity while growing up. Her interest in the entertainment industry turned to reality when she left her undergraduate business studies to enroll at the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis, MN. This leap of faith proved fruitful as she graduated as class valedictorian and earned her Associates degree in Arts and Sciences.

Soon after graduation, Lisa opened a recording studio with her production partner, gaining experience recording and producing a wide variety of local artists, which proved to be ample preparation for her next big career move as a staff engineer at Prince’s famous Paisley Park Studios. There she worked on Prince’s Grammy-nominated albums 3121 and Lotus Flow3r, among other high-profile projects.

In 2005 Lisa moved to Los Angeles and worked at various recording studios as a Pro Tools operator and vocal producer. One of her most fulfilling gigs was as assistant engineer to Erik Zobler and ground-breaking producer/musician George Duke at LeGonks Studio West. Over the course of eight years at the studio, she helped record music legends Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Eric Benet, Ledisi, Teena Marie, Tower of Power, Kevin Whalum and Marilyn Scott.

Beyond her studio talents, Lisa has also enjoyed producing audio/video content, events, and interior studio design for the likes of Sinbad, Miles Davis Properties LLC, RZA, MIA, Waves, Monster Products, PMC Speakers, Glyph Production Technologies, PreSonus and Native Instruments. Most recently, she helped create and market the near-field reference speaker line Reftone for MATK Corporation.

Since joining the Oasis Mastering team in 2012, Lisa applies her understanding of production along with her great respect for artists and their artistry to help manage the clients’ projects to satisfaction.

David Glasser, Chief Engineer,  Airshow Mastering

David Glasser HAS OVER 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE in audio engineering and has mastered thousands of records, including more than 80 Grammy nominees. A three-time nominee himself, he has earned two Grammy awards for mastering and restoration of the culturally significant Anthology of American Folk Music (1997) and Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues: The Worlds of Charley Patton (2002). David began his audio career with the Boston Symphony, followed by eight years of recording and production for NPR. Founding Airshow in 1983 to offer location recording services, he shifted to full-time mastering in 1990 with a modest studio in Springfield, Virginia. Expanding the company to Boulder, Colorado in 1997, David has grown Airshow into one of the largest mastering facilities in the country.

Bruce Maddocks, Cups ‘N Strings

Bruce began his recording career in New York working at A&R Recording and The Hit Factory. A move west to California saw him becoming the Chief Engineer of The Record Plant Los Angeles and Capitol Studios Hollywood. While at Capitol Studios Bruce learnt mastering from some of the studios finest engineers including Wally Traugott (The Beatles Capitol Vinyl releases) and Ron McMasters (Blue Note Records).

In 2002 Bruce opened his own Tape Archival/Transfer, Mastering and Remastering Studio. Located within film composer Hans Zimmer’s facility, Bruce began mastering Motion Picture Soundtracks for Zimmer and other composers. Bruce’s soundtrack work includes “The Last Samurai”, “Batman Begins” and “Wallace and Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” In 2011 Bruce mastered composer Christopher Tin’s double Grammy winning album “Calling All Dawns”. Bruce is currently working in Sydney Australia, mastering Indie bands and designing new analog mastering tools.

Andrew Mendelson, Owner/Chief Mastering Engineer, Georgetown Masters

Andrew Mendelson is the owner and Grammy Nominated Chief Mastering Engineer of Georgetown Masters in Nashville, Tennessee.  He has mastered dozens of #1, Grammy winning, and gold and platinum projects by artists including: The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Kacey Musgraves, Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, Ricky Skaggs and Willie Nelson.