Masters Students Master How to Mix

From jazz to rock to metal, students taking Studio Production classes are learning to make their favorite music sound sonically superior. 

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The Recording Arts program, run by upper school music teacher Gilles Pugatch, offers studio production classes on digital and analog recording — with a focus on production software like Ableton Live and Pro Tools.

Neoma Emery ’21 is a singer and musician who has taken a few different production classes and will pursue this field in college. “I learned the basics of Ableton, which is the DAW (digital audio workstation) that Mr. Pugatch teaches on,” she explained. “I also learned the basics of recording, for example how to record guitar and vocals through an audio interface.”

“Where Neoma acutely stands out is her feel for, and manipulation of, the analog audio,” Pugatch explained. “It is in this area that she has created a style reminiscent of early 1990s indie rock.”

Pugatch calls guitarist and bass player Matt Nappo ’21 “a passionate student of progressive rock and metal, who focuses his work on elevating that art form.” 

“It's pretty hard to ‘develop your sound’ without recording, without being able to hear what you sound like, without putting your playing into context,” added Nappo.

Dakota Daniello ’23, who plays the drums, has a background in jazz, rock and contemporary music. A desire to expand her music production knowledge prompted her to sign up for a class. “I have learned many things, from how to record using only your computer and how to set up different tracks and clips to make a beat,” she said.

For Nappo, despite a few challenges taking this class remotely, the chance to write, record and mix his own rock song was well worth the wait. “I have wanted to take this class since freshman year, but it never quite fit into my schedule, so I am happy that I snagged it in my last semester of senior year,” he said.

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