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THANK YOU!

Thank you to everyone who has followed us along the way and also to all the great people we met in our short time.  This trip has been a huge learning experience and a lot of fun. For the past year Grant, Sean & I have been attending IPR, the one thing they could not stress enough was networking. Going out and developing relationships with people to become the person that comes to mind when they need help. It is the only way to develop a career and from these past 2 weeks we have understood exactly why the people we met are in the positions that they are in today. Bob, Gerry, Jon, Scott, Daniel, Alex, Jeff, Robert, & Bruno were all great guys and were all very easy to talk to. Each one showed their willingness to help when meeting with a bunch of students from a small school in Minneapolis. This has been a great networking trip and will hopefully be the beginning of many more people to meet and insight to gain. On behalf of all of us in the Muffins Road Trip, thanks again.

-Ando

Here is a song that we had worked on in our down time between meetings. We had a great time and will remember this trip forever. Thanks everyone, enjoy the song.

Platinum Muffins

On The Road Again

Bruno Coon

The final day in Los Angeles proved to be just as successful as the others.  Contacting Bruno Coon a few days prior and completely thinking there would be no shot we would be able to catch him while we were there, I was pleasantly surprised when he responded right away and suggested we get coffee for a few hours.

Bruno Coon is a well-established music editor and composer and has had success with his roles in movies like Toy Story 3, Leatherheads, Cars, Meet the Fockers, Seabiscuit, Saving Silverman, Wall-E, and on and on.  He mentioned that he first got his big break when seeking a mentorship with Randy Newman, and his first big movie was “A Bug’s Life” where he played the role of Associate Music Editor.  Check out many of the projects he has been involved with:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0177725/

What is amazing to me with not only Bruno but with everyone we have met on this trip is how welcoming and kind people have been to students who have no credibility yet and who are just trying to find there way into the industry.  Bruno could have easily ignored my first message but instead went out of his way to meet with us and talk about his life and business experiences.  This is something that happened to him as well with Randy Newman and something that if I ever get an opportunity to be in their shoes, I will pass on as well.  It is a tough business to break into, but a business I am passionate about and with the help of networking and catching people on a good day, who knows what can happen.

Thank you to Bruno for a great conversation, it really is an honor to meet with someone who has had the success that you have.  Best of luck to you with “True Blood” as well as your next movie (and your next gig with your band).  Thank you!

-Grant

Robert Bennet Jr.

It always helps to know someone who knows someone, and I lucked out when my friend Eleanor Owens mentioned that she knew a composer out in L.A. a few months ago.  After contacting Robert Bennet Jr. online (technology these days) about our potential trip to L.A., he responded immediately and we setup a date when he could give us a tour of his new studio off of Hollywood Blvd.

It was a pleasure meeting Rob and composing partner and their new studio is coming together quickly.  Getting a glimpse at what it will become (it is still in the process of being built) Rob showed us around and talked all-things composing and working in the L.A. area.  It was a really interesting perspective as Rob got his start under the well-known Hans Zimmer (Rob also knows how to speak German) and made a lot of connections through that.  Hearing him talk about traveling to the different areas around the world to make orchestral works come to life, Rob’s passion for the world was really inspiring to me.  Also, the fact that he loves surfing, mountain climbing and back-packing through Asia shows he is a man that not only gets inspired by ideas, but through personal experiences. Check out his website where you can find all of the things he has been involved with:

http://robertbennettmusic.com/

Thank you to Rob for taking time out of his day for a few curious students and good luck to him with everything!

-Grant

Gerry Lentz

Friday June 11th we toured the Universal Studios sound department in Los Angeles. I had found Gerry through imdb looking up the credits of the sound department of my favorite TV shows. Gerry is the sound re-recording mixer for House M.D which is how I found him. Gerry was kind enough to schedule a day for all of us to stop by and see a major studio. We first met with sound re-recording mixer Jon Taylor, dialogue editor Daniel Irwin, and supervising sound editor Scott Gershin working on Charlie St. Cloud. They were kind enough to nerd out with us a bit talking about the Pro Tools system, the Harrison console and a little about what they do. Daniel even pulled up an old session The Mummy 3 to show us how the session is set up and soloed up individual elements to get an idea off all the contributing sounds that make up of a scene. After leaving that sound stage, Gerry brought us next door to see the major motion picture sound stage (Picture shown above) where 300, and many other major films were mixed on. It was amazing to see that large of a room and such a privilege. Last but not least Gerry brought us to his studio where he showed us a scene from Heroes and pulled up the session so we could see what plug-ins he favors and mixing techniques he uses that earned him a 2009 Emmy award for House M.D. Outstanding Sound Mixing For a Comedy or Drama Series (one hour). Being able to see an award winning sound re-recording mixer work and ask questions about his work flow was a experience that made my year and really got me excited to work my way up to someday be a award winning sound re-recording mixer as well.

Thank you again Gerry for giving us the honor of a behind the scenes tour of a professional audio mixer.

-Ando

IMDB Crdits

Gerry Lentz  IMDB Page

Jon Taylor IMDB Page

Scott Gershin IMDB Page

Daniel Irwin IMDB Page

Jeff Horowitz

In our first quarter at IPR we were told a story by one of our instructors, Steve Hodge, about a young man named Jeff. This Jeff that he talked about eventually became Rick Ruben’s “right hand man.” I had never thought that I would get the chance to meet him, let alone sit down and have a few drinks with him. Jeff gave us a more detailed version of his story and it seemed that his success was due to his hard-working attitude and a little help from Steve. But even without Hodge, Jeff was determined to succeed and pursue whatever he wanted. His story is very inspiring to me because he wanted something and he went out and got it. Many people think that this business is so mysterious and unforgiving, but if you really take the time to invest in your career and develop meaningful relationships with other like-minded professionals than it is certainly possible that you could end up where Jeff is today. One of the main points that he made when talking to us about his career was that you can be the best engineer or producer in the world, but if you can’t work with someone then that doesn’t mean a thing. You have to be able to adjust to different environments and different people. In many situations you might be working with someone who has a difficult personality and you will be stuck with them in a room for hours and hours on end. In order to make it work you must learn to get along with them or else you will be out of a job. It is easy to see why Jeff became so successful after talking to him for just a couple of hours. He is someone that you could be stuck in a studio for days on end and develop a friendship with, and I think that is more important than just trying to get through a job with someone. I want to thank Jeff once again on behalf of our road trip crew, and we hope to see him again soon.

-Sean

Alex Oana

What can we say? Nothing is more enjoyable than spending lunch getting to know an industry professional like Alex Oana.  Alex has had an interesting journey to where he is now, and we all learned a lot from his experiences.  Currently working at Vintage King Audio, the premier audio resource for vintage gear along with any and everything plug-in and software related, Alex is busy talking with customers about all-things audio, something he is extremely passionate about.  Not only does Alex work for Vintage King, but also writes for Pro Audio Review.  Check his latest article:

http://www.proaudioreview.com/article/29184

On top of all of that, Alex still manages to find time for mixing and mastering, and for his young children and being a father.  Alex has won Producer of the Year countless times in Minnesota, and in my opinion is one of the best out there.  Check out his website:

www.alexoana.com

Amazingly enough, he is one of the “chillest” people I have met.  The biggest things I was able to take away from Alex was his perspective on one’s career, the battle between finding a career you love, finding a career that supports doing what you love, and finding what in life drives you.  We are all pressed with the challenges, and he offerered an interesting view on his career, his journey from Minnesota to Los Angeles, networking in L.A., the different sections of the city, and both the positives and negatives in doing what we do.  It was very eye-opening for me and it was great to get that perspective on living and working out in L.A.

Thanks again to Alex for letting four young students from Minnesota come and chat for a few hours!  It was a pleasure!

-Grant

Bob Demaa

Hello from Cali!

Last Thursday was awesome as we met for lunch with Bob Demaa in Santa Monica.  He chose Buddha’s Belly (which was also awesome) and we met him for a few hours to talk about all that he does and his experiences in the business.  Bob was super easy to talk to and allowed us to get a glimpse at living and working in the area as well as combining our passion (nerding out to audio software) with making money.  IT IS POSSIBLE!  Bob has had a unique journey to get where he is today, including working for ten years in Minnesota (and for a while at the famous Pachyderm studios in Cannon Falls).  He has had success as a mixing Engineer and you can check out his “stats” by clicking the link below:

http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/bob-demaa/584799

He is currently working in the commercial music field in Santa Monica, working on the audio for many of the General Mills commercials and trying to find time to enjoy  little xbox as well.

One of the biggest things I learned from Bob was to be open minded about the future and to always say YES! to opportunities that may arise.  Even if you are not necessarily the most fit for the job, it is important to use your resources and learn the most you can so that you can produce the best product you can create for the client.  It was also awesome talking to Bob about Logic Pro and about his favorite plug-ins (he loves the Universal Audio plug-ins) as well as the Native Instruments Komplete virtual instrument collection.

Overall it was an amazing day and great to meet someone in the industry who lives out here in California.  That’s all for now!

-Grant