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Behind the Title: Sonic Union’s Steve Rosen

NAME: Steve Rosen

COMPANY: Sonic Union (@sonicunion)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Sonic Union is deeply experienced in audio post and we are proud of our extremely good-looking team of 20 in New York City.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE? Partner/Mixer

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
The mixer part of my title is what made the partner part of my title a possibility. I’ve been involved in the New York advertising audio post business for 30 years, and consider myself very lucky to be doing something that I really enjoy every day.

Our operation is structured around our core business, which is audio mixing for the advertising community. Michael Marinelli and I are lucky to have our partner Adam Barone dealing with the day-to-day operation of Sonic Union, leaving us free to focus on clients.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Partner mostly speaks for itself. I think “Mixer” is the most open to interpretation. In my daily work life in session, I act as necessary as a writer, copy editor, director, peacemaker, arbitrator, diplomat and a psychologist… as well as mixing. I feel like I’d make a decent bartender. In the traditional Blarney Stone tell-me-your-problems sense.

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE?
My ears, mostly. Also Avid Pro Tools.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Weirdly for me, as I’m naturally an introvert, my favorite part of the job is the people I get to interact with every day. The New York ad community is filled with a diverse bunch of insane and insanely interesting people. The parade of characters that march through my room on a daily basis makes this whole business make sense. It’s what gets me out of bed every day. Sure it’s nice to work on an amazing spot, but it’s better to work with amazing people… and I get to do that most every day.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
The politics of advertising are sometimes tiresome. Having too many layers of approvals is never fun or creatively fulfilling.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
At some point in the afternoon, the sun comes streaming into my studio. After my early years of working in windowless dungeons, I still get a kick out of being forced to draw the shades so people can read their computers.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Well, sitting all day would probably be off the list. Been there done that… for 30 years. I’d love to be able to work with my hands. Maybe some kind of construction or woodworking or just general building of things. Of course, if I didn’t have to work, that’d be ok too. I can all too easily envision a life of travel with my beautiful wife that does not include a 9-to-5 job of any kind.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I came to audio relatively early in life after trying a few other avenues. Once I was accepted into the community, I knew I was here to stay.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
I’ve worked on a multitude of products lately. PNC for Deutsch, Adidas for Johannes Leonardo, Verizon for mcgarrybowen, Squarespace for Wieden+Kennedy and Microsoft for m:united to name a few.

A recent Sonic Union job - Squarespace.

A recent Sonic Union job – Squarespace.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
What makes me most proud is the team we’ve put together at Sonic. When we’re firing on all cylinders and getting things done for our clients, that’s what makes me proud every day.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
My iPhone, my Sonos sound system at home, and every plug-in made by iZotope. Their de-noising suite makes my work life a whole lot easier.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
Ad music of course! All day, every day. Let’s bring jingles back, ok?

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I share this little tidbit with anyone I come across who seems stressed.  It’s only advertising. Shipping deadlines are arbitrary. What we do, while important to the overall economic machine, is not life or death. Take a deep breath. I developed this a long, long time ago, and I swear by it. Also, the moment I hit the elevator after work, my headphones go on, and I fill my head with something other than advertising. If not music, then Marc Maron’s WTF is what’s happening for me.

Steve Rosen Photo Credit: Juan Patiño

 

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