NAME: Stephen Harrison (@theaudiosuite)
COMPANY: Phoenix-based The Audio Suite — Creative Sound Services
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are a full-service digital audio post facility. We provide sound editorial, design, recording and mixing services to film, television and video production companies, trailer houses and more.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Just about everything. Mainly I oversee the daily operations and engineer most of the sessions myself.
WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Aside from handling all the non-engineering related duties involved with running a business, probably the amount of detail that goes into every aspect of the different services required on any given project.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
The endless learning and creative stretching. Hearing all the pieces of the sonic puzzle come together in the end. Capturing the client’s vision.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Accounting and sales.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
In the studio…. it’s whenever I’m sitting behind the board and can smell the coffee brewing. Otherwise, it’s when I’m home with my family.
IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I’ve often thought about that, but I really don’t know. Probably something outside that involved lots of traveling. Yeah, that sounds good.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?
I think it chose me actually. As a kid I loved music and wanted to know how to make records. So I answered the call and never looked back. After 18 years in music production, I jumped tracks into audio post and here we are keeping the dream alive.
YOU ARE AN INDUSTRY VETERAN. HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE INDUSTRY CHANGE OVER THE YEARS?
Outside of the technological advancements, which have just been stunning, it’s the way these tools have enabled the creative process and workflow to surpass all previous limitations.
As well, you can now collaborate with virtually anyone, anywhere around the world, which is quite amazing. It’s also afforded many others to jump into the arena to design, produce, mix and compete directly for work that was usually reserved for established companies and seasoned technicians. This might be the biggest change and we all know the mixed results it’s had over the last 10 years or so.
Marketing and sales are now necessary again. Production companies, networks and agencies have more options than ever when contracting services. They also want more for less. In-house finishing operations have become the norm. So it’s been a tough ride for many in our industry lately, something I certainly haven’t been immune to. So if you want to stay current, vital & in the game, I think adapting to market trends and diversifying is the only way to go. Of course, endless passion, determination and perseverance certainly helps.
CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
– Power’s War – a feature length documentary. We provided sound editorial, design and mixing services.
– Hewlett Packard – corporate marketing campaigns. We provided sound design and mixing.
– Lego, Marvel, Netflix, WB – TV spots and trailers.
– Sharknado 3 – film for SyFy. ADR recording with Frankie Muniz.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
It’s hard to name just one. Other than some of the music projects I worked on long ago, I’d have to say the variety of indie films and docs I’ve done over the last nine years. I generally provided all editorial, design and mixing services, which was very challenging, but rewarding as well.
NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Pro Tools rig, iZotope RX4 and my laptop.
WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo
WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Get outdoors and not look at screens! A cold beer never hurts either.