Grad Bites Big Apple

Patrick Ermlich took himself and his Conservatory education to New York City, and now works at one of the busiest studios on the east coast.

Age: 26
Hometown: Cooperstown, New York
Last School Attended: Northeastern University in Boston prior to the Conservatory
Last Book Read: 1984 by George Orwell, a depressing and ominous novel but still one of my favorites.
Favorite CD: Norah Jones "Come Away With Me". A simple but beautiful record.

What brought you to the Conservatory?
After studying the music business at Northeastern I felt the need to explore to the technical side.

Did you try other schools? What made you decide on the Conservatory?
I researched other schools and the Conservatory had the best reputation. It was a pretty easy choice really.

What classes helped you most once you got into the process of looking for a job?
Coming out of the Conservatory with Pro Tools experience was extremely valuable. There were very few people at the studio that knew how to use it. That definitely gave me an advantage. I was also able to come to a studio with a SSL 4000G plus, so I felt comfortable fairly quickly.

What did you like most about the school?
I felt like I left with a really strong knowledge base that I could build on. The Conservatory really prepared me for the industry and I was very thankful for that.

Where are you working now?
The Cutting Room Recording Studios in New York City.

Who have you been working with?
We just finished mixing some live Red Hot Chili Peppers. Its great to be working with an artist that I grew up listening to.

What do you like best about your current job?
Client interaction. Its very rewarding to build relationships with your clients and help them achieve their artistic goals. We also have such a great staff, so it is fun to come to work on a daily basis.

What are your goals?
If you could have your dream job, what would it be? I am heavily involved in producing and I get to work on my own music projects here during off hours. It is truly my passion and I would love to do it on a full time basis. The studio provides the perfect launching pad for my career goals.

Faculty Profile: Michael Jones

Michael Jones brings a lot of skill to the Conservatory's educational table. He teaches and administrates on the premise that attitude is just as important as signal flow. We recently had the chance to sit down with Michael and ask him about his audio experience and what drives him to be the best he can be.

Tell us how you came to work at the CRAS.
I actually graduated from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1988. I worked as a staff engineer at a local studio and then began freelancing for a few years. During that time, I started teaching a few classes for The Conservatory. In 1992, the school changed hands. Kirt Hamm wanted to expand the curriculum, as well as the number of students the school could accommodate, and was looking for people to make a commitment to the school's future. We shook hands that day and the rest is history.

What is your background in audio and music?
I've had a life long passion for both. I started guitar at age eight and was making my first basement recordings at 12. I remember trying to convince my father to build an isolation booth in the basement, I had diagrams and everything!

After high school, I moved to Arizona to continue my education and musicianship. I graduated from audio school and interned and then worked at AAztec Recording in Phoenix. AAztec was a full-service facility providing everything from postproduction for film and video to commercial and record production. In the four years I worked there, it felt like I gained 10 years of knowledge and experience, and looking back, it did give me a well-rounded audio background. After AAztec, I freelanced at a variety of Los Angeles and Phoenix studios and had multitude of great experiences during those years.

In addition to my Conservatory education, I have attended seminars particular to SSL and Neve consoles, and am one of a handful of those certified to teach Pro Tools. I've seen the industry progress from razorblade editing to computer based digital, and am proud to say I've done both.

What is your favorite type of music to record?
From a hard rock power trio to a jazz quartet, as long as it's live to multitrack, I love it. Something about capturing the moment or the energy of a live band in a studio environment gives me a tingle every time.

What is your favorite class to teach?
All my classes associated with recording and mixing. After ten years of teaching I still love to turn the students onto new engineering techniques and then watch their reaction when they get it!

What is the most important thing a student can get from a Conservatory education?
Confidence. Each time I meet the owner or manager of a studio that places our students as well as those from other schools, I am consistently told that Conservatory grads are the most impressive because of their preparedness for real world recording situations. When you're confident in your knowledge, you can relax, be yourself and enjoy your experience; people would much rather work with someone who's cool, calm and decisive. The firm foundation a Conservatory education provides, as well as our staff's talent for placing the right person in the right situation, is the key to our students' success.

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