Digizine - Summer 2006

"Right Place, Right Time: Phil “Flip” Lynch"


By Diane Gershuny Fleming

It’s been said that timing is everything, and for Phil “Flip” Lynch, that adage certainly rings true. Interested in hip-hop, electronic music production, and DJing, Lynch enrolled in the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (www.cras.org) to dig deeper into pro audio. The Conservatory, which has locations in Tempe and Gilbert, Arizona, integrates Pro Tools certification into a comprehensive audio program that can prepare students quickly for engineering in the real world. For Lynch, now a Certified Pro Tools Operater, the Conservatory not only delivered an outstanding pro audio education, it also led to an unexpected career.“

“Now I get paid to do that kind of work for network television—it’s really satisfying.”

For me, the most beneficial part of the program was the Introduction to Audio Post Production course,” says Lynch. “It wasn’t an avenue I had explored at all, but it ended up being pretty significant for me. I loved every minute of it. We did projects involving Foley recording and sync’ing Pro Tools rigs to 3/4" tape machines, and we re-created scenes from movies and commercials. I barely let my project partners mess with my edits! Now I get paid to do that kind of work for network television—it’s really satisfying. I can go home and TiVo things I did last week at work.”

After graduating from the Conservatory in Spring 2005, Flip got a job at Wild Woods Post Production in Los Angeles doing sound effects, working on dialog editorial, and heading up machine room operations. The all-digital audio facility handles post production for the major reality and documentary TV shows, from “The Apprentice”, “Survivor”, and “Fear Factor” to programs on The Learning Channel and The History Channel.

“I got the gig in an amusing case of ‘right place, right time,’” Lynch notes. “A former Conservatory graduate who worked here was preparing to leave. He just happened to call the school the week I was graduating to inquire about getting a good intern with the prospect of possible employment, because he wanted to replace himself with another Conservatory student. A week later I was in LA at my new internship, and two weeks after that, I was hired!”

The Right Choice: Pro Tools Certification

“My responsibilities range from intensive audio editing and sound design to more technical troubleshooting and equipment installment,” explains Lynch. “Doing quality control before the elements go out to the networks is another large part of the job. It keeps me very busy.” The Conservatory’s Pro Tools Certification program was a crucial element in Lynch’s education, and one that factors into everything he now does in his daily work. “Pro Tools is an integral part of the workflow.

“Pro Tools is an integral part of the workflow.”

Every room in the building is outfitted with some form of Pro Tools rig. Even the smaller bays have LE systems, and the larger mix suites all have Pro Tools|HD systems with either ProControl or Control|24 control surfaces.”

Lynch is quick to point out that for him, Pro Tools is not only a powerful tool for editing and production. It’s also a creative tool for making music. “Pro Tools is a very important piece of software, and it’s altered my production ability,” he says. “It wasn’t long after I started DJing and working on my own tracks that I quickly outgrew a four-track tape recorder. I stumbled onto a version of Pro Tools, and I was able to mess around with things in a manner I never could with just drum machines and samplers.

“When I took a couple Pro Tools classes, I was hooked,” Lynch continues. “The final project in class was to record a song, and instead of doing a band like everyone else, I brought in my turntables and a pile of vinyl and composed my first track entirely from samples in the Pro Tools environment. I spent hours doing all kinds of stutter edits, layering, using plug-in effects, and doing intricate things that I never could have done without a lot of headaches using equipment going straight to tape. I’ve never gone about making music the same way. While I was taking this class, I finalized my enrollment in the Conservatory. I had to take it all a step further.”

Lynch’s Creative Future

Looking down the road, this graduate sees himself mixing in more of his creative side with his professional work. “I would really love to DJ and make music again on a more professional level,” Lynch says. “Those two things have kind of fallen to the wayside since my start at Wild Woods. I also could see myself as an editor or a production executive at one of the major studios here in LA—Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, or Disney. Those are all very realistic possibilities in the near future. Starting a multimedia production company is also something I’m interested in. I just want to stay busy doing what I love, and making a ton of money doing it definitely wouldn’t be bad!”