A major part of the success of our students is the passion, professionalism, and expert guidance from our talented instructors. This week, we sat down with audio engineer, AVID Certified Instructor, and SAE Institute Vancouver graduate Charlotte Duggan.
Since graduating in 2015 from SAE Vancouver (formally Harbourside IT) with her Diploma in Audio Engineering & Music Production, Charlotte Duggan has been working in and around recording studios ever since.
In 2017 Charlotte followed up her Diploma by becoming an Avid Certified Instructor in Pro Tools 101, 110 & 130; and proudly becoming the first female in Canada to do so. And she didn’t stop there, in 2018 Charlotte applied to and was accepted into the prestigious Audio Recording Engineer Practicum program at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, where she worked in world-class facilities alongside other accomplished audio engineers, producers, and artists from all corners of the globe.
Not only busy overseeing the Pro Tools program at SAE Vancouver, but Charlotte is also a house engineer at Vancouver’s Monarch Studios and quickly gaining the reputation as the “go-to” freelance mixer and producer on Canada’s west coast.
A self-described analog distortion and unusual recording techniques enthusiast, Charlotte draws from her roots in hip-hop production to create unique sounds across any genre.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?
I was lucky to be surrounded by so many musicians growing up which inspired me to work in a creative field. During my time in high school, I started recording mixtapes with my friends in our bedrooms. I felt as though I was the conduit for the artist’s vision; the person who could translate their ideas expressed through their music into a tangible thing. Ultimately it’s this feeling of connectivity that inspired me to pursue a career in audio engineering and music production.
WHAT HAS BEEN A HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
Honestly, every time a client smiles after hearing their recording is a highlight for me, but there are other big moments in my career that I’m also proud of. Becoming an AVID Certified Instructor at only 20, landing an engineering job at my favorite Vancouver recording studio, and getting to work with world-class musicians at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity just to name a few.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WORKING IN THIS INDUSTRY?
I think a common misconception is that you need to have the most expensive equipment to make a great recording; that’s not so much the case today, so many of my favorite artists are recording in unique and innovative ways while producing at home. However, what you really need is a solid foundation of skills, and the knowledge to use a variety of types of equipment, software, and systems.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE BENEFITS OF FORMAL EDUCATION IN THIS FIELD?
Obviously, one path to learning Audio Engineering is self-study but that can prove difficult, you often don’t have an outside experienced opinion to offer guidance and provide ongoing and timely feedback as you develop your skills; besides having “hands-on” access to a large inventory of both old and new equipment, to me, one of the biggest benefits of formal education in this field is the industry connections you gain. To this day, I continue to rely on my network of industry professionals that I started building from my very first day as a student.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS?
My advice for anyone who is interested in working in this industry is to surround yourself with many creative people, seek out new experiences, and say yes to as many opportunities as possible.
WHAT ARE YOUR 3 TOP DESERT ISLAND DISCS?
Some Rap Songs – Earl Sweatshirt
REALTIME AQUASPORTS 2000 – Crouchin 40 Sippas
All My Heroes Are Cornballs – JPEGMAFIA