It’s been 35 years since Full Sail University opened its doors and started training students in Recording Arts. Since then, things have definitely changed: Software storage has improved, analog has made room for the digital format, and physical studios have gotten smaller and more portable. We asked four Recording Arts grads who graduated in four different decades to share their thoughts on the evolution of recording. Below, 2013 grad Arthur Luna weighs in.
Check out the other installments of the Evolution of the Recording Studio series: Dusty Wakeman (Recording Arts certificate, 1987), Sean Spuehler (Recording Arts, 1995), and Inderan Bailey (Recording Arts, 2009).
After graduation, Arthur returned home to Brazil, where he works out of Cia dos Tecnicos, the Rio de Janeiro studio his grandfather owns. He’s worked with Shakira, Brian McKnight, and more.
At Full Sail. I was already working as an engineer in Brazil, but my parents really wanted me to graduate from college, so I decided to go abroad and study something that I love. My favorite class was Audio Workstations; the instructors would compare Pro Tools to analog recorders. They taught us new technology, but never forgot to mention the older stuff too, which I loved because I grew up in the studio. My father is an engineer too, and my grandfather opened the first studio in Rio.
What’s Changed Since 2013. I remember [legendary audio engineer] Bruce Swedien came to Full Sail to give a lecture and he said to us, “I’m still studying now.” Audio isn’t something you’re going to study and then say, “Okay, I’m done. I know all of this.” There’s always new technology; there’s always something new. Here in Brazil the new thing is a plug-in called UAD. We also have a new system that we bought here that syncs the digital recorder to the analog recorder.
What Won’t Change. The physical look of our studio has changed since it opened in the 80s, but one thing we have kept is the passion that we all have to work with music.
Analog vs. Digital. You can get a really good sound from digital today with the technology, the plug-ins, and the tape simulators, but a lot of famous artists from Brazil still use tape, and I don’t think analog is going to go away. We have the same console [the Neve 8028] in our studio in Brazil that Dave Grohl bought in the Sound City documentary. We separated it into portable outboard gears, so it’s like we have two consoles. There’s definitely still a passion for analog here.
The Future. I think I’ll be working in Brazil, but I hope I continue to get the chance to go to America a few times a year to record. I’ve also started to work on live sound, so maybe I’ll be doing more of that too. I recently recorded my first live DVD here in Brazil. Brazil is always going to be my place; it’s my home.