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, 2009 grad Inderan Bailey 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 Arthur Luna (Recording Arts, 2013).
Inderan Bailey got his start as an intern at DefJam Studios in Miami. While there, he hooked up with Cash Money Records artist Ace Hood, and he’s now the rapper’s personal engineer and tour manager. The St. Thomas-born grad currently works out of Universal Records’s studios in Miami.
At Full Sail. I had always been interested in music and the creation of music, and I fell in love with Full Sail after I visited. I started six months later. I had fun in the labs; I’d say that was the best part.
Recording in the ‘00s. It was all about Pro Tools, and Logic was kind of emerging too. A lot of people were using Logic to produce, but not really record.
What’s Changed Since 2009? Everything is more compact now. A lot of studios have taken the big SSL out and put smaller digital boards in. I think everything is slowly, slowly just going the digital way. I like working in Jumbo Studios in New York, it’s really cool, and everything they have is digital. I liked having the board in the room even though I didn’t use it (I’m mostly tracking). It gives the room a different feeling when it’s there. But even when I mix, I mix Ace’s stuff in the box. The bigger projects will go to the bigger mix engineers, and those are the guys who use the SSL.
Analog vs. Digital. I enjoyed worked on analog when I was at Full Sail, because you got to learn the history of where music came from and how things used to be done back in the day. When you go to the bigger studios now, analog is still there. A lot of people mix on analog, but for recording and tracking, everything is digital. I think everyone’s working really hard to make digital sound as close as possible to analog, and I think digital sounds good right now.
The Future. The music industry is going to be more advanced digitally – think about the new Mac computer that just came out, and what switching to Thunderbolt will do. As far as being an engineer, it’s going to be tough if you don’t have a job or you’re not an artist’s engineer. I’m Ace’s engineer and because he trusts me so well, he made me his tour manager, so now I travel with him too. It’s tricky because when I get back everyone can go home and rest but I’ve got to go right back in the studio to work on a project. But I love being on the road. I come from a small island [St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands], so being able to travel across America and go to Europe has been amazing.