SAE Institute Nashville’s Pro Audio Expo Connected Music Lovers with Industry Movers and Shakers

SAE Nashville

On Friday, December 8th, 2023, SAE Institute of Technology Nashville held its Pro Audio Expo, an event featuring high-end vendors and industry luminaries discussing the latest in audio hardware, software, and career best practices. The event, which took place from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, included demos provided by industry pros, panels on various topics, gear and raffle giveaways, and more.

Successfully garnering over 160 RSVPS, the event connected students, potential students, and audio lovers of all skill levels with industry leaders in the heart of Music Row.

Steve Pardo (Photo by Lauren Stewart)

To help generate additional buzz, Nashville’s longest-running independent radio station, Lightning 100, was in attendance broadcasting live to listeners during the event. The station’s host, Lt Dan Buckley, held on-air interviews with some guest speakers in attendance including acclaimed Nashville-based mastering engineer, Piper Payne. The station also gave sold-out concert tickets to see bluegrass musician, Billy Strings, to a lucky winner at the event.

“We’re excited to be able to have these types of events on campus that not only showcase our passion for the audio world but also connect our students and other audio lovers with those who are doing amazing things in our community and beyond,” says SAE Institute of Technology Nashville Campus Director, Shannon Meggert. 

A major part of the event’s success was the guest speakers and panelists in attendance. Guests included industry veterans such as Erik W. Thompson, Piper Payne, Lij Shaw, Johnny K, Kent Hooper, Brandon Towles, Rob Burrell, Jake Neuman & The Jay Birds, Steve Pardo, Jordan Hamlin, Leslie Richter, Catherine Vericolli, Rachael Moore, Marc-Dieter Einstmann, Tim Dolbear, and Casey Barker. Speakers presented on a wide range of topics including “Career Paths Outside of the Music Industry”, “How to Overcome Obstacles”, “Navigating Success”, and “Immersive Audio”.


Piper Payne and Johnny K (Photo by Lauren Stewart)
Rob Burrell and Kent Hooper (Photo by Lauren Stewart)
Jordan Hamlin, Rachael Moore, and Kazuri Arai (Photo by Lauren Stewart)

Precision microphone maker, Miktek Audio, showcased a microphone demo and full band tracking session featuring Americana artist Jake Neuman & The Jay Birds. Guests were also treated with a demo from audio companies, Focusrite Group and Adam Audio on the process for recording, mixing, and producing music for immersive audio. Those whose interests lie in the gaming world were fortunate to see Steve Pardo of game audio studio, SkewSound, demonstrate sound processes in Game Audio. And finally, the demo sessions closed with an exciting vinyl record presentation from vinyl record pressing plant, Physical Musical Products.

“Our Pro Audio Expo was a great success,” says Kevin White, event organizer and SAE Institute of Technology Nashville Director of Career Services. “The vendors, panelists, and guests proved once again that Music Row is a community of diverse creatives with a drive to propel our industry into an exciting future. From vintage tech like vinyl records or tube microphones to the future of video game sound and immersive audio, the Expo presented a snapshot of why we are so passionate about pro audio.” 

Lij Shaw (Photo by Lauren Stewart)
Lt Dan Buckley (Photo by Lauren Stewart)

In addition to the insightful demos, presentations, and panel discussions, prizes were raffled off to a few lucky winners in attendance. Waves donated an Everything Bundle (software), Focusrite donated a 2i2 Gen 4 (interface) and 2 Fast Bundles, and Adam Audio gave away a set of T7Vs studio monitors to the raffle portion of the event. 

“It was great to generate that much awareness of our campus within the community,” noted Meggert. “We’ll enroll several students from this event, and we’ll be able to build on these relationships for months to come.”

For more information about the Nashville campus or our Audio and Entertainment Business programs, visit us online at To check out more photos from the event, visit our Facebook page.