By SAE Institute
For those interested in obtaining a degree in Audio to work in the music industry, there are many different music genres in which you can apply your skills. Especially in a major city like New York City, you’ll most definitely find a wide variety of music styles that meet your interests. From hip hop and pop, to jazz, rock and beyond, a good engineer can make a huge difference in the quality of music.
We recently caught up with recording engineer, mixer, producer, and SAE Institute Alumni, James “Jimmy T” Meslin, who graduated from the NY campus in 2011. James is making a name for himself in the audio engineering world of Metal music, having worked on a project that recently won “Best Metal Performance” at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards. The band he worked with, Dream Theater, is an American progressive metal band out of Boston, boasting 2 million records sold worldwide, three GRAMMY Award nominations, and over half a million followers on Instagram.
Keep reading as we check in with James to see what it was like working on the project, as well as his experience at SAE Institute New York.
What was it like working on The Alien?
“The Alien” was the first song Dream Theater wrote in the studio for what would become “A View From The Top Of The World.” No matter the session, the first day is always a bit of a scramble. Getting all your patches and routing together, headphone mixes happening, control room mix rocking, accommodating artist requests/changes, chasing ground buzzes, dialing tones, all while your food from hours ago sits in a lounge getting cold. Ha..
With all the moving parts on the first day of what would be the next 6 months of our lives, all of a sudden the band was live and the opening riff to “The Alien” was coming through the control room speakers. It set the tone in a great way.
What was your time like at SAE Institute NY?
I enjoyed my time at SAE Institute. It gave me the opportunity to be around like minded people who wanted to geek about good sounding records, work with real consoles that I had only seen in pictures and plug-ins, and talk with people who had more experience than I did. It’s the type of place that you get out as much as you put in, a lot like working in professional studios.
What do you hope to accomplish next?
I hope to continue making great records with great artists.
What piece of advice do you have for current students?
Listen. Always be the first in and the last to leave.
To get in touch with NY Alumni James Meslin, follow him on Instagram or visit his website. For more information about our New York campus and/or our Audio programs, give us a call directly at 212-944-9121 or visit us online.