By SAE Institute
There are many different paths that our students take after graduation to begin their careers. Some graduates start with entry roles in live events, TV & Film, or in the music industry working in studios across the country. Thanks to advancements in remote recording and broadcasting technology, some grads are also able to do what they know best while working remotely from their own homes.
We recently connected with SAE Institute New York graduate and remote engineer, Maxim Litvinoff, who currently works for a London-based post-production company. Read more as he sheds some light on his time post-graduation and how it prepared him for his current position.
Tell us a little about what you’ve been up to since graduation.
I graduated in May 2019. I went for an Audio Technology Diploma, graduating with an Educations Award for Academic Excellence. After that, I got a freelance gig during the pandemic at Sound Studios, my first ever job in the industry recording with Pro Tools. It was a word-of-mouth opportunity after a colleague I had previously helped on campus with some projects during our school year contacted me telling me he had a job there and they needed people. At Sound Studios I acquired the tools I needed to be able to work with clients one-on-one as an audio engineer. I ended up being really good at the job, and I used to get booked for 14 hours a day on a slow day. I spent 3 years there before getting to know No Mystery Studio’s owner, Aleks Decarvalho, composer and former guitar player in Aerosmith. There I upgraded my freelance rating and began taking studio sessions since it’s a studio with its own history (Biggie Smalls, DMX, Alicia Keys, the list goes on), an SSL console, and located in Soho.
I then landed a remote audio engineer position at an award-winning post-production company based in London called Forever Audio (previously known as SNK Studios, or Red Apple Creative). It’s been the biggest step forward in my career at the moment and I am grateful for every little step that took me here.
Tell us more about Remote Engineering. What interested you in that type of work?
Remote audio engineering was something I envisioned myself doing for a while but was something I thought would take ages to achieve, or maybe never be possible in my line of work.
Even though it sounds easy because it’s remote, it can be seriously challenging and requires organizational skills. My responsibilities here include audio engineering sessions, working closely in different projects/client campaigns with our producers, recording and directing remote voiceovers, creating sound design for ads, often 3D, editing music and even producing my own music to be published through their own publishing agency, allowing me to pitch new music to high-paying clients – either own-works or music I made during working hours. They also script audio books and are currently training me for future E-Books. This post-production company is called Forever Audio and they are creative partners with Spotify in the UK and North America. Their clients include Acast, Netflix, Amazon, Cartoon Network, HBO, Disney, Paddy Power Betfair, Audible and Penguin Random House, just to name a few. Their revolutionary approach to advertising has helped brands find their audio identity and help them connect to their audiences in ways they have never done before using audio technology. One thing that helped me get this job was my expertise with Pro Tools, my good ear for sound design, and my humor!
Why was AN education AT SAE Institute important to you?
SAE Institute was a key moment in my professional journey because it made my options in the music industry a bit more clear and concise, allowing me to learn the basics of mostly everything, and deciding which route I was going to pursue. When I first learned about audio, I didn’t really know what was what and often didn’t even know the roles and their functions. SAE was like buying a new pair of glasses so that I could better see the little details and understand the nature behind things in the audio industry.
What advice do you have for other students interested in the same path?
One piece of advice I could give to upcoming graduates or anyone trying to make their passion what sustains their life is that sometimes the most uncomfortable decisions will often bring you closer to your goals. When I finished SAE, I looked for jobs but often turned down gigs because of fear, or because they weren’t exactly aligned with what I really wanted. At the time I lived with my parents so I didn’t have a lot of pressure to find a job. Eventually, life somehow made me decide whether to take a job doing what I love as a studio engineer even if it wasn’t 100% the way I wanted, or sustain myself in the restaurant business, which wasn’t what I wanted either. When I was faced with this reality, I took the studio engineer opportunity and even though I was not too comfortable for 3 years, it eventually paid off. It gave me experience, it taught me to listen better, and it even taught me a lot of things in my personal life like patience, solidarity, and how to be more understanding. All because I had to make a not-very-comfortable decision!
To learn more about Maxim and his work, visit his portfolio here or connect with him on Instagram. For more information about our New York campus or our Audio program, visit our campus page or get in touch directly by phone at 212-944-9121.