PRO SPOTLIGHT Each issue we feature an audio professional from a range of disciplines to ﬁnd out how they got started in the industry and what they’ve worked on. This month we speak to Women’s Audio Mission staff engineer and instructor Veronica Simonetti…
What do you do? I am a staff engineer and instructor at Women’s Audio Mission (WAM). How did you get into the industry? I grew up playing the cello and have always had an interest in music and technology. When I found out that audio was something I could study in school, I decided that’s what I had to do. I studied Recording Arts at Indiana University and learned a great deal from my professors and recording experience there. I interned at Women’s Audio Mission while in college and have been working here ever since. What are some of your credits? Neko Case and Thao Nguyen of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down for Song Exploder, Kronos Quartet with Clarence Jones (former counsel and speech writer of Martin Luther King Jr.), Meklit, National Geographic Explorer What is your favourite item of audio gear and why? I use the Josephson C716 a lot at WAM’s studio. 42
It is such a versatile mic that sounds great on all different types of vocals, such as voice overs, audio books, and all genres of music. I always get comments about how clean and detailed the sound is when using that mic. I also love using the AEA R84 ribbon mic – it is super versatile from guitar amps to violins. Universal Audio plugins are an essential go-to tool in the studio for me. What are some of the challenges that you face in your job? Some challenges I face are people assuming that I’m an intern or a student rather than the engineer on the session. I don’t know if that’s because of my age or the fact that they’re not used to seeing a woman at the console. I try to not let them undermining my knowledge get to me and I work really hard to prove them wrong every time. What was your favourite project and why? Recording Cleve Jones’ audio book, When We Rise, about his life and history of activism in the LGBTQ community, was probably one of my favorite projects.
VERONICA SIMONETTI He is such a genuine and kind person with an amazing story. Listening to him read his own story out loud was truly inspirational. What industry professional inspired you the most to do what you do? Terri Winston is a pretty huge inspiration in my career. Seeing all of the work she does to further the careers of hundreds of women in the audio industry every day is amazing and motivates me to do better in my own work. Working with her in the studio is very motivating as well and I have learned so many things from her that I use every day in the studio. What’s the best bit of advice that you can give anyone trying to break into the industry? The advice that I give to WAM’s interns and students looking to break into the industry is, don’t be intimidated by people undermining your knowledge. Be conﬁdent in your work and others will be too. Also, try to say yes to as many gigs as possible. The more experience you can get and the larger your network grows will only help you in the long run.