Category Archives: Audio Arts & Acoustics

Joshua Shapera // Audio Engineer

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Joshua Shapera Alumni
Joshua is a 20 year veteran of the music industry and an alumni of Columbia College.  He has produced and engineered for countless local and national acts. He has worked with such top acts as Michael and Janet Jackson, R, Kelly, Disturbed, and Maxwell for which he is the recipient of multiple gold and platinum awards. Presently Joshua is the co-owner of a Studio and Production company called The Mixin Administration with his partner Pat Sansone (Wilco, The Autumn Defense).

GENE NILES: What interested you about Columbia’s audio arts program?

JOSHUA SHAPERA: At the time Columbia was the only option in the Midwest offering a bachelor’s degree. I was a transfer student and wanted to finish a Bachelor’s in audio.

GN: Which class did you learned the most from and why?

JS: I don’t remember the course name but the instructor I learned the most from was Malcolm Chisholm. He was a tough as nails engineer who spoke in a very opinionated way, but knew more of what he was talking about then any of my other instructors. Is still think about his advice when working.

GN: What sparked your interest in audio engineering?

JS: I grew up in a music household. I didn’t think being a professional musician was for me, but I was attracted to the combination of artistic expression and technology.

GN: Why did you decide to return to Columbia to teach?

JS: It hadn’t occurred to me until I was approached by Columbia. I saw an opportunity to try it and ended up really liking teaching, and liking how teaching made me better at my craft.

Interview by Gene Niles 

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Thomas Thornhill // Music Major

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My name is Thomas “Teddy” Thornhill I am junior at Columbia College Chicago, I have worked as a recording engineer for the past 5 years in studios such as SummersBlend, Silver Soul Studios, Rax Trax Recording, and Jay’s Garage. I played trumpet for 4 years, I then changed over to drums. I currently play drums for The Meteorologists, The Sea Empty, and a few singer songwriters. I have produced 2 records including Faceless Ones “Red & Subtract” and Traces Of Lead “Collected Pieces.” I enjoy producing/engineering very much, this allows me to really get creative with an artists, instead of just being an engineer.

Gene Niles: What interested you about Columbia’s audio arts program?

Teddy Thornhill: I became interested in Columbia’s audio program because, who wants to go hang out in the middle of Tennessee for 4 years. I was given the option between MTSU and Columbia, and there seemed to be a lot more opportunity here in Chicago, so I picked Columbia.

GN: Which class have you learned the most from?

TT: Master Class in Studio Recording. Working with analog equipment had always fascinated me. Our professor Michael Freeman is very big on working outside of “the box”, which forces us to critically listen and make acute decisions.

GN: What sparked your interest in audio engineering?

TT: I have been a musician since I was 8, I fell in love with music a long time ago. When I realized being a full time musician was extremely hard I looked into a way to help people make their music and skills avilible to the world. I tired engineering a few times before really falling in love with it. I think the first day I walked into a studio I knew I could spend the rest of my life in one.

GN: How do you plan on using your degree once you’ve graduated?

TT: I will continue to work in the field as I already do, expanding my horizons everyday.

Stay up to date with Thomas’s newest accomplishments!

Facebook   Silver Soul Studios   Rax Trax

Interview by Gene Niles 

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