How Collin Jacka Got Hired at Unique Recording Studios
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Recording Connection graduate Collin Jacka (Sacramento, CA) completed both the Audio Engineering and Music Production program with mentor Matt Young at The Press Recording Studio (Stockton, CA) and the Advanced Audio and Music Production program with Shane Anderson at Unique Recording Studios (Sacramento, CA). Now, Collin’s making a name for himself as the new hire at Unique.
We recently touched base with Collin to learn more about how he’s building his future, and how he secured his first in-industry job.
What got you interested in Recording Connection in the first place?
“I was in bands and I was always the sound guy. Eventually I just realized that it was a lot more fun…My goal was just to be a recording engineer just so I could be around music all the time.”
Have your goals changed at all now that you’ve completed the programs?
“Yeah, quite a bit. Right now my plan is to focus more on producing, both making beats and producing artists. And then also mixing confidently and creatively, which is something I’ve been working on lately. So I’ll be testing mixes and Shane will tell me how I could do better. I’m also getting the opportunity to help around the Instagram page and take photos and promote the studio. So it’s cool to get a bunch of different experiences.”
So let’s go back to when you first interviewed with Shane to do the advanced program. Were you nervous, excited?
“I was definitely nervous because I was changing studios from the one in Stockton, and I hadn’t planned to move up here. But within a few minutes I was feeling completely comfortable with Shane. We ended up spending an extra hour and a half just talking about music and stuff. But it was a really good interview. It was more like hanging out than an interview.”
When it comes to mixing, what was it like learning how not one, but two different mentors, two different pros handle the mix?
“So there’s two different approaches from the two different studios. When I’d watch Matt mix, it’d be fast and on the fly, because he’s always very sure. When I watched Shane mix, he mixes very creatively, but while still keeping the artist’s vision for it. Both experiences were very, very beneficial.”
What have been the highpoints of training with Shane?
“Since I’ve been with Shane here at Unique Recording Studios, I’ve really learned how to listen, without just revealing too much of Shane’s mixing stuff, you know, like search and destroy. You just narrow it down and you find that one little noise that’s bringing the mix down, and you find it. And it’s surprising, like, one little cut can make the whole track a lot better.”
So how’d you get hired at Unique? What led up to it?
“The first time I came in for an interview, Shane asked what my intentions were. And I told him my intention was to earn a position here at the studio by the end of my externship. So I put 200% in for my externship, and Shane followed through.”
Have your parents been supportive of what you’re doing?
“Yeah. 100%. They’re all for it.”
Have any projects you’d like to tell us about?
“Two different artists, Hunnit F. Roundz and Fresh B (Spotify). I engineered their sessions. Two hours recording with me, then Shane comes in and does the mix and master so they leave with a completed song. Also, when I first started the program, Shane set up this project for me to work on with this artist named Era…So I’ve been working on that project at the studio, and I’ve been cataloging my own beats that I make at home. And then I have a few songs that I’ve been messing around with that may see the light of day sometime soon.”
What’s your advice to current Recording Connection students on how can they make the most of the program while they’re in it?
“Definitely take a bunch of notes, because you could always refer back to them. Even if you don’t know what you’re writing down, it will make sense someday and it will keep your head in the game. And also, I know a lot of students can’t afford all of this analog gear that the big studios have. Something that Shane taught me was that mixing in the box doesn’t mean you have to think in the box. So it just helps for you to be creative so no robot could take my place in 20 years, because a robot can’t feel that emotion.”
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