Wrapping up the Fall quarter could not have been more exciting than hosting Meyer Sound masters Richard Bugg and Tony Meola for two workshops. It goes without saying, learning tips in CueStation (and seeing some of the promising AVB improvements in CueStation 6) from Richard and mixing tips from Tony were invaluable and lifelong-memorable experiences. I was especially grateful for the time in and out of the theater that we were able to spend with Tony, Richard, and Gavin. They all three have incredible insight into different facets of the sound design business, and their advice and thoughts are brilliant. It was such a gift getting to spend time with them. I am so grateful to Helen Meyer, Gavin Canaan, and of course Richard and Tony for your time and passion. It is so inspiring! And of course thank you to BC, and Mike and Vinnie for helping to put this opportunity together for us!
Last week was one for the books, as we had a three-day intensive with Richard Bugg learning about DMITRI and LCS, followed by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to mix Defying Gravity from Wicked for Tony Meola. I’m still reeling from this experience. The first day was all about DMITRI, how to program it, the specifics within Wild Tracks and how to make a cue. The next two days were all about Tony. Not only did he give each of us mixing pointers, we spent a great deal of time simply talking about his life in the theatre, an experience unfathomable in most other programs. Both Tony and Meyer Sound genuinely care about the future of sound design. Thank you so much, Gavin Canaan, Helen Meyer, Richard Bugg, Tony Meola and the rest of Meyer Sound for donating your time and resources to our program.--Kelsi Halverson
Wow. Well, this was unreal. I remember when I first started looking at graduate programs, I saw the blog entry here from the last time Tony Meola did a masterclass and I remember thinking “That. I want that.” I am so grateful to have had the chance to take part in this. Tony was so generous with his time and experience, and it was really thrilling to talk with him. I was so happy with how much time we spent discussing, first and foremost, storytelling, then musical theater, then mixing. Tony’s approach of putting as little between the performer and the audience as possible is very much what I look for when I go to see musicals. It is such a delicate and simple through line, and hearing how Tony approaches scaling that up to something as large as an average Broadway musical was fascinating.
I was also really excited to get to learn from Richard Bugg! I had the opportunity to use D-Mitri for my design for Boeing Boeing last year, so I had a ton of questions and Richard was game for all of them. I’m looking forward to bothering him some more at USITT!
-- Ben Scheff
The Meyer Seminars we had last week were a special opportunity that most sound people could only dream of. Day one we were taught by Richard Bugg on how to program LCS and he walked us through some of the new additions to the program. The rest of the week was spent receiving mixing tips from the legendary designer Tony Meola. Tony gave great mixing advice and very specific individualized notes. Not only did he give fantastic artistic and technical advice he more importantly took the time to learn about each student in the program and answered any and every question we could come up with. I have no doubt that I will use his advice for years to come.
What a way to wrap up my first quarter here at UCI: an intense 3-day seminar with Meyer Sound!
LCS had been a program notorious for the headaches it’s caused in our class projects frustrated when something wasn’t working the way we thought it would or accidentally overwriting someone else’s captured cues in realtime. Richard Bugg helped de-mystify some of the inner workings of LCS and what makes it tick! Though a bit confusing at times (because it’s LCS - how do you want to want to do it?), Richard helped make the process much clearer and provided some great tips on shortcuts and layouts to create a cleaner workflow. Getting everyone connected onto the server was great and with some more tweaking (i.e. bringing our ethernet adapters instead of using WiFi), the ability for all of us to work on a similar project live would be phenomenal. Kudos to Richard and his highly informative lecture!
The mixing seminar with Tony Meola was out of this world. I had never been so nervous and excited at the same time. We broke down Wicked’s Defying Gravity and all took turns at the console to mix with challenge mode turned on as pink noise rang throughout the system if we were not careful with pickups. This added element of error response was amazing and absolutely brilliant! Definitely something I will implement when I practice mixing for Evita this coming spring. Tony is a great mentor and is a wonderful conversationalist with great insight on sound design and mixing.
Thank you to the Meyer team: Richard, Gavin, and Tony, as well as Mike, Vinnie, and BC for this wonderful opportunity!
My first eleven weeks of grad school at UCI were packed with new experiences from beginning to end. Sitting in on two very different Meyer seminars was a perfect way to wrap up a very productive quarter. Starting off the week watching Richard Bugg program D-MITRI was an inspiring look into the mind of the master himself (and actually made LCS seem like much less of an intimidating beast). Having never seen or worked with an LCS show control system before coming to UCI, I feel lucky to both have access to such a powerful system, and to have been able to see Richard at work. The second seminar let us all try our hand at mixing ‘Defying Gravity’ for Tony Meola, which was a totally stress-free experience (all kidding aside, many thanks to Tony for not looming over our shoulders as we sweat at the console). Though the mixing talk was valuable, my favorite parts of the second seminar were our conversations with Tony. I know the talks we had about making a career in theater gave me a lot of hope for the future, which is exactly what I needed at the end of my first quarter of grad school! Thank you so much to Richard, Tony, Gavin, and everyone else at Meyer Sound who donated time, effort, and resources to make this happen for us in the UCI Sound Design program!