Andrew Fumerton is a graduate of the Electronic Music Production program and is the in-house audio engineer at CRAFT Toronto – a production studio and division of McCann Canada, Canada’s largest global advertising agency. At CRAFT, Andrew specializes in broadcast production and has recorded and/or mix-engineered projects for numerous high-profile clients including Chevrolet, MasterCard, Coca-Cola, GMC, Nestle, Nespresso, and Buick. As Andrew describes it, “Being part of a large agency affords [me] the unique opportunity to take part in planning, production, and post-production. As an audio engineer, this means being diverse and flexible.” Some of Andrew’s tasks include Voiceover Recording, ADR Sessions, Dialogue Editing, Soundstage Engineering, Spotting Sessions, Sound Design, Music Editing, Music Composition, Re-Recording Mixing, and Remote sessions with studios around the world via Source-Connect.
No matter how long your credit list gets, there are always certain projects that stand out from the rest. According to Andrew, “A stand out project for me is Coca-Cola’s ‘Share A Coke’ holiday campaign. I recorded the voice-over at CRAFT and mixed the project. Seeing that spot air during Hockey Night In Canada and catching it during pre-roll at a Cineplex theatre was a pretty gratifying experience – as far as watching a commercial goes.”
Now that he has been in the business for a few years, we asked Andrew to reflect on his Metalworks experience.
What has been the most helpful aspect of your Metalworks education?
The program content has proved invaluable, but the faculty are what make Metalworks special. I lean on the skills I learned in Digital Technologies, Audio Post-Production, Digital Signal Processing, and Critical Listening on a daily basis. Dialogue editing is a big part of what I do. The techniques, tips and tricks I learned from the instructors are put to work every day. Metalworks helped lay the foundation to my career through exposure to proper studio protocols and etiquette. I engage with all types of professionals every day. Working with voice-over talent, mixing for a large group of clients in session, communicating with creatives, copywriters, producers, accounts execs, etc. Communication is key, and Metalworks really helped solidify that for me.
Do you have any words of wisdom for current students or your fellow graduates?
Here are 5 tips I’ve found very useful:
1. There are sessions that are serious and sessions that are for growth. Make sure you get in as many growth sessions as possible. Ones where errors are acceptable and the primary focus is experimentation, learning and progression.
2. Plugins are tools just like microphones and instruments. Limit your collection of plugins. It’s better to know a few processors really well than have a hundred you barely know at all. Every processor – analogue or digital – takes time to get to know. Learn their limitations and the ways you can exploit them.
3. Don’t overcomplicate a mix. Try stripping back your processing on a per track basis and see what you can accomplish with just an EQ and a compressor.
4. Take care of your ears. They are your money makers after all. Safe and consistent monitoring levels are important yet often neglected.
5. Be kind – We help set the tone in the studio. If the goal is to produce a quality product, our interaction with the client and talent is just as important as our technical knowledge. Be approachable, don’t make the session uncomfortable for anyone. Attitude is everything.
Lastly, Andrew finished up our interview with some excellent advice, “While studying at Metalworks, take full advantage of the faculty and facilities. There is an overabundance of resources at your disposal. Book as much time as you can in the studios. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in post-production, get as much experience as possible with the Pro Tools HD systems.”