Recording Connection grad Mario Ramirez Gets Hired at Sonic Ranch!
Prior to enrolling in Recording Connection, Mario Ramirez, a longtime music lover and musician, got into Mexican indie music and he’s not the only one. In fact, Mexican indie is hot and only getting hotter worldwide. Gone are the days when Mexican rock was relegated to the sidelines. Now artists like Alfonso André, Austin TV, Azul Violeta, La Barranca, Buffalo Blanco, and Chetes are taking over the airwaves and that’s a fact that couldn’t be sweeter for someone like Mario who’s looking to lend his talents to the genre.
Born and raised in El Paso, TX, at 18, Mario knew he was ready to get serious about a career in music. He applied for Recording Connection and was sent to interview at none-other than the world-famous Sonic Ranch. So was he nervous? Yes. But curiosity played a bigger role in his emotional cocktail that morning. Speaking of going in to meet his potential mentor, Charles Godfrey, Mario says, “I was really curious to find out what’s Sonic Ranch would be just because a lot of my favorite records have been done here. And you can tell that there was something special about this place I just found over there and…so coming here was definitely something really nerve wracking for me, at first.”
But once they got to talking, Mario’s nerves abatted. Seeing the drive Charles had for making music struck a chord for Mario: “Once I got here my first impression of Charles was like I’ve never seen anyone so excited about music and so passionate about it…I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”
Mario was accepted by Charles and over the coming months, he dove headlong into learning recording plus the ins-and-outs of assisting and working with certain artists in the studio. Sonic Ranch is known for being an artists’ recording studio. The musicians and bands who come to record at Sonic are there to focus soley on their music. Situated on acres of land in a histoic hacienda, surrounded by pecan orchards and bordering the Rio Grande and Old Mexico, the private country setting makes Sonic a place to unplug from the demands of the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. Understandably, as a producer and engineer, such an environment is one that needs to be protected. Charles speaks to this point saying, “The people that we bring around our artists need to realize that this is the artist’s house, this is where they live for a certain duration of time, so it’s very much getting into their personal lives, so I need to have people here who are sensitive to that.” As such, it was essential that an apprentice like Mario handled themselves with tact and had a can-do attitude about pitching in and helping the studio run day-to-day.
Mario went above and beyond on all fronts and committed himself to learning as much as he could under Charles’ tutelage: “Yeah, me and Charles had this thing where the program basically said he had to have me in for two days but he was so cool and he said, ‘You can come every day if you want and we can just go through the chapters here.’ So what I would do, I would go every day to the studio and then I would read the chapter and Charles would go over it with me. And as the session was going on, he would teach me…actually we’re going out with a live session with live band and he would teach me quickly. And then we would go over it again and then get it right. And he would always be just like pointing out little things here and there that wouldn’t be on the chapters for example, or he might thought would be really important to know. So that was basically how we handle our chapters and our learning process.”
Well it’s been one heck of a year for Mario who turned 19, graduated Recording Connection, and got hired as assistant engineer at Sonic Ranch! Now, he’s working right where many of his favorite albums have been produced, with the artists he loves (mums the word). Thanks to his hard work, passion, and the belief that no task is too big or too small, Mario is spending his days helping bring the music he loves to the world. Rock on Mario, rock on!