Latest posts by Liya Swift (see all)
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When you’re on the outside of something it can look impossible to get in. Lacking connections and technical savvy can make it feel like maybe you’ll never find your place, never get that break that gets you working in music.
Such was the case for Jason Abranches who felt like he was always on the outside until he got in and started apprenticing under Zack Philips at Freq Lab in San Francisco. While there, Jason got the hands-on skills he’d been looking to get, made a number of great industry relationships, and he got keen insight into what it really takes to work in recording.
So what does getting paid recording work come down to? Answer: Willingness, ability, and knowing the right people. From the time Jason landed in Maui, he was going to the open mics, going to clubs and venues to meet artists and music people and reaching out to Maui recording studios via phone calls and email. One of the people he reached out to was Lyn Petersen, owner of Maui Recording Studios:
I reached out to him, and I was shocked, you know? I told him about my experience with Recording Connection, and I was very honest about where I was, you know, in my blooming career. And he wanted to take me under his wing, like he responded right away, like within 15 minutes. And said, “Yeah, you know, let’s work something out.”
Jason was given the opportunity to assist Lyn at a live sound gig and show what he was made of. He had the chance of being starstruck but, nevertheless, kept focused on the goal at hand:
I ended up doing my first live sound gig ever with Mick Fleetwood and the House Shakers, which is his blues band out here. And then we had Ross Valory, the bassist from Journey, stop in and do the set, which was awesome. All these guys were super cool…We had an extra setup for Steven Tyler in case he dropped in because, also living on the island, he drops in quite often. I was shocked at how much I learned in just one gig, and it was enough to get myself a secure job on his crew.”
Having secured a regular position at Maui Recording, Jason has also set up his own lushly appointed home studio, aptly named The Freqy Beach Studio. He says, “We have drums, basses, guitars all over the wall. I have condensers, ribbons, you know, my 57s. I have all my mics, all my cables are in a certain spot. We have an ISO booth.”
Prior to joining Recording Connection Jason felt rudderless. Today, he knows he’s on the right path, building the career he wants: “A year ago, I was still in the program and scared out of my mind,” he says, “I never could actually imagine that this would actually work out. And then a year later, it has.”