Recording Connection grad Rohan Solomon on Getting Noticed & Getting Hired
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Since graduating from Recording Connection in 2017, Rohan Soloman (New York, NY) hasn’t wasted one single minute. Over the past two years, Rohan has worked with music’s biggest stars like John Legend and Toni Braxton, as well as rising artists including Julia Capello of American Idol, jazz bassist Jeremiah Hosea, hip hop artist Immortal Technique, and Indian-American funk pop artist Neel. He’s also co-founded audio-video company Synergy Audio Productions.
We recently caught up with Rohan who now works as Production Manager at the very same studio complex where he once trained as an extern—the famous Engine Room Audio— under studio owner and mastering guru Mark Christensen (50 Cent, Trey Songz, The Killers). Here are some choice highlights from our conversation.
What led you to Recording Connection in the first place?
“When I was 12 years old, I started playing the piano and playing guitar and writing my own songs…I was in a band in India, made maybe three records with them, two solo records just for myself as an artist, and I was just very involved with that whole process and I got kind of sick of touring and I wanted to get more into the studio environment. So I made a little home studio for myself. But I didn’t really know what I was doing at all…I would slap on a couple of presets and be like, oh, so it should sound good. But they didn’t… What excited me about Recording Connection was the fact that it wasn’t a classroom environment. You’re in an actual, fully functioning commercial studio. And the connection part of it is just as important as the recording part of it. Yeah, so I think that’s what really attracted me to Recording Connection.”
What was it like training with studio owner and mastering guru Mark Christensen?
“He’s a phenomenal teacher. Sometimes I would be trying to do something or watching a tutorial on YouTube about something and I didn’t really understand the concept. After we’d get done with my lesson, I’d be like, ‘Hey Mark, do you mind if I just ask you about this?’ And then he’d be like, ‘Yeah, no problem,’ and then just explain to me. One thing I love about Mark, he explains stuff with really cool stories.”
Besides the one-on-one training with mentors, at Engine Room you also offer Observation Days. During these in-studio sessions, you’ve seen some students move into the spotlight, while others make a less-than-great impression.
“During Observation Day, I see some students that are kind of in the back, sitting on the couch, playing on their phone or whatever. I’ll try to reach out a couple times and I’ll be like, ‘Oh hey, man. Can you hear me back there?’ just to kind of grab their attention. But at the end of the day, if you don’t want to learn, then no one can really help you.”
You proved your worth at Engine Room Audio. After completing your externship, you manned a number of posts prior to having a position created for you. What can you tell us about that?
“The General Assistants are the guys who look after the interns and make sure the interns are doing their jobs. Then we just came up with this Production Manager position together. It didn’t really exist at Engine Room before me, basically.”
Do you have any advice on how students can make the most of Recording Connection while they’re completing their training?
“Sometimes there’s a lot of repetition in the stuff that they’re observing, and sometimes they tend to get a little sort of annoyed or frustrated by it. In other words, they’re saying ‘we already did this.’ And I’m like, ‘If I put you in the room and asked you to do it all by yourself, would you be able to?’ Then they kind of freeze up and they’re like, ‘No.’ I’m like, ‘That’s the reason we do this, is that it keeps getting ingrained into your head, stuff like signal flow and stuff like that.’… This whole process is what you make of it…Because I used to be the guy in the front, asking a million questions.”
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