The Top Student Success Stories of 2018

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If you know anything about Recording Connection and RRFC, you know we believe in the value of determination, hard work, and seizing the day. For more than three decades we’ve put our students where they needed to be to prove their skills, tenacity, and willingness to go the distance. 2018 was a year of tremendous artistic and professional growth and of making it happen. Here are our Top 20 Success Stories for 2018!

Recording Connection grad Morning Estrada went from ‘good job at the bank’ to engineering today’s hottest talents.

Recording Connection audio engineer

In just the past year Morning Estrada has worked with numerous players in hip hop, pop, and R&B including Jessie J, Aminé, Camila Cabello (of Fifth Harmony), Nelly, 50 Cent, Tech N9NE, Linzi Jai, Marsha Ambrosius, Noah Cyrus, producers Camper, Frank Dukes, Mr. Porter, and more.

Morning advises those bent on making it to stay as close to the action as possible by coming into the studio every chance they get:

“I think the biggest thing is being there, because you never know…None of the opportunities were ever planned. They just kind of happened because I was there or I picked up my phone…You just need to be really dedicated to it. I think that’s the biggest thing.” Find out more about Morning Estrada’s journey.

Recording Connection grad Nate Riley went from ‘guy in a band’ to recording his band with a pro!


Not only did Nate Riley join the staff as audio engineer/music producer at Anthony Walker, the studio where he trained, he’s now working on recording his own band with his former mentor by his side.

“I was writing music for it for the better half of a year, and from the very beginning I said, ‘Yes, once it’s done I’m going to bring this in here.’ So we’ve been working on that now since August and just kind of fitting it in as the days go on, squeezing it in between other clients… We’re not worried about the timeframe…Anthony is a very strong music producer and we’re really working together, trying to create an art form.” Learn more about Nate’s experience.

Recording Connection grad Efrain Mattias kicked his career into high gear!

Efrain Matias at Noize Factory Studios

After hearing about us on Pensado’s Place, Efrain Mattias decided training with a professional was just what he needed to elevate his game fast. It’s paid off. He’s taking the reins at Noize Factory Studios in El Cajon, CA. Although his ultimate goal is to compose and produce, he says possessing stellar engineering chops will play and intrinsic role in his growing success.

“I feel like engineering is going to help me establish myself as a producer…If an artist comes to me and tells me what they’re looking for…it’s my job to interpret that and put it in the record or track and make their vocals sound that way. Just that connection of working with artists is going to enhance one’s production skills. If you love producing, then you should probably love most aspects of engineering as well. That’s really it.” Read the article.

Chris Lord-Alge Taught Recording Connection grads and students!

Chris Lord-Alge and Recording Connection students and grads

In October 2018 Audio-Technica, Clyne Media, and Recording Connection hosted the second annual Csaba Petocz Master Class, taught by five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, Keith Urban, Rise Against, Pink, Carrie Underwood).

In the exclusive, one day workshop open to advanced audio engineering and music production students and grads, CLA himself shared mixing and production techniques, tips on how to handle the business side of the job, and discussed how to set yourself up for successful interaction with artists and clients.

It was an unforgettable eye-opening day for all. Workshop attendee and Recording Connection grad Dawnette Scolari took a lot away from the experience. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would wake up one morning and say, ‘Today I am going to learn the art of the mix from a master like CLA.’”

Recording Connection grad Jordan Duffy Got Hired at Earwolf!

Recording Connection grad Jordan Duffy

Thanks to the flexibility of our blended education approach, Jordan Duffy was able to take our Audio Engineering & Music Production Program while simultaneously holding down a job in corporate America. Flash-forward just weeks after graduation and Jordan landed an audio job at the leading comedy podcast network Earwolf where she’s working on multiple podcasts including “Queery” with Cameron Esposito, “Unspooled” with Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson, “Throwing Shade” with Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson, and “Hollywood Handbook” with Sean Clements and Hayes Davenport.

“You’re constantly learning, and just remind yourself of that daily. Don’t get discouraged. Also, be bold!”

Recording Connection grads Fay Garrison and Uriel Soto Jr. went into the studio with Fender and Adam Moseley (Beck, U2, Rush)!

Adam Moseley, Uriel Soto Jr. , Fay Garrison at Fender

As recipients of The Fender Recording Connection Experience, Fay Garrison and Uriel Soto Jr. had the once in a lifetime opportunity to go in-session with Adam Moseley (Beck, U2, Nikka Costa/Lenny Kravitz, Rush, Wolfmother, Spike Jonze) and build their music production expertise by collaborating on an original track, slated for commercial release in coming months! Already musicians and producers in their own right, Adam was able to meet Fay and Uriel at their level:

“Adam recognized our awareness and understanding already and basically told us ‘Great. You know, we can really, really push and go far because we’re already there.’… he’s showing us these tricks to just smooth out that kind of that digital edge, because, he says, no matter how pixelated something is digitally, it’s still going to have that binary corner, you know, that digitized corner. So he’s taught us how to add in these random noises from hardware, to help soften that… A lot of what I’m learning is going right back into the song.” – Fay Garrison (read the article).

Recording Connection grad Collin Jacka gave 200% & got hired at Mentor’s Studio!

Collin Jacka and Shane Anderson at Unique Recording Studios

Collin Jacka and Shane Anderson

After taking both the Audio Engineering and Advanced Audio programs, Collin Jacka got hired at mentor Shane Anderson’s Unique Recording Studios. So what’d he do to set himself up for success?

“The first time I came in for an interview, Shane asked what my intentions were and I told him my intention was to earn a position here at the studio by the end of my externship. So I put in my 200%.” Learn how Collin did it now.

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