The Orlando Recording Connection Launches Sebastian Lefeld Into the Big Leagues
When Sebastian Lefeld first started his Recording Connection apprenticeship (externship) in Orlando, little did he know that within 6 months of graduation he would be in the “big leagues,” working with artists like Carolos Santana and Shawn Mendes at one of the busiest recording studios in Miami!
After researching a number of schools in the Orlando area (including Full Sail, where several of his friends attended), Sebastian decided on the Recording Connection as his audio school alternative because of its hands-on approach. He was placed as an apprentice (extern) with producer/engineer Dave Mikeal, of StudioLive USA in the busy Orlando music scene.
“I really liked the fact that they put you to work while you’re learning,” he says. “My mentor, Dave Mikeal, he helped me out not just with like the audio parts, but also with how to run a studio: what it would take to pay the studio rent, how much energy a studio uses… It’s good to know everything, in case you want to build your own studio someday.”
Learning on-the-job also gave Sebastian a dose of reality when it comes to the amount of work that goes into making it in the recording industry. “I used to think that people come into the studio and it’s like a party,” says Sebastian. “No, it’s crazy…It’s all about how efficiently and how fast you can work. When they say time is money, they are not joking…These people are paying a lot of money to be there, so they want everything done super quick, and you have to be able to do it on the fly.”
The skills he learned from his apprenticeship (externship) in Orlando, as well as the strong work ethic that came learning on-the-job, paid off quickly for Sebastian. After graduation, he took a position at one of Miami’s busiest studios–unpaid at first, to get his foot in the door, supplementing his income with a job at Pizza Hut. But everything changed when 2 months later, he was called to assist on a session with none other than Carlos Santana, who was prepping for a concert tour. Three days later, his boss at the studio offered him a full-time job!
These days, Sebastian’s plate is full with lots of projects in the studio, including tracking vocals for rising star Shawn Mendes, whose first album recently debuted atop the Billboard 200! Sebastian says he puts in at least 10 hours a day at the studio, 6-7 days a week—but he says the time flies by because he loves what he does.
“Whenever I take a break,” he says, “I’m always thinking there’s someone else out there who’s doing what I do who’s not taking a break, and I get back to work.”