When RRFC gets you learning on the job, not only do you learn from the pros, you also have the opportunity to expand your skills in ways you might not have imagined! Read below about a vocalist who enrolled in the Recording Connection to expand her skills into audio engineering and production, and wound up getting engineering credits on a label rock recording and doing vocals for a documentary soundtrack!
From an early age, Lindsey Kappa knew she wanted a career in music, especially as a singer. By her early teens, she was writing and performing her own songs, learning to play a variety of instruments, and was seriously pursuing a music career. But even as a teenager, she was smart enough to start hedging her bets.
“I knew when I was 14 that being a musician wasn’t always a guarantee,” she says. “So I ended up going to a concert for my cousin’s band, and after the show he recommended, ‘Hey, why don’t you check out sound while you start trying to pursue your music career?’…It was something that I thought not only sounded awesome, but it was a way for me to still keep music in my life and doing it for living, both at the same time, getting the bills paid.”
So after graduating high school, instead of majoring in music in college, Lindsey majored in audio engineering, earning an associate’s degree at an audio school in Minneapolis, MN where she lived. But even before finishing, she knew her classroom education wasn’t enough.
“I knew I wanted some more experience, I wanted to advance my abilities,” says Lindsey, “so I did some research and found Recording Connection. At the time I was told that my mother and I would be moving to Texas for her job, so I started making arrangements from Minnesota to Texas. And on my last day of school, I got my diploma in an office, didn’t go to the graduation ceremony. Just got all my stuff and pretty much drove from Minnesota to Texas.”
RC apprentice Lindsey Kappa
Lindsey’s move brought her to Austin, Texas, the “Live Music Capital of the World,” where the Recording Connection has several mentor studios. Lindsey was ultimately placed as an apprentice with Chris “Frenchie” Smith at The Bubble Recording Studio. Lindsey recalls that she clicked with her mentor immediately.
“I went to the studio, and I met with Frenchie,” she says. “Even on the phone I knew that were we a good match, because I don’t know, just something about his attitude and his behavior just really makes you feel [like] ‘Okay, these things are going to get done, you know this is awesome.’”
From the beginning of her apprenticeship, Lindsey saw the difference between learning on-the-job and her formal schooling experience. “With this school, what I enjoy is that it is one-on-one,” she says. “I actually get more hands on experience…There is no like, ‘Okay, let’s crack open the books and turn to page 32, let’s read through that.’ And it’s super flexible because you are not only on your time, but you are also on your mentor’s time, so when you guys get together it’s because it works for both of you.”
Since starting at The Bubble, Lindsey has jumped in with both feet, not only learning the ropes but even earning engineering credits, as well. “Recently, Scorpion Child recorded at the studio,” says Lindsey, “and Sean actually gave me the tom tracks for all the songs…once the product was finished, I handed them off to Sean to put in the session, and that ended up giving me an engineering credit, which was pretty awesome.”
Band Courtesy Tier, Chris “Frenchie” Smith
with dog Agnes and Lindsey Kappa
It turns out that Lindsey’s vocal abilities have come in handy, as well, when one of the engineers invited her to sing on a track for a documentary soundtrack he was working on. “[He] asked me if I could provide some vocals,” she says, “and we did one track, and he loved my vocals very much and he ended up showing the client who is in charge of the project, and they loved my vocals as well. So there are going to have me sing on pretty much on the entire piece.”
As Lindsey works through her apprenticeship at The Bubble, it’s apparent that adding audio production skills to her musical abilities has helped her grow as a music professional. “My confidence with music has definitely been boosted,” she says. “Of course, there are times where I am a little shy, especially when I am around people who have way more experience than me, but Chris has definitely helped me with that. He helps me make the right decisions and he just taught me. He’s definitely prepared me for situations that require me to say yes or no.”
As for the future, Lindsey hasn’t lost focus on her dream of being an artist in music—she’s just expanded her reach. “Singing is my huge passion,” she says. “Out of everything singing is my top…The biggest thing that I want out of music, just in the music industry in general… I would love to not only sing professionally but being able to go out there and say, ‘Hey, I can engineer my own stuff, you know.’ I can not only make my own stuff and perform my own stuff but actually do the behind-the-scenes for it as well.”
Lindsey’s advice to other apprentices? “The most important thing about this program is don’t just take what you are handed,” she says, “because this is an experience that not every person can get, and you want to make the most of it…For me, I have pretty much just immersed myself into things because I feel like if you don’t throw yourself in there, then you are not going to really learn anything.”
Scorpion Child and
Chris “Frenchie” Smith, center.