Talented audio engineer and producer
In this gig, anytime you can get paid to do what you enjoy you are a success.
Shawn Simpson is a Nashville based audio engineer and producer with over a decade of experience in the Music City community. Shawn’s talent as an engineer and producer and his inside out knowledge of Pro Tools have earned him a stellar reputation in the industry. Among his credits are The Dixie Chicks, Lonestar, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, and Hank Williams, Jr. Shawn led the development efforts for the revolutionary Pro Tools training program in 2000. His contribution to the development of Digidesign's Certification program, as one of its first instructors, helped make it what it is today .
- When did you know you wanted to be in the music business?
I never really thought of music as a business when I was younger. We were all just a bunch of kids who thought playing music was a good way to have fun. We were around so many other musicians that I naturally got into recording. It didn’t take long to find my niche in the engineer’s chair. A little encouragement from some older guys put stars in my head and the idea that I could have a job working on music was really exciting!
- How did you break into the biz?
We’d had a death in the family right before I graduated and I was pretty aimless. I had this great education and plenty of desire, but my drive was just gone. It took a little time to go home and grieve; to get past the loss. Some time passed and I realized that I was wasting time by moping around and doing work I didn’t love. I put in a call to the person who handled placement at Full Sail. I told her I needed to move away from where I was and I didn’t care where. Anything I could go and do to get away from home and get started on this illustrious career I had geared u Shortly after, I got a call from a studio in Nashville. My call to the rep at Full Sail was a few minutes before that studio’s call for resumes to be considered for the job! I really believe in divine intervention.
- When did you first feel like you had reached a level of success?
In this gig, anytime you can get paid to do what you enjoy you are a success! However, The Work Station - the studio - called and asked me to come up for an interview and they hired me. I was given the keys to kingdom with that job. They were working on big records, had tons of platinum albums, tons of awards and were geared toward emerging technologies to get the job done more efficiently. In the two years I worked at the Work Station, I accumulated a lot of album credits (Toby Keith, Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks, Blackhawk) and tons of experience. When I left there, I was one of the most experienced Pro Tools guys in town.
- How long have you been teaching at ProMedia Training?
I started teaching for this organization before it was ProMedia Training. In November of 2000, I went to Miami and met with David Frangioni to discuss the formation of this training centre. I remember the date clearly because I was on a plane with a ton of media people headed to south Florida for the circus caused by the 2000 election. So, I guess my career at PMT has spanned across three presidents.
- How do you think a student benefits from training at ProMedia Training?
Don’t assume that because the outward appearance of this business is so cool and glitzy that you are seeing the truth. Approach it the same as you would a job at any corporation: be respectful and respectable. Have real answers to the questions people are going to ask and be prepared to do things that you may think are beneath you. You may be the greatest “beat maker” in the world, but if you can’t write a coherent sentence or spell “produser” or “enjinear” then you’re going to see the outside of a lot of doors. (and yes, those are actually things I’ve seen on people’s resumes)!