Professor Steve Cunningham’s MIDI and Computer Music Production class anxiously awaited the arrival of acclaimed mixing engineer, producer and Thornton artist-in-residence faculty member Young Guru on Nov. 6. In class, students focus on recording and MIDI techniques for Logic Pro, and, according to Professor Cunningham, they come from all different musical backgrounds.
In his typical fashion, Guru had a lot to say, so once Professor Cunningham explained that the students were working on a multi-track mix, Guru was off. With conversational ease, he began by explaining that whenever he is mixing a song that he didn’t record, he listens to it first. He laughed and said that it seems self-explanatory, but the students would be surprised about how many mixers he knows who just start mixing and really forget to listen to the song. “I don’t want to say there are any rules to mixing a song, but there is wisdom,” he said.
The lesson was extremely hands-on, and students were able to listen to Guru speak and watch what he was applying to the program screens on the walls. Everything he taught came through his unique lens of having grown up in the ever-advancing community of analog recording. He also possesses consummate knowledge of the modern DAW (digital audio workstation) software. His knowledge of the science of recording directly enhances his craft, and in turn allows him to explain complicated recording concepts on a both scientific and creative level. For the students, this was an invaluable classroom experience.