The A.E.S. San Francisco Chapter held an amazing, massive studio-crawl and mega-mixer on Friday, September 29th. This was my first time attending, but it was an interesting and wonderful experience. As someone who lives in the Central Valley, accessing the major hubs where the music and audio industries exist can be daunting. This level of activity and participation is something the Central Valley has yet to see. 

For nearly a decade and a half, I have wondered how to make it possible. After participating in many of the San Francisco chapter events and getting to meet such wonderful people who enjoy sharing their passion for their crafts, it became clear that for the culture of Arts to flourish in the Central Valley, we all need to socialize more.  We can all benefit from community-building for a better, stronger industry.

A case for fellowship

While attending the Studio Crawl, many of the studio owners and engineers were putting on demonstrations and showcasing the music and productions they’ve been a part of.  The Studio Crawl event featured more than half a dozen of the bay’s iconic and world-class production facilities.

Airship Laboratories in Richmond, CA is a perfect example of the passionate, enthralling showcase I’m referring to.  Neil Godbole walked tour groups through his studio rooms, inviting open and lively discussion on his processes, techniques, and philosophies behind the productions there.

He also had an ongoing showcase in the mixing room demonstrating the wide spectrum of music that Airship Labs has been a part of, as well as the breadth and diversity that the studio’s philosophies behind recording and mixing can lend to any genre.

Between the crawl across studios throughout the bay like Airship Labs, Fantasy Studios, Coast Mastering, and the mega-mixer afterward which held well over a hundred people and included prize drawings that people could enter the raffle simply for attending each studio, the turnout was incredible.  25th Street Recording hosted the mega-mixer, and what a gem of a studio it is, in the heart of Oakland!

It was more than just demonstrations and tours.  The community that attended was just as vibrant and engaged.  Engineers, artists, musicians, performers, and producers all were open and friendly.  Many were engaged in sidebar conversations catching up on each other’s work.  Invitations were solicited to come check out each other’s latest projects, works in progress, jam, and connect in the myriad of other ways.

The staff engineers at 25th Street Recording were friendly and warm.  While I may be a newcomer to the bay-area scene, it was easy to see just how well connected everyone was.  Many people knew each other either as prior clients or colleagues working on projects together or through reputation.  The community felt very close-knit despite being in the heart of a very large population.

I had a lovely discussion with Scott Bergstrom, one of the engineers at 25th Street Recording and he enlightened me on the realities of working at a facility like this in the heart of Oakland.

Amongst our lengthy discussion, one comment stood out and stuck with me:

The most common question we get is who famous has recorded here recently, and it’s sort of a loaded question.  Those celebrities all living in Hollywood already have Hollywood.  They’re not going to come out to Oakland to record.  We serve our local community and that’s something we take great pride in.

Scott Bergstrom

Engineer, 25th Street Recording

Here’s your chance

Audio Engineering Society is about far more than just the engineering aspect.  A.E.S. recognizes that it supports the arts and creative minds.  Organizing events like the studio crawl mega-mixer and listening parties is how it gives back to the community and socializing is how communities thrive. 

If you’d like to see events like these organized in the Central Valley and Sacramento area, join our mailing list and we’ll keep you updated on events we organize with the help of local multimedia businesses, societies like A.E.S. and N.A.R.A.S. and even more as we expand the opportunities to video and beyond.  And no, you don’t have to be an A.E.S. member to receive invites!

Sign up to receive invitations to the Valley and Sacramento area events.

Already an A.E.S. member of the Sacramento chapter?  Reach out to your chapter and express your interest in seeing more events like these.