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Saturday, 6 October 2018

The Sky’s The Limit For Anna Muehlichen

#AnnaMuehlichen
The Sky’s The Limit For Anna Muehlichen

When you think of a recording studio, who do you usually see making the decisions behind the soundboard, you know that intimidating thing with all the buttons? I would say most of us are probably imagining a man behind that desk. Up until recently, there are still so few women in the audio and film industry. Based on a statistic from Women’s Audio Mission, less than 5% of the people creating sounds, music and media are women. Today we’re going to get into a conversation with Anna Muehlichen, a producer and audio engineer.   

Anna graduated from the legendary Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Production and Engineering. Knowing she had to be in the heart of it all, she decided to make the move to Los Angeles.

What made you decide to study music production and engineering?

That decision came to me quite suddenly while I was attending an upper classmate’s recording session. Honestly, I never thought that I’d one day be an audio engineer. Before Berklee, it really did seem like a man’s job and I was always very intimidated by that. But then I had the urge to give it a shot. I became fascinated with audio and I just wanted to be able to operate all those (then) scary consoles and record beautiful sounds.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a female in the music industry?

I think slowly women are claiming their spots and proving themselves. I have an incredible mentor to look up to, her name is Susan Rogers and she was the audio engineer for Prince for a long time. I’m so thankful for women like her because they paved the way for our generation. Even back at Berklee, every semester I would see more women in music production and engineering or electronic production and design. But then again, we are still in the minority for sure. I have often found myself as the only woman in a class or even in the studio where I work at now. I would say my favorite part about being a woman in music is that I get to show a feminine perspective in the work that I do and it’s really exciting. I think everything needs a balance, such as the perspective of men and women combined. Imagine how a record would sound if it were women coming together to produce, engineer and create? I guess that leads me to my least favorite part, that the scenario I just described is not at all common and that women are still very much doubted when it comes to more technical aspects.  

Tell us a little bit more about the studio you’re working at? How’s the environment there?

I’m currently a full-time audio engineer at Igloo Music located in LA. It is mostly a post-production studio but we also get a lot of projects from artists. It is honestly a gem, the space is beautiful, the team of engineers are all top-tier and the projects that happen here are amazing. Once I started working at Igloo I immediately dove into projects like preparing videos and audio for the Latin Grammys or working on editing/mixing Disney characters’ voices that come through the studio. It was wild! I got to meet the actors who are the classic voices of Disney such as Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck. One of my favorite projects that I got to work on is definitely Disney’s Moana (Hawaiian version). It has been an amazing experience for me.

What’s your advice to girls that want to get into the film or music industry?
Don’t be intimidated by any of this even though at first, I know that I was. However, if you feel interested in doing this, do it because you’ll be amazed at what you can do. Plus, it’s so fun!

How do you want to make a difference in the audio world?
I want to one-day work a recording session where there are equal numbers of men and women in the room. And I want that to become more of a norm. I don’t want it to be assumed that I’m somebody’s girlfriend when I walk into a studio. I think to do that I just have to keep at it, do my work and always deliver the best quality products. I hope I can inspire more young women to become audio engineers, musicians and producers.

Thanks for the talk today!

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