Music Technology and Recording Arts

Success Stories

Matias U.

Meta audio engineer Matias U. grew up as a musician and played full time. While recording his music, he became exposed to the studio lifestyle. This sparked his interest in recording arts and production. Deciding to be an audio engineer instead of an artist, he started teaching himself.

“However, I reached a cap on how much I could teach myself. I was missing having a mentor and other people I could collaborate with and learn from. I learned about Cabrillo’s program and decided it was a good place to learn more and pick people’s brains,” says Matias.

Matias found the program valuable due to the faculty’s experience and different perspectives, backgrounds, and approaches. He could learn about composition as well as engineering.

With his work at Meta, he works with the sound design team in the recording studio with different music, artists, and bands as well as sound effects for VR games. Matias works a lot with Atmos Mixing. He has the opportunity to do a lot of different things for Oculus Quest and Instagram.

“It’s awesome! I’m right where I should be.”

Matias found that what he learned in MTRA to be absolutely applicable for both the interviewing process and in his job. His advice to others is to be curious and be willing to wear a lot of different hats. And especially – make computers your friend as art and technology are now very intertwined.

Jenny in a studio
Jenny C.

Jenny C. is passionate about everything music! And equally passionate about bringing the joy of music to our community and the next generation.

She is classically trained in double bass and piano, and enjoys playing the electric bass, guitar, ukulele, cello, violin, more – in addition to loving to sing. Being a mom rekindled her love of music when teaching her four kids and starting an after-school program in music.

Jenny wanted to know what the other side of the industry was like and started in the MTRA program.

“I was blown away after my first class. There’s this whole other world of music in mixing sounds and composing on the computer. To be a self-sufficient musician, it’s important to understand this side, especially in these days of our digital world. I’m empowered with my knowledge of all aspects,” says Jenny.

Jenny has almost completed her A.S. degree and found the program “150% worthwhile.” She started an internship with Alan Parsons’ Art and Science of Sound Recording and then worked with them for about six months afterwards.

“I’ve been able to use every single thing I learned,” says Jenny when talking about her work with Hartnell College with The Western Stage and the music department, teaching music at Anthem Christian School, a K-8 school, producing children’s musicals, and playing in her church band.
Patrick Cooley

When Patrick first started studying sound engineering at Cabrillo, he already had some experience under his belt. He'd worked with his friends' bands in high school, "hauling gear" and experimenting with live sound work. At Cabrillo, Patrick had the chance to supplement his experience in live music with a foundation in theory and plenty of time in the studio.

"We studied the theory of how sound works, the signal flow of using microphones and getting the best performances out of bands that you're trying to record — it was nice that Cabrillo gave us the opportunity to spend that much time in the studio to record and to actually get hands-on experience."

One favorite moment was getting the chance to share his newfound expertise with some old friends by bringing them into the studio.

"Being able to bring my close friends in and record their band was probably one of the best moments at Cabrillo," he says.

Patrick transferred to Chico State University and graduated with a B.A. in Music Industry & Technology, with a focus in Recording Arts. He's been in the music business ever since, working on festivals such as Warped Tour, touring the country with different bands, and even traveling as far as New Zealand.

Barbara Martin

Originally from Cuba, Barbara Martin has been studying and playing music since she was five years old. She has performed in a variety of bands as a Latin percussionist/drummer/vocalist and is currently developing her YouTube channel Kusina Jams with her partner. Barbara says she wants to get better at sound production for when they record. So, she enrolled in the MTRA Program to gain her Certificate. Her first class was beginning jazz/pop theory.

"The teacher was very good, and I learned a lot in this class," says Barbara.

Now she's moving on to sound production courses. So far, the class is going very well.

"This class is definitely going to help me. I'm learning lots of different recording techniques I didn't know I could do in music production," she says.

Barbara is already incorporating what she's learned into her Kusina Jams projects. She's also enjoying MTRAK where she learns from the other students she interacts and collaborates with.

Casey working with student
Casey Sustaita-Paz

Casey Sustaita-Paz had some training in digital and entered in the MTRA program to reinforce and expand on what he had learned. Participating in the MTRA program has allowed him to further develop skills in recording, music, and the technical aspects of sound. In addition, he has learned of more career options in front of him.

"Before I started the program, I was looking specifically at the music and entertainment industries. Now I know I have back-up career options such as live sound or music for movies and video games," says Casey.

Casey appreciates the access to tools and resources, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other students.

"The program is great. The resources at Cabrillo are really unlike anything I've seen before. With this much access to tools and resources, there's no limit to what we're learning."

Casey currently works as the music director at the Boy and Girls Club in Live Oak, overseeing the recording studio and curriculum and teaching music production.

Picture of connor
Connor White

Connor came to Cabrillo in the spring of 2016 to study electronic music.

He'd already learned the basics at a private school in New York, which he attended for two years. His plan when he came back to California was to attend classes at Cabrillo and then transfer to a four-year university for his degree.

Connor also enjoyed the field trips where students received full tours of professional facilities and studios. He's also grateful for the opportunity to intern at InDigital Studios in Santa Cruz, which he says is all thanks to MTRA.

"I probably wouldn't have gotten that internship otherwise, says Connor"

Most of all, Connor enjoys the valuable network of musicians and professionals he's found.

"I met a ton of people, especially in the local scene for electronic music, who can often be found at Cabrillo. It's been a great central place to spend a bunch of time and meet people who are like-minded."