[Katie Tavini is a professional audio engineer (producing, tracking, mixing, mastering) who began working at Limefield Studio in 2009. She now works as a freelance engineer throughout the UK across wide variety of genres. She also still regularly works from Limefield Studio (Manchester), but really enjoys working in different environments and acoustic spaces. She’s keen to take projects into new studios and can frequently be found with a bag full of gear heading out to work on location. She’s known for having amassed a selection of unusual microphones, that she’s keen to bring along to any studio or location recording.]
As a female engineer I feel pretty strongly about this!
My first degree course at Uni was Acoustics and Audio systems—I was the only girl out of 120 guys and absolutely hated it! But at 18, I didn’t know any better. I then went on to do a Music degree, majoring in classical violin performance, arrangement and recording studies.
I loved this, as we were pretty much just left to our own devices in the studio, and you found that the people who really wanted to do it came out with a great portfolio, and the people who weren’t that interested gradually stopped using the studios.
It was interesting to see that most of the people who weren’t really interested in audio were females. I think a lot of girls don’t really have that much of an interest in learning how to wire up a studio, or if they do get studio work and they realize that they’ll be sleeping on the floor of the studio and working away from home for the next two months they lose interest.
However, the female engineers I do know who have persevered with it now all have great reputations and are putting out some amazing work of a really high standard.
I’ve had some funny experiences from men in studios but I’m sure every female engineer has, at the end of the day if you’re passionate about something enough to make it your life then you’ll ignore it and focus on the main priority—helping bands make great new music.