An Interview With Chrissy Richardson
Stories Through Sound is a blog featuring interviews by industry professionals across the audio and post production fields. This week, we're interviewing Chrissy Richardson.
Chrissy Richardson is a musician, producer, and audio engineer based out of North Carolina. She graduated from Appalachian State University as a music industry studies major, with a concentration in recording and production. After completing several internships in post production, Chrissy went on to become a media production specialist for SAS, where she does everything from mixing webcasts to providing VO herself. She is also a member of the band Morning Eyes, an indie pop duo with influences from Purity Ring and Phantogram.
What inspired you to seek out a career in audio and music?
I originally got into music by just wanting to emulate bands that I was into. I was a big pop-punk fan as a kid and always thought being in a band looked like fun. I started playing bass and guitar in middle school and played in a few bands here and there. In high school, I picked up drums and started getting more serious about it. I started making these "one woman band" covers where I would recreate my favorite songs and play all the instruments. They're embarrassing to watch back now, haha, but I think that's really when my interest was sparked and I got more into recording. I just became fascinated by how instruments fit and work together in a song.
Who or what has been the biggest influence in audio engineering for you?
I don't really have any particular engineering idols, but I'm constantly watching any and all audio tutorials I can find. So really, I'm influenced by too many people to list. There is SO much to learn in our industry, and there's a never-ending supply of content online to help. I love watching YouTube tutorials, Masterclasses, LinkedIn Learning courses...really any educational content I can get my hands on.
Can you speak a bit about your day to day responsibilities as a media production specialist for SAS?
Sure! SAS is an analytics company with an in-house video department. My job is very similar to that of someone working at a production studio, except that we only produce content for SAS. I edit and mix webcasts, ads, customer stories, etc.. I record voiceovers and educational audio courses. I also compose music beds and work as a voice talent myself.
Working for an analytics company might not be the dream for most engineers, but for me it's perfect. I really enjoy having a predictable 9-to-5 schedule where I can still be creative and work with audio and music every day.
Do you feel that being a musician as well as a producer and engineer has played a role in how you go about editing sound?
That’s a good question. In a lot of ways, I’m sure it does. It’s helpful to have a hobby and a career that are so closely related. There’s a lot of overlap between the two, especially when it comes to electronic music production. Almost everything I learn outside of work can be applied to my job, and vice versa. It really helps me get familiar with new plugins and DAWs quickly.
I also spend a lot of time thinking about how sound effects and music interact in a video. For example, we just recently worked on a customer story about SAS's partnership with an NBA team. I composed the music bed and decided to use ball/net sounds, shoe squeaks, and cheers as percussive elements in the track. It's subtle, but I think it adds to the overall vibe. Plus it was a lot of fun to make!
Any particular go-to pieces of audio gear that you can’t live without?
Do plug-ins count as gear? I work in the box for just about everything. I record my guitars and basses DI with amp simulator plugins, and I use software instruments almost exclusively for everything else. There’s just so much you can do with them these days, and they’re great when your access to gear and recording spaces is limited.
If I had to choose one plugin for composing, it would probably be Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2. It sounds great and is really versatile if you’re working in several different genres.
For mixing, my new go-tos are the plugins from the FabFilter Total Bundle. I love the spectral analyzers and visual representations in those plugins. I know, I know...there's an old saying, "Mix with your ears, not your eyes" haha. But I really appreciate having those visuals to help me double check what I'm hearing.
Is there anything you know now that you wish someone would have said to you earlier on in your career?
I wish I had known that no one expects you to be an expert right out of school. When I was first looking for jobs, I lacked some confidence because I didn’t know as much as some other people in the industry. As it turns out, that’s 100% okay! You’ll learn quickly on the job. Don’t feel like you need to know everything, and don’t pretend like you do. It’s much more important to show that you’re easy to work with and a fast learner. If you can do that, you’ll find someone who is willing to take a chance on you.
Keep up with Chrissy!
SAS Youtube: https://www.youtube.
Morning Eyes: https://morningeyesband.
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