Every week, I am highlighting on some of the incredible people who are in the Audio Video Industry. As this blog is mostly about AV insiders, today we are profiling Eric Medley.
Here is a brief intro about him.
Eric Medley is a 35 year veteran of the music industry with over 500 records produced as well as productions for music, film, television and video. He is the owner of Tremulant Records (an indie label with 17 artists) since 1992 as well as Eric Medley Music Productions – a multi-track digital and analog recording studio and mixing space.
In addition to the music industry, Eric is also a long-time A/V/IT engineer and programmer. He is proprietor of Code EM – an AV engineering, design and programming service. His areas of expertise include being an AMX VIP (AMX Valued Independent Partner) A.C.S.M. (AMX Certified Solutions Manager) A.C.E. Programmer/Designer/Installer/RMS/Networking/Digital Video and Signage. Code EM offers high-end professional services to Enterprise Level clients in commercial/industrial/educational AV as well as Residential AV engineering/design.
Please drop your questions in the comments below and i will make sure that he sees them.
1. Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?
I have been involved in Audio for over 35 years. I spent the early part of my career as an audio engineer in the recording industry. I began as a studio tech, running the board, handling the reel to reel machines (alignment, setup, etc…) and managing the sessions. In the late 1980s I began to move towards being an independent music producer. I now own my own studio and run an indie record label called Tremulant Records (www.tremulant.com) with over 16 artists.
During the 90s I also found myself involved in video/film productions as well as consulting on projects with architects for audio/video space design. I then took a position with the University of Nebraska to help with classroom/learning space design. It was during this time that I became an AMX programmer. By this time I had become a Programmer III and had several hundred systems under my belt.
I then accepted an engineering position at a Resi design firm in Charleston, SC. All this time I continued my work in the music industry as well. Currently I own an AMX V.I.P. firm (high-end programming services) called Code EM and work as an independent programmer and engineer as well as owner of Tremulant Records and Eric Medley Music Productions. I’ve never been able to fully put one of them down and they all constitute a pretty busy work week for me.
2.What do you think is the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry.
The major challenge (IMHO) is the pace at which technological change is moving. The A/V industry is by its very nature a “Jack of all trades – Ace of none” kind of business. Successful people in the A/V industry tend to be experts at many things. It is simply not possible to be good at just one thing any longer. AV has a very broad footprint in technology. The challenge is to be constantly educating one’s self and to be nimble enough to adapt to the fast moving currents of the AV world.
3.What are the positives of working in this industry
I feel one of the best things about working in AV is that it is a constantly moving target. While I don’t consider myself the kind of person who likes change. (I typically eat the same breakfast everyday… seriously) I have tried to make my “work being the same each day” into the sameness being “Staying on top of what’s going on” In my career this has manifested itself into me – rather than being good at X – instead me – being good at gathering new skills and quickly taking them to market, leveraging the markets I already service. The effect is that I generally end up following the currents through the stream.
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4.What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent ?
This is just my opinion, but I do feel like we are losing the ability to think about the long-term results of what we do. I feel design excellence and thorough process engineering are taking a back seat to getting a product to market. the result is the end user is getting poorer and poorer product. Thoughtful design and engineering is becoming passe’ and I find fewer and fewer people who have that kind of thinking embedded in their DNA. One might argue that it’s unneeded baggage. I would counter that its long-term effects will lead to a stagnation in forward movement. One might argue we are seeing that in tech in general now with the loss of momentum in our space programs and so-forth.
5.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you.
I suppose I would refer to the previous question (4) My ideal client is one who thinks through the process and does good engineering and design. I divide my clients into to two basic types: the first being what I’ve described – good engineers/designers. The second (and there are lots of them) are unorganized companies that are constantly operating in panic mode. They tend to be the type who are constantly keeping an eye on the cash flow, constantly putting out fires and never seem to be able to actually be profitable. The latter client tends to be the one that I end up with a bad taste in my mouth in the end. Fortunately, I do get to work with some really top-shelf clients and the unorganized ones are more the exception.
6.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently ?
Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do differently. My career has been a hurly-burley ride that has taking me so many places. I’m quite happy with how things have gone so far.
7.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?
I typically spend the mornings working on AV/IT projects. I then transition to the music business sometime in the afternoon. This changes, of course, but that’s the general feel of it. For me, the odd times are when I’m actually on site of either an AV or music project. These times I see the water back up on the neglected other side and I have to spend some time in preparation to adjust.
8.Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?
Like most in both the AV and Music industry, I rely pretty heavily on computers. I actually have a pretty sophisticated network in my home where I have both my office for Code EM and a building behind my house for the studio. I program mainly AMX as well as C and JAVA. I do a lot of consulting with architects as an acoustician as well as Audio DSP programming/design for Pro Audio. I also do a lot of IP Network design. So, I have the usual suspect apps for this kind of work.
In the studio I use Avid’s Pro Tools and Logic for audio production as well as Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer for film/video. I’m still old-school enough that I also use a lot of old analog recording equipment as well.
For more information about Eric Medley, please find a few links.
Next week we will be featuring another AV Insider so please stay tuned.