Alumni Interview – Charlotte Rochecouste
Charlotte Rochecouste graduated from Abbey Road Institute Melbourne in 2017 and is now an Assistant Engineer at Studios 301.
You’re an Assistant Engineer, could you describe your role for us?
At Studios 301 my main role is assistant engineering. So setting up for vocal sessions, band recordings, or plug in and play (for producers). You need to be really proactive in those roles, help set up and prepare the rooms for any sessions, make sure all the gear is on and working, set up the headphone mix. It’s mostly working with engineers to ensure the ‘technical’ work is covered and the artists and producers can push up the faders and everything’s already working.
How did you get into engineering?
I was originally Simon Cohen‘s vocal production assistant, which means I was in his vocal chain to help him with editing, comping and tuning of vocal recordings.
WHAT’S The Most important thing you’ve learnt…
Signal flow, because at the end of the day you want to get the sound to work. I’ve learnt really efficient ways to set up sessions, mixes and vocal production chains. How to position microphones to get the best recording possible and just general proactiveness – thinking outside the box, like how can we make this work, how can we make this better, and how to be quick. You don’t have time to doubt yourself you just have to make it work and just put on a poker face and get it done!
what’s been your biggest challenge?
To believe in yourself. I was catapulted into a big coveted position so I was like “hmmm, do I really have the knowledge?” but the thing is, you just learn on the job. You only learn in the deep end really. And to have confidence and the mindset of “I can do this”.
which skills have been most important?
It’s really about your attitude. If you have a good can-do attitude then you can achieve anything. That sounds cliche but I really think it’s true. Also technical skills as well – know your cables, know how to be efficient.
how did abbey road institute help you get started?
Abbey Road Institute really helped me with the foundation of audio because it is an overwhelming subject up first, with the different DAWs and all the technical stuff that’s coming at you. [The course] really breaks it down and makes it digestible to be like “OK it’s not actually that confusing”. You just have to listen and learn. Also being able to use the studios a lot, using the studio and just doing it is really helpful. Audio is a very hands-on thing.
what advice would you give to existing students?
Learn as much as you can while you’re there. Use the studios whenever you can. Maybe get some mentors or people that you look up to to share your work with. Share your mixes, your production, whatever you’re doing and don’t be scared to show people. That’s another thing people struggle with – showing their music to other people. Just do it, if you’re a beginner it’s ok if it’s not the best. Really practice and show people your mixes, and just believe in yourself and your dream.
what’s next for you?
My next steps are to just keep practising and learning. I want to try different things and really find what I want to do for the rest of my audio career. Whether that’s producing or mixing I’m just trying different things, different genres and I’m really in a period of learning. Hopefully, I can get a publishing deal or something like that which is a goal of mine.
Our alumni have been working and creating through many diverse industry pathways. These roles include work at Studios 301, freelance work, live events, post-production and more – it’s something we want to share with you.
Check out the Alumni section of our website where you can learn more about our homegrown and global alumni who are contributing to the future of the music industry and carving their own way with confidence.