Meet our tech officer: Andy Fong

Andy Fong has an established history with Abbey Road Institute, enrolling as a student in 2019. Following his graduation, Andy now joins the Institute’s team as our new Technical Officer, supporting students on a day-to-day basis and keeping our studio, production rooms and classroom equipment world-class.

Andy is an upcoming composer and singer-songwriter with musical styles ranging from contemporary, electronic and orchestral to pop, lofi and jazz arrangements. He has been working closely with the Studios 301 team to develop as an engineer and producer whilst providing support for current Abbey Road Institute students via his experience as a previous student himself.

Through his role as a Technical Officer, Andy is looking to master his technical engineering and sound design skills which will enhance his production for his own songwriting.

You were first a student with us and now join us as Technical Officer. What have you been up to since graduation?

The first thing I’ve been doing is just absorbing all that I can whilst working at Abbey Road Institute and Studios 301 and continuing to connect and build relationships and keep learning from my trainers/mentors. I’ve also been continuing to compose and write music and taking up opportunities to collaborate when they come up.

Tell us about how you started recording and composing music?

I initially started learning piano and music theory at a young age but learning in a traditional manner felt uninspiring. Once I picked up guitar in High School, that was when my creativity opened up – everything I was playing was based on feel and it never felt like practice.

Not long after I began composing and songwriting, inspired by the likes of Hans Zimmer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Sam Kim. My styles range from contemporary, electronic and orchestral as a composer and a mixture of pop, R&B, jazz and indie as a songwriter.

What were some of your highlights from the course?

The biggest highlight of the course was the people that I met and collaborated with. I had not had much experience working with others in the music industry prior to studying so having a chance to collaborate with such talented classmates on projects opened up so many new ideas and creative opportunities that I would never have thought of on my own.

What does the role of the Technical Officer involve?

The role of a Technical Officer at ARI Sydney has 2 main sides: the studio maintenance and assistance side, and the systems and processing side. On the studio side, it involves being an expert in both the software (Macs/PCs, DAWS, plugins etc.) and the hardware (recording consoles, microphones, outboard gear etc.) so that I can support students and make sure that whoever is using the studios can get the best out of their session. On the systems side, this requires mainly tech writing of procedures and onboarding processes that help make the student and teacher experience run smoothly.

What are some of your personal favourite pieces of gear to use at the Studios 301?

The SSL console in Studio 2 is definitely a stand out piece that I love to use, but I would have to say that the API in Studio 8 paired with the 1176 are easily my favourite pieces of gear at Studios 301. I feel that the combo allows me to really capture the sound that I want but it also might be because I’m the most familiar with it as I had a great deal of practice recording with it whilst studying.

What musical projects are you up to now?

I’m currently still working on my own compositions and singer-songwriter pieces but I’ve now begun collaborating with others to write music that’s outside of my comfort zone in many different genres.