Creative Mind Podcast Episode 10: Musician & Composer Brad Hughes

In this episode, we discuss with Brad Hughes his origin story, from his heady days as a sax player in LA to creating sound for the early days of the internet, to building the Music Production & Sound Design department at Academy of Art University.

Sonic landscapes. Orchestral waves. Bleep, blop, bloop. Music and sound design are the connecting thread that holds films, animation and video games together. Without sound designers, music editors, ADR masters and of course composers your visual imagery has something very important missing. It is not a full and robust story.

“Music is the signifier. Music is communicating the emotional information to the audience,” explains Brad Hughes, director of the School of Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media here at Academy of Art University.

The department focuses on creating and manipulating all the audio that travels along with the visuals you see on screen. This can include not just music but all of the audio – the aural experience – to creating a world for the viewer to escape into. If you have ever played a video game on mute, you understand the importance of every string, bump, thud and beep driving you along. Without audio, the experience is flat.

Origin Stories

In this episode of Creative Mind, Brad and I discuss his origin story from his heady days as a sax player in Los Angeles’ famous sessions world to creating sound for the early days of the internet to building this department here at the Academy. Like many musicians sampling and laptops became the things that either broke or drove your career and for Bard it was the later of course. “What I love about this field is that it is such an interesting and intellectually stimulating combination of artistry and technology,” he said. This early adoption of technology is what makes students that come through the program so in-demand.

“The skills of audio and music production like we teach our students are now applicable across a much wider spectrum of the entertainment media industry than anywhere else in time,” explained Brad. When looking at the roster of films that students have worked on roles ranging from composer to ADR mixer to sound editor, a musical career is not only a possibility but now a career that can last a lifetime.

Check out some of Brad’s workshops on Youtube for a tour of the department.

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