Why Aren’t There More Women Working in Audio?
That’s the question asked by The Atlantic:
Like with many STEM-oriented fields, music production and sound engineering are dominated by men—though that’s very slowly changing.
On a hot summer day in Nevada City, California, a group of teenage girls are scattered before a stage in the town’s cultural center. They’re studying an analog soundboard, which is covered with so many knobs and levers that it looks like it belongs in the cockpit of an airplane. Onstage, a band is doing a sound check, which requires lots of drumming, strumming, and saying “check” into a microphone.
“Check is a really annoying word,” the guitar player says. “Yeah, it’s losing all meaning,” the bassist replies.
It’s the last day of the week-long Live Sound Camp for Girls. This afternoon, there will be a show, but the band won’t be the real focus. Rather, the performance will be a chance for 16 girls—and a few boys—to show off the live music-production skills they’ve learned by controlling all the technical aspects of the concert on their own.
The camp’s instructor, Tiffany Hendren, hovers by the soundboard as the teenagers take turns with the headphones. One participant, 17-year-old Mary Vogel, explains the intricacies of micing a drum set to me. “You’re creating something live right in front of you,” she says of sound engineering. “You’re making it richer. You’re taking out the little buzzes and snaps and things you just don’t want to hear because it takes away from the performance.” Vogel, who has spent two summers at the camp, says she’s considering taking music-production classes in college next year.