SoundGirls Spotlight

Catharine Wood

Producer - Engineer - Studio Owner

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Location:
Los Angeles, CA

How did you become a producer/sound engineer?
I attended the LA Recording School in 2005, graduated #1 in my class and was approached by Santa Monica-based, PLAY Studios owner, John Bolen (now Formosa), to join his engineer staff; audio post-production engineering on high profile commercials (the first iPhone commercial, the “Get A Mac” campaign, Geico “Caveman”, etc.)…After a couple of years there, I returned to my first love (music) and began mixing and mastering singles and albums – subsequently writing/producing/recording/mixing/mastering my own instrumental work for sync…landing an ESPN theme song among over 500 commercially released (original and client) songs with millions of streams and airing on major networks. My Los Angeles-based facility, Planetwood Studios, LLC, specializes in production and composition services for the film and tv industries & music mastering…with notable recent custom and score recordings for Perry Mason (HBO) and The Planters (Amazon).

What advice would you give students either going into school or just graduating about getting a job in this industry?
Even though assistant engineer may be your first job title, part of that may be getting coffee and helping tidy the studio. Be humble and ready to learn. Engineering is constant learning – whether it’s for a new job or doing as a client wishes. Never forget this is a service industry. Have fun and enjoy the journey. A confident and positive, “can-do” attitude goes a long way.

What are the major qualities required to be a good sound engineer in your opinion?
Perseverance, patience, attention to detail, positive attitude, good communicator, fast (for major industry jobs), deep knowledge of computers and troubleshooting skills are a must. Reliable, careful, confident, respectful and diplomatic. Grace under pressure.

What is your recording/producing philosophy?
It depends what the recordings are for – but generally speaking, I believe in best serving the song, artist, show, or whoever’s hiring me…by honoring the work and performing at the highest level I am capable. Quality and integrity are everything to me. I trust my ears.

What producers/engineers inspire/inspired you?
I’m constantly inspired by many of my peers, but (again) generally speaking – and in no particular order and for different reasons: George Martin, Leslie Ann Jones, Brian Wilson, Al Schmitt, Linda Perry

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