SoundGirls was formed in 2013. Veteran live sound engineers, Karrie Keyes (Monitor engineer for Pearl Jam) and Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato (FOH engineer Gwen Stefani, Melissa Etheridge, amongst others) participated in a six women AES panel called “The Women of Professional Concert Sound”. Keyes remembers being amazed that in 2013 the industry was still hosting “Women” panels instead of simply showing the diverse talent that our industry has.
That being said, the panel was incredibly powerful for the panelists. “We had all been in the business for 20 years or more, yet most of us had never met before that day. Within minutes we bonded like long lost sisters. We were struck by how similar our experiences, work ethics, and passions were and wondered how our careers would have been if our paths had crossed earlier and we had been there to support each other throughout the years. Each of us had been asked hundreds of times during our careers: Are there other women doing sound? How did you get into sound? How would a young woman go about getting into sound?” related Keyes.
Thus was the first step in creating SoundGirls. “We set up SoundGirls as an online community for primarily women, but we are not exclusive, welcoming all to come and share their experiences, ask questions and find a supportive community. Since that time SoundGirls has grown and moved in directions we could not have envisioned when we started. The support of our industry has been overwhelming, from both the level of the various manufacturer’s and other sound companies, through industry engineers and enthusiasts. Currently we have over 4,000 members worldwide with a member base of approximately 65% women and 35% men. SoundGirls features monthly engineer profiles, publishes weekly blogs, educational workshops and seminars for rookies and veterans alike of all genders. We offer scholarships, internships and mentors for those working in music production.”
“One of SoundGirls long-term goals has been to provide career advancement, real world training, and jobs for our members by establishing an intern program.” continued Keyes. “Daniella Peters a long term friend, colleague, and SoundGirls supporter was aware of our desire to start such a program and had herself produced a music production workshop for the at risk teen girls of “ Step Up Women’s Network.” She has been working in professional audio for over 17 years with Rat Sound Systems and had, in her spare time, been providing sound systems and engineers for fundraisers and charity benefits in the Los Angeles area. She thought maybe there was a way to enable the women and girls at SoundGirls to intern at these gigs bringing her two passions of women and audio production together. Thus SoundGirls Productions was born.”
The overall vision of SoundGirls Productions is to inspire and empower the young people starting their careers in the world of professional audio and music production. With a range of gear available for rent and a roster of experienced engineers, for every production we send out a professional audio engineer and, upon the client’s approval, a mentee will provide on-the-job support to the professional. This has a dual purpose of providing the opportunity to have hands-on training while offering invaluable support to the mentor on a real life show.”
For more information: SoundGirlsProductions.com