Veteran Sound Supervisor Steven Ticknor Mixes it Up at Tulane University

By in Audio Post, Education, Pro Mixing

Avid’s Pro Tools | S6 was the star of Sound Designer and Supervisor Steve Ticknor’s recent visit to Tulane University. Ticknor, who works at Sony Pictures, and whose credits include Spider-Man, Lincoln Lawyer and Karate Kid, treated the school’s Television & Film Sound Design class to a live demonstration of the S6’s professional capabilities – using one of his own mixing templates to give students a real-world perspective.

“Providing students an up close look at the console in the hands of a working professional was priceless,” said Dr. Mary Blue, Director of the Digital Media Production program at Tulane. “Something like 90% of all TV and Film is done on Avid. The students who know these products have a competitive edge.”

Giving her students the best possible advantage once they’ve graduated is one of the reasons Dr. Blue is so committed to Avid. “I’ve been purchasing Avid exclusively, ever since I took over this program in 2009 (we actually had the seventh S6 ever manufactured),” she continues. “Whenever I’m awarded a grant, Avid is the first thing I invest in.” Blue, who has grown her department from just four majors to an impressive 100 since then, believes other programs just don’t prepare students for the industry the same way Avid does.

Ticknor agrees – “Avid is the industry standard, and if you want an opportunity today to get into the industry you can’t just learn ‘on the job’, you have to come in as an intern and already know how to operate the equipment. It’s important these students know the industry standard of today so they make an impression on people in the business.”

This was just one piece of valuable advice that Ticknor doled out to students. Another was to stay on top of current technologies, and, tongue in cheek, to never fall asleep on the job. Film Studies major Katherine Heneghan, who attended the intimate two-hour demonstration and open lecture, was inspired by Ticknor: “His shared experiences really helped me to put everything in perspective. ‘This could happen to me, too,’ you think. His lecture made me consider a career in sound design for the first time.”

Ticknor, in turn, was inspired just as much by the students as they were by him. “We’re always looking for young talent – especially from a school like Tulane, which is one of the best. Our industry is dying to find good people who are smart and eager to learn. It is so satisfying to know that I could help open a student’s mind to this line of work.” Ticknor went on, “Our business is global, and ever-evolving, and it only makes sense to partner with these universities who have already invested in Avid, in the S6, in these systems, and to support them.”

Avid Pro Tools | S6 has garnered much acclaim for its seamless and creative process, Ticknor added. “Avid listened to the audio professional – they put in a user interface that was part of the workflow of Hollywood – they created the S6 to reflect the new digital world while keeping the tried and true principles of sound mixing.” Creating a seamless and collaborative process that is on the forefront of technology is a priority of Avid’s – and one that Ticknor is excited to share with students everywhere.

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As the Head of Channel Marketing for the Americas, I am passionate about helping tell Avid’s story. My team helps create programs to leverage our channel partners and we also drive activities in the field. I truly believe that we have the best customers in the world and I love being part of this industry.