RAC Alumnus Interview: Carl Johnson

What is your background in Audio prior to enrolling to RAC?

"Electronic music / DJing – got into corporate side of things."

What kind of projects did you do before graduating from RAC?

"Before RAC was mainly in-class projects. I was young, and didn’t have much experience."

What was your experience like at RAC?

"Great. Eye opening. Allowed me to see how big the world of audio really is, and how many elements are involved in audio in the different environments."

Did anything particularly influential happen during your studies at RAC that shaped the decisions you’ve made since graduating?

"It reinforced my love of audio and technology."

Where do you work? Describe the studio, and how did you get the gig?

"Platform productions – live production company. Specialize in corporate events for fortune 500 companies. Specialize in video, graphics and audio. We take clients’s concepts and make it reality. Designing the stage, contents, we make it real for them."

What is your role at the studio?

"My job is the technical side, finding the right equipment for the right application. I like to study to find what the competition is doing, and see what’s new. I study what’s working and make it work better. I work with suppliers to see the latest technology."

Any recording session that was particularly memorable?

"Biggest few were: Queen Dinner with CBC going live from the Royal York hotel. The night before they said I couldn’t have any mics that would be seen. I had to design some mics to hid in the flowers, but still get the broadcast without any ambient noise, and still work for TV. There’s still a picture to this day of the Shure mics hidden in the flower pots. "Russian summit in 1989 with Clinton and Gorbachev. White house communications insisted in having hard-wired transmissions from the podium. Clinton went to the wrong podium, heard the Russian transmissions, and it was my job to save the day. I had a backup plan; a matrix mixer they didn’t want me to use that I put in line anyway and switched the channels live and no one was any the wiser."

Anyone impact your professional career?

"I’ve always tried to be a leader of my own destiny. There’s no one person who influences me. I look at different companies, supplies, and look at all different people, but there’s no one person who stands out as an overall mentor."

How would describe the Toronto audio scene ?

"Your life is dedicated to audio 24/7, especially if you’re doing live music. You’re constantly on the road, long hours, but there;s a certain energy you love, and that’s why you do it."

What are your personal goals and ambitions? Long term, short term…

"I hope one day to have my own sound company. Live sound production. Similar to the one I’m working now, but I’m the boss."

Do you have any advice for people interested in starting a career in music & recording?

"Do it because you love it, not because it’s a job. It’s the worst job to have if you don’t love it." What opinion of the recording biz would you share with our readers? "I think we’re in a good place. Technology wise we’re making huge advances to even lighting, with digital consoles we’re seeing really good things happening overall."

Carl Johnson RAC Grad – Stoney Creek Graduated 1988 Platform Productions Project Manager – 3 Years Worked for several AV companies, Telav, I was one of the original guys. Then freelanced for years.