Why are you studying Sound & Music Recording?
I want to know how music works in terms of sound. I’ve been composing but without a technical background and I needed a deeper understanding of sound as it relates to music.
What is your goal?
I’m an auditory person and my goal is to completely understand sound in order for me to project it in music. Technology is changing so rapidly and music is changing with it and we have to adapt to these changes. I’m more of a technical person. I’m very mathematical so perhaps I’ll end up designing acoustically accurate rooms. Perhaps I’ll continue to compose if there is an audience for my style of music. But I don’t know…this is just a big journey.
Why did you choose RAC?
I want to be disconnected from my comfort zone which was back in the Netherlands. And, I fell in love with Canada. I’ve been here a couple of times and I really liked the sound & music created in Toronto. Also, music is a universal language as is English. I thought they’d combine well with one another. And I just had a good feeling about RAC. There were lots of other schools in Europe and the United States but just felt RAC & Toronto was the right place to start something new on every level. The multiculturalism of Toronto, the people of this city are from everywhere and they appreciate one another. This is what drew me to Toronto. Also, I like the four seasons. In the Netherlands it rains all the time.
Did you apply to CIC on your own or did you use an immigration consultant/lawyer?
I used a consultant. It helped a lot.
What was the biggest challenge when preparing to study in a foreign country?
The challenge was simply waiting for a decision from CIC. The rest was straightforward. I just gathering all required information and sent it over to the consultant via email. That was it.
What do you think of Toronto now that you’ve lived in the city?
The diversity is great. I like how people respond to one another. For example there was this person on a streetcar and he was shouting racist words and a women said “there’s no room for racism in Toronto.” Yet he continued to say racist words. Then everyone on the streetcar got involved and the driver stop the streetcar and the whole crowd got involved and demanded he get off the streetcar. I’ve experience a similar event in the Netherlands but the difference was that no one got involved. Everyone simply put their head down and remained silent. This is one of the reasons I like Toronto.
What recommendations do you have for an international student wanting to study audio in a foreign country?
Work hard pay attention and be humble. I had a good job, was paid a good salary, owned a house, but I decided I was going to do something that I really wanted and of course I’m going to be prepared to do my best.
We have students from so many different countries, so many different cultures, and there are no stupid questions. On the first days of school someone asked “why do we need a Neve console when we have Pro Tools?”
The instructor explained how his experiences in music reinforces the importance of working on Neve even though we have access to Pro Tools. I thought, wow, now this student knows why we need a Neve. (Dave Grohl states; “there’s more to that board than just wires and capacitors and knobs. There’s something inside. It’s meant to be used forever and I can’t imagine it would ever stop working.” “It’s one of the cleanest, purest signals between a microphone and a recording device that you can ever, ever, ever, experience” adds Sound City producer and veteran recording engineer James A. Rota).
How did RAC help you?
RAC’s registrar Stephanie helped me out a lot with my visa and transitioning to Toronto. I can ask Matt (RAC instructor) to fix something on my MIDI controller or I can ask Ryan (RAC counselor) something for my guitar and they’ll just help you out with what every your needs are. I feel everyone is accessible, even the director and the program coordinator. Even the TA’s come to school earlier just for you, to explain things you don’t understand. That’s amazing. Which school does that? If you need help, you get it. It is really something special to see
What is the best part of your experience so far?
That’s a hard question. Everyone at RAC is willing to help you. The most important thing is the knowledge. Now I understand why I made the decisions I did musically, technically, creatively within audio engineering. Before it was instinctual now it’s more scientific.
Would you consider providing direct feedback to someone from the Netherlands considering RAC?
Yes, absolutely. I encourage people from the Netherlands to visit Canada. Strong relationship between the two countries. If you need more space whether it’s physical or mental, then move out of that little country and live in Canada. The overall way of thinking in Canada is good.