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International Women’s Day: Meet this year’s pioneering women in audio

Discover this year's most exciting women in audio and female-orientated initiatives

PSNEurope’s December cover star, producer and studio engineer Lauren Deakin Davies

Since last year’s International Women’s Day, PSNEurope has met with and spoken to a diverse and devoted group of female audio professionals, and now its time to shine a light on them collectively for International Women’s Day. 

With only five per cent of engineers and producers being women, it’s extremely important to recognise the work that is being done by the female audio engineers that are out there, especially to set an example to the future generation of the audio industry. Many women in the industry have described being intimidated by being the only woman in the room, or even just feeling that something is missing when they are unable to work with a fellow female. After speaking with multiple female audio professionals, the common trend appears to be that STEM subjects haven’t always been underlined as pathways for young women in school, and subsequently, girls have often gravitated towards the more creative subjects. While this isn’t an issue on the surface, it does reflect a more deeply-ingrained societal problem, the misguided perception that women should stay away from the ‘techy stuff’. That being said, PSNEurope has had the pleasure of interviewing a plethora of women in audio that prove that not to be the case. Here, we’ve compiled a series of interviews we’ve conducted over the past year with women in audio, as well as female-oriented initiatives…

First comes first, our amazing columnists mastering engineer Katie Tavini and senior lecturer in sound and post production at University of York, Mariana Lopez, have been sharing their knowledge with our readers over the past year. In fact, Tavini completed a whole year of writing columns for us as of December 2019. 

Lauren Deakin Davies

In one of her most revealing interviews to date, Deakin Davies discusses how she landed her current gig at Gary Barlow’s studio and explores the challenges of freelancing in the audio industry…

Catherine Marks

We caught up with producer Catherine Marks and Frank Turner about their work on his latest album, No Man’s Land, which in each track explores a different historical female figure…

Sophie Ackroyd

Ackroyd was last year’s chosen EQL resident engineer for Spotify’s Secret Genius Studios (based in Metropolis), and here she lets us in on how she landed the gig and her career journey so far…

Omnii Collective

PSNEurope chatted to one of Omnii’s founders, Naomi Jackson, about the project that puts on audio engineering workshops for female or female-identifying aspiring engineers…

Women In Live Music

We caught up with co-founders – Hannah Brodrick and Malle Kaas – of Women In Live Music, an organisation that has built the first official network for women in the live sound industry, which puts on regular workshops and events…

Parallel Music

At the end of May, Moscow-based Parallel Music set up a week-long music tech course for women, inviting two UK organisations – Saffron Records and Brighter Sound – to facilitate the workshops. PSNEurope spoke to some of those involved…

Marika Hackman

Hackman, one of today’s most exciting and well-respected indie-rock musicians, tells us about the making and self-production of her latest album, Any Human Friend...

Hannah V

Hannah V has become one of the most in-demand talents in the industry. PSNEurope caught up with her to discuss her incredible career to date and her ambitions for the future…

Paula Wolfe

Paula Wolfe takes us inside her research for her book Women In The Studio: creativity, control and gender in popular music sound production and reveals some of its most fascinating findings…

Heba Kadry

Kadry talks about her journey from working in advertising in her hometown, Cairo, Egypt to becoming one of the most sought after mastering engineers in New York…

KG

Producer, DJ, broadcaster, journalist: KG is among the audio industry’s most versatile talents. PSNEurope spoke to her about her roots in London’s pirate radio circuit and what it takes to achieve longevity…

Nina Hartstone

Sound editor Nina Hartstone saw her work on Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody recognised with an Oscar at the 2019 Academy Awards, bolstering her already well-established reputation as one of the most sought after talents in the industry…

Emma Townsend

After managing Strongroom Studios for seven years, Townsend recently embarked on a new and exciting venture as the studio manager of Metropolis Studios…

Amanda Merdzan

Merdzan is Metropolis Studios’ new assistant engineer, having previously worked at a variety of leading studios, such as RAK and Urchin, in a freelance capacity…

Nainita Desai

Desai is an award-winning composer that recently composed the soundtrack for this year’s BAFTA and Oscar-winning documentary For Sama. Here, she discusses being one of the few female composers out there and how she got to where she is now…

Rachel Ryan/Mr Sound Lady

Rachel Ryan, currently FOH engineer for Iron & Wine and Calexico, acquired her nickname Mr Sound Lady when on tour someone addressed her as the ‘ sound guy’, then quickly adapted it to suit her gender…

Marta Salogni

Salogni was this year’s MPG Breakthrough Producer of the Year, and we had the pleasure of interviewing her last year in a double interview alongside Lauren Deakin Davies…

Fiona Cruickshank

Cruickshank is a freelance sound engineer working under AIR Management and with a diverse portfolio of work under her belt, from Jacob Collier to Mary Poppins Returns and everything in between…

Rookes

For her November column, mastering engineer Katie Tavini treats us to an interview with solo artist Rookes, whose brand new EP Liminal she had the pleasure of mastering…

Aubrey Whitfield

Whitfield started out working in government but is now a leading London-based pop producer who has worked with the likes of Simon Webbe (Blue), Little Mix, Kelly Clarkson and more…

Alice Wilder

Wilder is a FOH engineer who has worked with the likes of M.I.A, Foxygen, Tinashe, The Drums, and Future Islands, among others, and is currently touring with American indie rock band Big Thief…

Olga Fitzroy

Fitzroy is an audio engineer and executive director of the MPG, and here she discusses how she is tackling current issues in the audio industry, from diversity to getting paid…

Xylo Aria of Music Production For Women

Artist and producer Xylo Aria talks about her journey from not knowing how to produce to launching her own online educational production platform, Music Production For Women…

So Wylie

So Wylie, a music producer and sound designer for Gimlet Media (Spotify) gives us insight into music composition for the podcasting world…

In Kolab

In Kolab is a project, launched by Women Produce Music, aimed at bringing together a diverse range of composer-producers in a variety of studios and locations. Founder of the initiative, Katia Isakoff, tells us more…

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