Audio lecturer develops students into professional artists

Sam Cutri is an audio engineer and SAE lecturer. Sam helps his students achieve their own sound and develop skills that can aid them beyond the studio. We chat with him about his career and what inspires him.
Man working on sound board. Text reads Meet our Experts.
Can you tell us what a passion of yours is?

Artist Development

What do you define as artist development is and why you are passionate about it?

A lot of what we do at SAE is helping students develop into professional artists.

The questions that are at the top of an artists mind is how do I make it in the industry, answering this question without understanding the person, their art, why they are artists, where they see their future and their commitment to developing their portfolio and a strategy is difficult but very exciting to me.

This is where the journey for an artist often begins to take shape, when they begin to understand what inspires them, when they can see a future that resonates with them now and when they can develop an achievable plan and hit milestones, understanding that every step of the way is a new opportunity to learn and develop their art and improve themselves.

Where is the first place you would visit when overseas travel resumes?

Canada or Portugal

Who inspires you?

Marc Daniel Nelson

Marc Daniel Nelson once said that being a good producer isn’t just about knowing musical theory, or technique, it is the ability to make everyone comfortable and being a people person.

What are your thoughts on the importance of being a people person and how do you think an SAE student could develop this skill?

Emotional Intelligence is a crucial skill that a music producer must develop and keep on developing, we can always improve the way we communicate and share information and ideas about subjects that are often emotionally charged and sacred to the artist.

How do you tell a musician that the song will be better if the bridge they have worked on for 6 months was cut, without them walking out of the studio?

These are important skills that can make or break a session with an artist, it can be argued that a music producer with average skills but great emotional intelligence will be busier than a producer with great disciplinary skills and no EQ. It’s all about the people you work with and making sure they know you care for their art and their story.

Do you have any professional projects you are working on?

I work on many projects outside of teaching. Recently, I had a great day in the studio with the Godfather of House, Carl Cox.

What kind of work would you do for an artist like Carl Cox?

I was asked by a colleague to manage a recording session for Carl Cox and his production partner Chris Coe. They needed a studio that could record live drums to a heavy metal soundtrack for a major feature film, can’t discuss the film until its release.

I managed the recording session, hired an engineer, set up the studio with the required microphones and preamps organised food and beverage and made sure the session ran smoothly. Often I would be engineering these sessions but thought this might be a good opportunity to network. Carl and his team are fantastic.

How would you describe your opportunities to interact and engage with students at SAE?

Exciting, challenging, inspiring and grounding.

What are some of the qualities you bring to Audio students?

A focus on well being, awareness and emotional intelligence, and this unexplainable excitement when talking about audio.

What do you most enjoy about your position?

The comradery with faculty, working in the creative industries and watching students develop into great people and practitioners.

Can you offer any advice for students seeking employment or work placement opportunities?

Take the opportunities when they present, you never know what will come from it, work within the clients brief, sometimes your personal creativity is not the focus.

Do you have any advice on how a student can improve their problem-solving skills?

Active listening, seek advice, dig a little to find a deeper cause or issue, be transparent about what you can do, find the people, techniques and strategies to help you solve the problem.

What advice do you have for new or prospective students on how they can set themselves up for success for studying at SAE?

Engage in the campus, immerse yourself in all things your discipline, foster your network, make the most of the opportunity and listen to your facilitators, they know stuff.

Check out the impressive list of artists Sam has worked with on this playlist on Spotify.


Man making music on audio equipment

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