This is a true story
about how I do sound design
Oh, and yes, I am a quadriplegic.
Often people are intrigued and want to know the story about how I do sound design.
Well, there is a back story, but my short response would be, “just like everybody else but with a different interface,” but in actuality, that’s not the total true story either.
It’s not just the physical differences/interactions that make my process and sound unique, but it is my relationship with sound.
I have a long history with music which you will see if you continue to read the back story, but my experience with sound as a person with quadriplegia is what gives me that deep connection.
In the early 90s, I started a music production company, and in the 2000s, I was a pioneer in the digital music age, co-founding an online record label. I graduated from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering at the top of my class. I considered a focus on acoustics but realized he wasn’t up for an extra three semesters of physics. I worked for over ten years in the automotive industry (BMW and Ford, to name a couple), where the art of sound with melodies and notes took a back seat to the technical side with frequencies and formulas.
From being in the hospital knowing that it was time to get up because you hear the rattling of the food cart to at home knowing which kid is awake and what he is doing, all based on what I heard, really made me understand what things sound like and their many nuances. I have tons of these stories, but the point is losing my ability to move significantly heightened how I use and process sound. This newly honed skill is my secret tool and the true story of how I do sound design.
I have transitioned from being a full-time engineer to being a stay-at-home dad, sound designer, and digital artist.
I am also a peer mentor for others with spinal cord injuries and a disabilities advocate and consultant.