Hey Everyone! I recently got the privilege to sit down and do an interview with alumni, Will Reichenthal. Will has one more semester left here at Cogswell and ALREADY has a job in the industry. I wanted to get the low down on his stay here at Cogswell and how he scored a job before graduating.
Zombie: Hey Will, thanks for coming and taking time away from finals.
Will: Hey, no problem, it’s my pleasure.
Zombie: What did you study here at Cogswell?
Will: Well first, I still have one more semester at Cogswell but to answer your question I am a DAT student, concentrating in Audio Engineering. I wanted to work in software development for the audio industry, like making plugins and applications. It was really a pipe-dream before I heard about Cogswell , but then I got here and saw this it was within my reach.
Zombie: So tell us more about this project or internship?
Will: The company is called Sonoma Wire Works, based out of Mountain View. I am a programmer there. I basically work on a guitar amp app for the iOS platform which means, I sit and program with a guitar in my hands, I think I played guitar at work for about 4 hours yesterday. We just had a hardware launch at Sonoma, so my days have consisted of taking the device and plugging it in and going through all the features on the software side to see if it’s working with the hardware. I came across two major bugs recently and went and de-bugged them. It’s always something small – like something isn’t capitalized when it should be since all of the code is case-sensitive. Another thing was one of the amp settings didn’t sound right. As a musician, I know what it’s supposed to sound like and with my engineering background I was able to do some more research. In the end it was just that the frequency needed adjustment.
We also did a commercial for our product recently so I went out and shot that with the camera crew and I have worked at a couple of trade shows with another one of our alumni, Danny Codella, who also works at Sonoma. Things that we learned in classes like sound synthesis totally influenced what we do at work. Danny and I listen to reference songs and then try to simulate their sounds and make presets in the software.
Zombie: How did that come about?
Will: So I was in Audio Programming and this class I took was held in the teachers personal office at Sonoma Wire Works. We would have the class and go through the lecture and afterwards I would look at all the equipment and would stay talking till like 3 in the morning and playing guitar so that he can hear all these guitar amps and effects.
So when the summer semester ended, in the middle of finals, he gave me a call and asked me if I could come in and start work there.
My first day they threw me into the studio to recreate a HI-Watt amp, so I went to work. Then Doug Wright, the owner, plugged into it and started playing and told me that he loved it and it was perfect. It was pretty cool.
Zombie: Any big plans for the future?
Will: Graduating… does that count? That’s the big one right now. Once I graduate I should hopefully be working full time at Sonoma. Past all that, I would like to make more and more tools. Every time I make music and I encounter something in the software that isn’t right, I feel like there is an opportunity for me to create something to solve that problem. So I guess what I’m trying to say is my dream is to create any tool that I think of and to be able to use my experience as an artist and knowledge as a recording engineer to solve the hurdles that a musical artist encounters in their everyday tasks.
Zombie: Great! Thanks again Will, it was awesome getting to talk to you and hear your story.
Will: Thanks, talk to you later!
For those of you that are interested, I have imbedded the video that Will told us about below. Stay tuned for more updates from Will!