Nolan Brett

Nolan Brett,
Mastering Engineer,
Crystal Clear Sound, Dallas

“Back in 1997, I was running sound at Six Flags over Texas and had a really high level of respect for a fellow sound guy. I came to find out that he had attended Cedar Valley, so I decided to do some research. I figured if this guy knew so much about audio, then he must have come from a great school. It turned out that I was right and it was a great school.

“I had been enrolled at a few other colleges before I settled in at Cedar Valley, but they never felt right to me. Cedar Valley is a great community; the students and faculty combine to make a very creative atmosphere. Being around such smart, creative people, you can’t help but absorb some of that and come out better for it. In 1998, Roger Dismore helped me to get an internship at a now-defunct studio called ASC Summit Studios.

“It’s really invaluable to be able to learn from professionals who are a part of the industry. I also really like that it’s an accredited institution of higher learning, not a fly-by-night group of people trying to make a buck.

“I never did finish my degree — I might be seven or so credits shy — but life happens, and I got a job in the career that I wanted. In my more than 11 years at Crystal Clear Sound, I’ve mastered somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,500 albums and probably more than 40,000 songs. Along the way, I’ve had the pleasure of mastering the album ‘Let’s Kiss’ by Brave Combo, which won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Polka Album.

“I was hired on at Crystal Clear Sound in 1999. Without that internship, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and without the knowledge I gained at Cedar Valley, I would never have been recommended to interview for the job. I would absolutely recommend the Recording Technology program, and have to many people.”

As mastering engineer at Crystal Clear Sound, Nolan’s main responsibility is mastering, or working to help sound mixes reach their fullest technical potential using compression and equalization.