The goal of the Sound Arts and Industries Advisory Board is to share their knowledge about current trends in sound-related industries, to guide curriculum, and to forecast the skills and abilities that Sound Arts and Industries graduates will need to secure jobs post-graduation. The Board’s recommendations will ensure that the Sound Arts and Industries program’s curriculum is at the leading edge of the field and that our academic engagement opportunities are set to best position our students for jobs.
Ryan Biziorek is an Associate consultant with Arup – a global consulting engineering firm. He leads the Acoustics, Audiovisual, and Theatre consulting practice in the Chicago office. He has been involved in providing technical expertise and project management skills for various building types. Ryan brings over 10 years of experience in performing arts design, building service noise analysis, room acoustic modeling, public address and audiovisual systems design. He holds a BA in Physics from Kalamazoo College and an MSc in Sound & Vibration Studies from the University of Southampton, Institute of Sound & Vibration Research.
Jabari Evans is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He holds a PhD from the School of Communication Studies at Northwestern University where he was a research fellow at the Northwestern Center of Media and Human Development. His research focuses on the subcultures that urban youth and young adults of color develop and inhabit to understand their social environments, emotional development and professional aspirations. He explores strategies these youth use for self-expression especially regarding digital media. His forthcoming book project, which centers on a Hip-Hop Education program in Chicago Public Schools, has been recognized for awards by the International Communication Association and has been covered by the Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Out Magazine, Ebony Magazine and Chicago Crain’s Business. He was also a 2019 selection for Microsoft Research New England’s Social Media Collective PhD Internship. Prior to Northwestern, Jabari enjoyed a decorated career in the music industry as Naledge -the rapping half of the hip hop duo, Kidz in the Hall. Over the last 15 years, Kidz in the Hall released 6 studio albums, appeared on several nationally syndicated television shows, toured in 12 countries and sold more than 200,000 records worldwide on both Duckdown Records (EOne Entertainment) and Rawkus Records (Sony).
Paula Fairfield is an International and Emmy award winning sound designer for TV, film, commercials, and basically anything that makes noise. She has 10 Emmy nominations with two wins for her work on Game of Thrones, along with multiple wins and nominations for her work in both The US and Canada. During her career, she has had the privilege of working on tv projects such as the iconic LOST and visionary filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez, Brian DePalma, Paul McGuigan and Darren Aronofsky.
Her passion is high-concept sound design and her main interest is working with visionary filmmakers, which is clearly reflected in her resume and her background as an artist. Paula grew up in Nova Scotia and has a BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, N.S. During her career as an exhibiting artist, she was the co-director of Canada’s foremost media art center, Charles Street Video. Her art work resides in several collections worldwide, including the National Gallery of Canada.
Paula recently debuted a work in progress scene from her immersive sound composition “Ocean of Tears” in London this past July. The new work is a seven-act piece exploring the journey of grief. “Ocean of Tears” will release in late 2020.
Sandra Fox is a Foley artist and a resident at Footsteps Post-Production Sound Inc. in Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada where she has been studying her art under some of the best in the business. She has worked on various feature films, television shows, and web-series (some recent credits include The Greatest Showman, Hostiles, and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale), and is an active freelance artist in the Toronto film scene. Drawing from her passions to both perform and to teach, she hosts Foley workshops and internships within the community (including an intensive internship program with Northwestern). She also currently teaches in the Advanced Filmmaking Program at Durham College.
Mike Knobloch is President of Global Film Music and Music Publishing. In this role, he oversees all aspects of music and soundtracks for the studio’s film titles. With more than 20 years of experience, the Grammy-nominated Music Supervisor and Producer’s notable career highlights include supervising the music for four of the top nine highest grossing films of all time worldwide including Avatar, Titanic, Jurassic World, and Furious 7.
Since joining Universal in 2010, Knobloch has overseen the film music for some of the studio’s most successful franchises including Fast & Furious, Pitch Perfect, and Fifty Shades of Grey. Universal’s record-breaking year in 2015 was also a memorable year for its film music. The Diamond-certified, 11x Platinum Digital Single Furious 7 anthem, “See You Again,” garnered over 4 billion views, making it the third most-viewed YouTube video of all time. It was also nominated for three Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Following the multi-platinum single “Cups” from Pitch Perfect, the soundtrack for Pitch Perfect 2 debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. Additionally, the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack produced two multi-platinum singles in “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding and the Academy Award® nominated song “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” by The Weeknd, which also hit No. 1 on iTunes in 97 countries, and sold more than four million albums and 11 million singles worldwide. That year, the soundtracks for Pitch Perfect 2, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Furious 7 held the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 positions, respectively, on the Billboard Top 200 Chart – an unparalleled accomplishment for soundtracks in the 21st century.
Knobloch’s credits also include Despicable Me 2, which produced a global phenomenon with the Academy Award® nominated song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, which sold 23 million singles worldwide; Straight Outta Compton and Walk The Line, the number two and three musical biopics of all time; Illumination’s Sing, the animated musical which features the original song “Faith” by Stevie Wonder featuring Ariana Grande – the former’s first song for a film in 25 years; and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, whose soundtrack peaked at No. 1 on more than 60 global album charts on iTunes.
Prior to joining Universal, Knobloch served as Executive Vice President of Film Music at 20th Century Fox. His film credits during his 14-year tenure at Fox include The Devil Wears Prada, Drumline, Walk the Line, and the franchises X-Men, Ice Age and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Knobloch is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He also serves on the board for both the Grammy’s National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and MusicCares. In 2018, Knobloch, along with Universal’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion group, launched the annual Universal Film Music Composer Diversity Initiative. The first-of-its-kind program aims to identify and develop talent with a focus on underrepresented groups in the film music industry, as well as to increase awareness of new composers among executives, producers and directors.
Knobloch received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their children.
Gregg Latterman is a music and entertainment industry entrepreneur. Upon graduating from Kellogg, Gregg negotiated a joint venture with Columbia Records and signed Train, Five for Fighting, John Mayer, and Mat Kearney to his independent record label, Aware, founded in 1993. In 1999, Gregg built A-Squared Management that directed the careers of artists such as The Fray, Michelle Branch, Liz Phair, Brandi Carlile, Jack’s Mannequin, Mat Kearney, and Five for Fighting. The artists Gregg has signed/or managed have sold over 30 million CD’s. Gregg was one of the early entrepreneurs to combine music with television, film, and advertising campaigns. Gregg worked with the network ABC to bring The Fray’s video of the song “How to Save a Life” into promotional spots for the popular television show “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Gregg graduated in 2013 with a Masters in Positive Psychology at The University of Pennsylvania under Martin Seligman and now teaches “Positive Entrepreneurship” at Northwestern University. Gregg also teaches a course for the Farley School of Entrepreneurship at Northwestern titled, NUvention: Entrepreneurship for the Arts; the class will be offered to students from the following schools: Kellogg, Medill, Bienen School of Music, School of Communication, McCormick School of Engineering, the Law School, and select undergraduates. In addition, Gregg is an Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management as well as Program Lead for the Zell Fellows (2nd year MBA’s who are building companies) New Venture Track.
Gregg has written two recent articles, one was written for Techstars titled, “The Soul of an Entrepreneur” and the other was “Find Your Calling in Life, Be an Entrepreneur.
Angel Investments currently include the following companies: Popular Pays, Limitless Coffee, Truex, NATIV/Pairade, Music Audience Exchange, Reverb, Teamsnap, Lost Arts, Teamsnap, Rise Science, StageIt, MightyNest, King-Devick Test, Luna Lights, Reverb, Cleveland Kraut, and TextUs.
GRAMMY Award-winner and eight-time nominee, Emily Lazar is one of the most respected mastering and mixing engineers in the world. Combining old-school style with a deep knowledge of music and cutting-edge technology, Lazar ensures that the magic created in the studio is fully reflected in the final product. She is a true trailblazer, mastering more than 4,000 albums for a hugely diverse group of chart-topping musical luminaries ranging from David Bowie and Lou Reed to Maggie Rogers, Alanis Morissette and Wu Tang Clan and virtually everyone in between, breaking countless barriers along the way. She is also the founder of We Are Moving the Needle, a non-profit organization that aims to close the vast gender gap in the technical fields in the recording industry.
In 2021, she earned an historic three GRAMMY nominations in the Album of the Year category for her work with Coldplay, HAIM and Jacob Collier, scoring the most nominations any mastering engineer has ever received in that prestigious category in a single year. She made history in 2019 as the first female mastering engineer to win the GRAMMY for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for Beck’s album Colors. She has previously earned GRAMMY nominations for her work with Foo Fighters, Vampire Weekend, Bird and the Bee and Sia. Lazar also received the Splice Impact Award in 2021 for her work with We Are Moving the Needle. Additionally, she is a member of the Sonos Sound Board.
Ever forward-facing, Lazar’s keen interest in pushing technical boundaries led her to venture into the world of mixing and mastering multichannel audio for Surround Sound and Immersive Audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, mastering dozens of releases in the format including albums by Sharon van Etten, The Killers, Shawn Mendes, Michael Bublé and many others. Lazar worked directly with Giles Martin on the 50th Anniversary release of The Beatles’ legendary album, Abbey Road, as well as Dolby Atmos versions of Let It Be and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. She also mastered The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup 2020 release.
Lazar is the Founder and Chief Mastering Engineer of The Lodge, a world-renowned mastering, mixing and specialized recording facility. She has served as a Trustee of The Recording Academy and as a member of its National Advocacy and Producer & Engineer’s Wing Steering Committees. She has been profiled by Variety, Associated Press, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and dozens of other media outlets.
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is a rap artist and producer from Ithaca, NY with a PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Brown in the music department where she teaches courses on rap songwriting and feminist sound studies. Since 2010 SAMMUS has written, produced, and recorded three full-length albums (one of which has charted on Billboard), three EPs, a collaborative video-game themed concept album with the MC Mega Ran, a critically acclaimed beat tape, and countless one-off collaborations with artists from a variety of genres as well as video game developers, podcasters, and filmmakers. Her story as an artist at the intersections of academia and Afrofuturism has led to performances and speaking engagements at a range of conferences, conventions, festivals and campus events about her experiences as a hip hop artist, black feminist, Afrofuturist thinker, and artist/academic. Her live shows, characterized by her explosive energy and the inclusion of elements of cosplay, bring together a diverse array of activists, hip hop heads, punks, and self-identified nerds and geeks, among others. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, SAMMUS “has a gift for getting a message across.”
Beyond her creative work, Enongo’s research interests include Black feminist sound studies, video game music and sound design, and hip hop studies and performance. Her doctoral research, which she completed in 2019, focuses on the sociotechnical dynamics that shape the development and use of “community-studios”—recording studios that provide high-quality recording tools, professional sound engineering services, and audio training to communities that often lack financial or social access to these resources. She is currently thinking and writing about the market dynamics that shape life for rap artists who work within video game music scenes. Since joining the game studio Glow Up Games as the Director of Audio in 2019, she has also been working with a team of artists and engineers to develop a rap composition feature in a mobile-game for the HBO scripted series Insecure. In the summer of 2020 she became a member of the Hip Hop collective theKEEPERS.
Steve Milton is an award-winning creative leader and entrepreneur working in brand experience and innovation. He is the co-founder of Listen, a NYC based agency working with companies and artists to build deep relationships with their audiences. Milton has helped launch, grow, and reposition some of the world’s leading products and brands including Microsoft, Tinder, Virgin, HoloLens and Jim Beam.
Milton’s sensory-driven approach to brand has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Wired and The Verge, as well as SXSW and CMJ where he has led industry panels on creative collaboration, interactive design and the future of music, art and technology. His work helps audiences understand the profound emotional connection we have with sound and music particularly, and how it helps us relate to products, brands, innovation, and the world around us.
As a performer, Milton has toured internationally and his music has been recognized by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and others. He has collaborated with a number of musicians and artists around the globe to create immersive experiences and innovative installations.
Milton earned a Master’s degree in Musicology from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied postmodern theory and new media. He is a mentor at the New Museum’s incubator program, NEW INC, and he sits on Grammy nominated ensemble A Far Cry’s Board of Friends.
Tom Myers was a Radio/TV/Film major at Northwestern, graduating in the class of 1980. The foundation for his future work was formed by his experience there as a film student, and by Professors like Dana Hodgdon and Paddy Whannel. After graduate work at San Francisco State and with aspirations of being a picture editor, he got a job at a local film lab. This led to an entry level position at what was then George Lucas’s Sprocket Systems and is now Skywalker Sound. Over the course of a 30 year career Tom has done almost everything in Post Production Sound. He has worked on all types of motion pictures, (live action and animated), multiple theme park installations and most recently has explored sound story telling in VR. He has cut, designed, mixed, recorded Foley, wild sound effects, ran crews, budgeted time, resources and money, as well as worked with some of the top filmmakers of the last few decades. More importantly he has learned from some of the greats in this field, including Ben Burtt, Walter Murch, Gary Rydstrom and Randy Thom. He has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards, as well as receiving multiple BAFTA, CAS and MPSE honors.
Steve Pardo is a professional game composer and audio designer currently residing in Boston, MA with his wife, Amy, and two kids. He is employed at the music video game studio Harmonix Music Systems as Lead Composer and Sound Designer, and is a Composer/Co-Founder of the bespoke game audio team SkewSound.
Steve has served as Audio Lead at Harmonix on titles including Rock Band VR for Oculus Rift, and Super Beat Sports for Nintendo Switch, both titles where his music gameplay designs and prototypes heavily influenced the game’s core mechanics. His early audio design work is showcased in both the Rock Band and Dance Central franchises, and he has composed the original soundtrack for games such as Grim Dawn (Crate Entertainment), Gigantic (Motiga), Fantasia: Music Evolved (Harmonix/Disney), Chariot (Frima), The Magic Circle (Question), and Fated (Frima), among others.
Outside of game development, Steve is incredibly active in the game audio community at large. He is an assists teaching VR/AR audio at MIT, and has given talks on game audio, composition, and music design at various institutions including the Berklee College of Music, NYU, and Northwestern University, and Boston Post Mortem.
Steve is also an active and performing/recording saxophone player, and currently leads his own group, the Steve Pardo Trio. He also plays electric guitar with Opal Puckett, and was a member of Spirit Kid from 2010-2012.
Steve studied at the University of Miami, FL, where he received his Bachelor’s in Studio Music and Jazz (2006), and his Master’s in Studio Jazz Writing (2008).
Three time Grammy®Award nominee Alexandra Patsavas founded Chop Shop Music Supervision in 1998 and quickly earned a reputation for raising the bar in the quality of music selected for television series and feature films, including: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The O.C.,” “Gossip Girl,” “Mad Men,” “The Twilight Saga,” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. Patsavas’s current Music Supervision projects include television series “Scandal,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Riverdale,” “Supernatural,” and the feature film “Wonder”. She has been profiled in Wired, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard, NPR, and MTV. Patsavas currently serves as Chair of MusiCares.
At Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Sound, Gary Rydstrom has sound designed and mixed many films, including “Terminator 2,” “Jurassic Park,” “A River Runs Through It,” “Toy Story,” “Quiz Show,” “Titanic,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Star Wars: Episode I,” “Punch-Drunk Love,” “Finding Nemo,” and “War Horse.” He has won seven Academy Awards for Sound and Sound Editing, and Career Achievement Awards from both the Cinema Audio Society and Motion Picture Sound Editors. For Pixar Animation Studios, he directed two shorts, the Oscar-nominated “Lifted,” and “Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation.” For Studio Ghibli, he directed the English-language versions of “The Secret World of Arrietty,” “From Up on Poppy Hill,” and “The Wind Rises.” Growing up in Chicago, Illinois, Gary developed a love of film, and its blend of art and science. He is a graduate of the School of Cinema at the University of Southern California, and continues to be involved in film education.
Adam Sachs is President of Team Coco – a comedy media company founded by Conan O’Brien that creates TV series, podcasts, live events, standup specials, branded digital content, and more. As Chief Operating Officer, Adam led the company’s day-to-day strategy and execution. He also serves as Executive Producer of Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, which debuted at #1 in the Apple Podcast charts.
Before joining Conan, Adam served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The Chernin Group where he was tasked with identifying and evaluating opportunities for investment and helping existing portfolio companies with their strategy and execution.
Prior to joining The Chernin Group, Adam served as CEO of Midroll Media, a leading podcast company that produces and monetizes some of the world’s most popular podcasts, including “WTF with Marc Maron” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!”. Midroll is the parent company of Earwolf, home to top-ranked comedy podcasts, “Katie Couric”, and the country’s top parenting show, “The Longest Shortest Time.”
Adam led Midroll Media through bootstrapped growth and innovation including the launch of the podcast industry’s first premium subscription service, Howl, dubbed the “Netflix for podcasting” by Fast Company. Under his leadership, Midroll in 2015 was named No. 150 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies and the No. 4 fastest-growing media company. Adam also led the company through its July 2015 acquisition by The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP).
Prior to joining Midroll, in 2007 he co-founded the company that became the largest dating site in India, which was acquired by IAC in 2013. He was named one of Inc. magazine’s top “30 Entrepreneurs Under 30” in 2011.
Adam also hosted his own podcast, “The Wolf Den,” focusing on starting and growing a new business.
When he’s not working, Adam can be found exploring Los Angeles with his family, playing basketball and tennis, trying new restaurants, cold-brewing coffee, talking startups, listening to podcasts, and watching a lot of TV.
Adam is an active advisor to companies in the audio space, including Higher Ground Audio and Knowable.fyi.
Adam graduated from Northwestern University where he double majored in Radio/TV/Film and History.
Brian Schmidt is a 35-year veteran of the video game music and sound industry, as a composer, sound designer and audio technology specialist. The 2008 recipient of the Game Audio Network Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and 2017 inductee into the Pinball Expo Hall of Fame, he is responsible for the music and sound for over 130 console and arcade games including several years of John Madden Football, Electronic Arts’ chart-topping Desert Strike series and more recently, Mutant Football League and Game of Thrones Pinball. Brian’s score and sound design for the console game, Crueball was received Sega’s “Best Sound and Music,” and his theme from the 1988 video game, NARC, was covered and released by The Pixies. In addition to his work as a composer and sound designer, Brian has been awarded more than 25 patents in audio, game and VR technologies and designed the BSMT2000 arcade audio chip used by Sega and Data East and the Q1 3D audio arcade chip used by Capcom. Brian served as the audio program manager at Microsoft, where he designed audio technologies for the Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One; He also created the ‘startup sound’ for the original Xbox. Brian is the Founder and Executive Director of GameSoundCon, the industry’s leading professional conference in game music and sound design and was elected President of the Game Audio Network Guild in 2012, a position in which he continues to serve.
Brian received undergraduate degrees in music and computer science from Northwestern University in 1985, where he created the first dual degree program between the School of Music and the Technological Institute. He went on to complete his Masters in Computer Applications in Music in 1988, where portions of his thesis work was published in Computer Music Journal and presented by invitation to the AES special conference on Audio Technology. Brian is also a Principal Lecturer on game music and sound at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA.
Jon Tatooles is a 1989 graduate of Northwestern, with a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film from the School of Communications. He is co-founder of Sound Devices LLC, a specialty electronics manufacturer based in Wisconsin. Sound Devices audio and video products are used worldwide for film and television production. Jon developed and managed sales, marketing, finance, technical support, and brand strategy for the company. He was managing director for its first 15 years.
Jon is a regular lecturer and industry expert on audio and video production tools and technology, including best practices for audio dialog recording, surround sound recording, and production workflow for television and film sound. He is a member of the AES (Audio Engineering Society), SBE (Society of Broadcast Engineers), and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Jon is a mentor with Madison Entrepreneur Resource, Learning, and Innovation Network (MERLIN), an organization of the University of Wisconsin-Madison which serves as a resource to entrepreneurs in the Madison and UW communities.
Prior to starting Sound Devices in 1998, Jon worked for Shure Inc. of Niles, IL. His first job at Shure was answering customer service calls on their 800 number. He held several positions, including manager of Shure’s mixer and signal processing products group.
Jon was introduced to motion picture shooting and editing as a young boy by helping his physician-father hot-splice 16 mm films of experimental open heart surgeries. A self-described gear geek, he continues to be actively involved in video production, still photography, and music. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his family.
As a longtime radio producer, editor and co-founder of the Third Coast International Audio Festival, Johanna Zorn has been committed to the development of contemporary audio culture for more than three decades.
Zorn worked at WBEZ, Chicago for twenty years producing a wide variety of programs, from award-winning children’s shows, to daily talk programs, when she was selected to lead the station’s ambitious annual public affairs series Chicago Matters. The experience of working with radio documentarians for the series inspired her in 1999 to create the Third Coast Festival as a “Sundance for Radio.” With support from WBEZ, Zorn and co-founder Julie Shapiro, designed this unique project with the intention of building a robust, artistic field of audio storytelling. In 2009, Zorn led efforts to transform Third Coast into an independent media arts organization, and was at the helm as executive director until fall, 2019.
Zorn continues to work in the field of audio storytelling as a consultant for Audible and others.