“The problem of isolated disciplines has long been recognized, and the most common and
conservative response is to require a broad or liberal education” (Gergen, 2009. P.214).
While reflecting on a cross-disciplinary education, I consider the current state of media
education as a misplaced job placement program. I no longer advise students to consider
a standalone media major and instead suggest taking courses in tandem with other areas
of interest (e.g. marketing, psychology, anthropology, science, business, etc.) in order to
expand and bridge their talents. The technology makes it easy to create new media and
relatively harder to have something worth saying or sharing.
Over-the-horizon Radar
Bill intuitively mixes sound the way a great chef throws unusual ingredients together in the
kitchen and somehow it works. He remains humble even though he has collaborated with
many Grammy, Clio, Webby, and Addy recipients while also receiving numerous creative
awards and accolades. He brings an interdisciplinary approach to studio mixing along with
a strong intellectual foundation in music, history, economics, constitutional law and politics.
With an intuitive and mostly self-taught adeptness when it comes to learning and
implementing new technology, Bill was one of the early studio engineers to use the Fairlight
digital sampling synthesizer, which at the time cost around a half-million-dollars. Also, one
of the first in the industry to recognize that recording studios were shifting from
centralization (i.e. Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Chicago) to multiplexing -- and to
eventually collapsing, Bill was malleable enough with his technology. Having “over-the-
horizon” radar to adapt to the changes he developed a pioneering and enhanced multi-
track Apple system for recording portability almost ten years ago.
Bill comments, “the over-the-horizon radar is part of the instinctual mechanism that a
freelancer must have. Guys like Edison who were very strong instinctual people believed it
was 99 percent perspiration and one percent inspiration. They worked from ideas. ‘I can
take this electromagnetic current idea and can replace candle making and created the
light bulb.’ How did he put that together?” Bill’s advice, “work hard, work long and gain
experience. Look to the experience and learn from the experience.”
Best Advice: Don’t Build a Studio
The best business decision Bill ever made was to “not” build a studio. An entrepreneurial
friend advised, “you’re not really a businessman. You’re an artist and you’re going to fail if
you do that -- you won’t have the energy to do what you do and run a business. There are
plenty of studios in town. What you should do is take the work and go rent.”
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