Enter the front doors of IPR and snake through the corridors to the dimly lit corner of of the far eastern edge of the building. Now, take a peek through the half door – and amid the neatly stacked mics, speakers, and cameras – you’ll find one or two sleepy-eyed young people. They’ll be wrapping cords and stacking gear, pouring over last night’s check-out sheet, or filling a cart with equipment for a session in Master Mix A.
If the barn doors are closed, they’re in the field, the cell phone that connects them to the lab swinging from their belts as they troubleshoot Pro Tools or crouch behind a board, checking connections. This is the IPR lab staff. They work all night, live on Pizza Luce and Monster, and keep IPR running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
IPR Grad, Lab Engineer: DeArris Judkins
DeArris has been working at IPR for almost a year and a half. Before joining the lab staff, DeArris (or D as some call him) attended IPR and in 2016, graduated with a degree in Audio Production and Engineering.
DeArris is a certified Pro Tools operator and his area of expertise is signal flow in both controlled and uncontrolled environments. He is a skilled communicator, and excels when demonstrating to students how to effectively operate a studio in a professional manner.
Outside of his time spent at IPR, DeArris has recorded Voice over and music, mixed, and mastered Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope, a children’s audio book by SissyMarySue. “I am so impressed by him as a human being, as a technician, as an engineer, and as a talent.” SissyMarySue told IPR, “He is an amazing person,”
DeArris has also builds and sets up home studios, heads 5 Star DJ for Lake Country Productions, and has recorded and mixed over 75 local artists. And if you wander into the Master Mix suite and hear classical music coming from the studio, that’s DeArris on the grand piano, getting in some quick practice before work.
DeArris says that what he likes most about working as an IPR lab staffer is that it allows him to continue to learn and grow with the music industry. “I have the ability to really engage, learn, and connect with the students for a better understand their perspective of music.” He sees that small, constructive feedback on a project can guide students and enhance their natural creativity and their skill with the tools provided by IPR. “Everyone learns differently,” DeArris explains, “and I feel like it’s my job to understand how students learn and help them understand the technicalities.”
As if this was not enough to keep him busy, DeArris also enjoys spending time with friends and family, connecting with people spiritually, and spreading love and understanding. If you’re looking for some expert advise from the lab staff, need a second perspective on a song you’re writing, or just want to discuss what’s going on in the music scene, peer through the half door and find DeArris, he’ll be the guy with a huge, friendly smile on his face.