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Alumni Spotlight: Austen Pullen

Austen Pullen is a 2018 graduate in Audio Production and Engineering and Sound Design for Visual Media. Originally from Virginia, Austen traveled to Minnesota for his education and has embraced the Midwest music and film scene. Since graduation, Austen has worked at Winterland Studios, several sound design projects, and worked with a variety of recording artists. In our blog, we sit down to talk about how his life has changed since graduation and what he is working on next.

Austen Pullen, graduate of IPR's Sound Design for Visual Media and Audio Production and Engineering programs
Austen Pullen, graduate of IPR’s Sound Design for Visual Media and Audio Production and Engineering programs
IPR: What projects have you worked on since graduating from the Audio Production and Engineering and Sound Design for Visual Media programs at IPR?

AP: Some of my bigger projects have been in sound design, but I have also done music projects at Winterland Studios. I was a boom operator for a horror film called “Fallen Father” that aired at the 2019 20/20 film festival. I also did sound design, Foley, and mixed the sound for “20” a veteran movie for the 2019 Z-Fest.

In addition to sound design projects, I also worked with Sudden Media and the Minnesota Department of Health to share stories of families and their experiences with newborn screening. I am currently working on instructional audio clips for Children’s Hospital in the Twin Cities.

IPR: What kind of audio projects have you been working on?

AP: On the music side, I have recorded a lot of local hip-hop artist like K-Smooth, D-Bands, and Wavy. I also assist in recordings for artists like Bernard Allison and Blue Felix. I also did a few live shows for Chris Hawkey at St. Michael Cinema.

IPR: How did your education at IPR help you to become a better sound designer and audio engineer?

AP: IPR was definitely a big impact for me in the industry. If it wasn’t for IPR, I wouldn’t even be in Minnesota to begin with! At IPR, you actually work with people who have made a big impact in the industry. Because of this, it feels like you get 10 years of experience all in 2 years. Then, you grow a strong connection with the staff and students. Without those connections, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

IPR: Are there any instructors who made a significant impact on you? What were your takeaways from their classes?

AP: The three instructors that had the biggest impact on me were Kevin Bowe (Program Chair, Audio Production & Engineering), Luke Harper (Instructor, Sound Design for Visual Media Capstone), and Mitchel Hare (Program Academic Coordinator).

If it wasn’t for Kevin, I wouldn’t even be at Winterland Studios. He really helped me get in touch with the owner and secure an internship. Luke has helped me gain confidence in sound design. He has helped with advice from doing sound for films in both field and studio recording. Mitch has helped me prepare for financial and business in the industry. Without Mitch, I don’t think I would be comfortable in managing my own finances.