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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Brad Engleking, the rising star of sound mixing

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emmy

Brad Engleking, a Texas State School of Music alumnus celebrates his first Emmy Award for sound mixing on the documentary “Fathom.”
The film, directed by Drew Xanthopoulos, worked directly with marine scientists to capture whale communication. Engleking is responsible for recording the sounds and creating something that helps tell the story.
“‘Fathom’ is about sound. Sound plays a very important role in a documentary, and that’s pretty uncommon. So that kind of presented the opportunity to make something cool that rewarded us,” Engleking said.
“Fathom” is different from any film that Engleking had previously worked on. The sound for “Predators” and “Alita Battle Angle” that he previously worked on had support from the thrill of the movie. Engleking’s role in “Fathom” was critical because the film centered around sound, specifically the underwater communication of whales.
“I think we were trying to make kind of an experimental film where, you know, you’re immersed in that world,” Engleking said.
Engleking gained popularity quickly with the sound mixings he did on projects like “Alita Battle Angel,” “Hidden Life” and now “Fathom.” According to Engleking, mixing was not a career field he originally sought. As an underclassman, he originally wanted to be a record producer. It wasn’t until he crossed paths with Robert Rodriguez, a filmmaker and the founder of Troublemaker Studios, that sound mixing became an option.
Engleking praises Texas State for its sound technology program. The university gave Engleking opportunities to work on student films and absorb knowledge while applying it in the studio. For students hoping to become a success, he said the Texas State sound technology program immerses its students in the recording world and refines their skills.
“I think that’s one of the most important things, you know, and just seeing how they created an artistic atmosphere for people to create art,” Engleking said.
Director of Texas State Recording Arts Program Mark Erickson remembers Engleking’s drive for what he did when he was a student at Texas State.
“He was passionate about the sound stuff,” Erickson said. “He was always around the facility, always trying to learn from whatever was going on at the time, always willing to jump in and do any work that was required.”
Erickson raves about the exceptional sound mixing Engleking did that is uncommon for a documentary. He feels that the film stands out for its music alone. The sound design, mix and dialogue clarity all come together. In a film like “Fathom,” even the sound of a drop of water in a can is important.
As a professor, Erickson respected Engleking’s passion for sound.
“That kind of passion that drives that work ethic is worth as much as the knowledge you get in the degree,” Erickson said. “That’s what made him stand out.”
The Texas State film scene has a bright future according to Erickson. Students now have more opportunities than they did in the past because of the opening of Live Oak Hall, a campus facility featuring a film sound stage, TV studio, recording mix classroom, editing lab, and Foley room, at the beginning of the semester.
Engleking encourages anyone that wants to break into the film industry to just do it. For those wanting to pursue a career in sound mixing, he advises them to take advantage of all of the opportunities for young filmmakers in San Marcos.
“If you want to be a composer, go find a young film director,” Engleking said. “I mean, there’re student films being made at Texas State, there are student films being made at [The University of Texas], so there are hundreds of opportunities there to go, you know, actually try out some of the things that you are learning.”

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