In our continuing series profiling the companies on our Audio Market page where we offer smaller developers the opportunity to reach the Pro Tools community at a much lower price, we profile Rodel Sound run by our very own Dan Cooper.
PTE: How did you start? Tell us about your journey to setting up your company.
Dan: When I was young my hero was my Granddad. He was a piano player, carpenter by trade, but always a fellow musician at heart. I grew up to the soundtrack of him playing the piano in the background at family gatherings, so when I was 11 I wanted a turn and my parents got me a piano tutor.
I studied at the BRIT School Of Performing Arts specialising in Music Production. At the time the BRITS was the only school in the UK that offered free Pro Tools Tuition, so it was an honour and privilege to study there.
When I was completing my studies at the BRITS my granddad had an accident and suddenly passed away which really shook me to the core. My Nan gave me his piano from which I made a promise to his memory and myself. I promised I would realise the dream of doing something with my life in music. I believed my granddad and I both shared this dream as I always felt there was a part of him that regretted not doing something with his musical talents. I borrowed part of his Carpenter’s business name ‘Rodell General Builders’ which became ‘Rodel Sound’ so that a little piece of him would be with me everyday in realising our dream.
PTE: Tell us a bit about your company and the products you produce?
Dan: Rodel Sound is a service trade company that I established in mid 2010. I’ve been the sole employee throughout. I mainly collaborate with singer songwriters specialising in Music Arrangement and Mixing. These services really help me play to my strengths in Music Performance. I’ve also found myself producing a lot of image and video content for artists, which is great fun and also gives me a varied working schedule.
PTE: What challenges are you facing at the moment?
Dan: Every week has it’s own challenges, that’s what I love about my business. I suppose a constant challenge I face is time, or lack of. Don’t get me wrong, I pride myself on my time management skills it’s just sometimes I feel as though there’s not enough days in my week. I often joke with my wife about this as I’ll say “I wish there was an extra day in my week”, her response is always the same “I don’t, you’ll work that as well!”
PTE: What plans do you have for the future that you can share with the community?
Dan: Regular visitors of Pro Tools Expert may have noticed that I’m around a lot more these days in video reviews and podcasts so I plan to get more involved in this, so expect a lot more from me over 2016.
PTE: What is your favourite audio tool (excluding any of your own products)?
Dan: My first AKG C414 microphone. I purchased this when I was at the start of my audio education, 16 years old and broke. I’ve used it to record nearly every vocal line in the last 13 years so it’s quite a special item to me. I could happily sell any other bit of gear I own but would never let this go. It is my first microphone so I like to think it’ll be one of my kid’s first mic as well one day.
PTE: What one thing gets you annoyed about the audio business?
Dan: I’m not a big fan of the titles “Music Producer” and “Sound Engineer” in today’s music scene. I feel the true meaning of these roles have been lost in the developments in our industry over the years. I personally don’t think I “engineer” sound or “produce” music. I rely heavily on my musicianship in both arranging and mixing songs so I feel “Music Arranger” is a better… more descriptive term. Sadly though I have to use “Music Producer” and “Sound Engineer” in order to compete in Internet search results and keywords. I believe the Sound Engineers of today are Software Developers of audio plug ins and Virtual Instruments.
PTE: Thanks Dan for sharing about your journey in the audio creative world.
Remember to visit the Audio Market page and support all the small developers, all trying to punch above their weight.