The department is thrilled to welcome back alumnus Pablo Vega (BMus 2008) as the new Lecturer of Recording Technology! After graduating from Carolina, he earned professional certificates in audio engineering (2013) from Living Arts College and Berklee College of Music and has been working as a composer and audio engineer professionally since 2009. Vega lives in Durham, NC, and owns and runs his own recording studio “The Workshop.” Get to know Pablo Vega a little better and see what he had to say about returning to UNC to teach!
What is your position on faculty and what courses are you teaching this year?
Lecturer of Recording Technology. I’ll be teaching MUSC 161: Music Production I and MUSC 261: Music Production II
What is your favorite part of teaching?
I love engaging with the students. While I was a student at Carolina, I had many influential teachers in the music department that were not only extremely knowledgeable, but were always willing to entertain my curiosity of the subject matter beyond the scope of the class. That open door policy is something I will continue while at Carolina. I hope to not only teach about music production, but to inspire my students to think beyond the class framework and create something new and of their own. Once they cover the basics and get a good grasp of the fundamentals of sound recording and production, they’ll be able to create so much.
What is your favorite part of research?
Research, in music production specifically, is the most important tool in any audio engineer’s arsenal. It’s not enough to know about what’s going on musically right in front of you. You have to constantly listen to new music, look for new techniques, and experiment. That’s the only real way to grow in any field of study. My favorite part of research is learning something new. Every time I listen through a new album or live performance recording, my curiosity peaks. Entertaining that curiosity is what has kept me interested and excited about music production for years.
What is the project that you’re most excited about currently?
My friend David Mikush (Carolina Alum ’08) and I are about to start working on a children’s album. We’re both relatively new dads, and we want to create an educational children’s album that will interest not only children, but parents as well. I’m sure many parents can attest to this, but I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve wanted to throw my phone out of the car window while it played poorly written and produced children’s music. There is definitely a time and place for simple children’s music, but we don’t give children enough credit. They are just as (if not more) entertained by music that is well crafted and produced.
What are some of your non-musical hobbies?
I grew up in Chapel Hill, so I am a rabid Carolina sports fan. I have season tickets to Carolina Football and never miss a basketball game. Combining my love of audio production and sports, I also produce Tar Heel legend Tyler Hansbrough’s podcast “SleepHawk Worldwide”. When I get an opportunity to have a few hours away from home on weekends, I love playing golf with my buddies. My main (and favorite) hobby is playing and acting a fool with my two little girls, Evie and Julia. My wife and I spend many hours in their make-believe beauty parlors, restaurants, libraries, spaceships, and concert halls.
If your students could learn one thing from you, what do you hope it will be?
I hope my students learn that in order to be successful in their careers, they need to be extremely hard workers and they need to be kind. All of the opportunities I have been given in life have come from a dedicated passion in whatever I was doing and from being personable and kind with the people I’ve met. Of course it’s important to jump in wholeheartedly into whatever career you choose, but it’s also important to remember that all the talent in the world pales in comparison to the connections you make with other people.
What music are you currently listening to?
I try to listen to a new album from start to finish every 2-3 days. The most recent one was “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish.
Anything else you’d like students to know about you or your teaching?
I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to be back at Carolina. This town and university helped make me the person I am today, and I hope I can give back even a fraction of what I received. It’s a dream come true to be teaching here.