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Berkleemusic Online Student Opens New Studio

Rick Derringer (left) and Howling Dog Studios’ owner Del Couch

Photo: David Goggin

After 20 years as a successful real estate agent, 56-year-old student Del Couch enrolled online and now owns and operates his own recording studio in Florida, Howling Dog Studios.

Last year, Couch recorded with neighbor artist/producer Rick Derringer, who first gained a bit of fame in the 1960s with his band The McCoys and their hit, “Hang On Sloopy.” He’s recently produced projects for Bette Midler, KISS, Meat Loaf, Cyndi Lauper, Barbra Streisand and “Weird” Al Yankovic.

“Rick told me if I got hip to Pro Tools he would certainly like to record at my studio,” says Couch. “All I knew about recording was from reading trade magazines, so when I heard about Berklee online, I signed up for Pro Tools 101. I not only learned how to become a digital engineer, but I also found out what equipment and software I should buy.”

Before entering the real estate world, Couch’s talents as a trumpet player got him accepted by Juilliard, which he attended before being drafted and serving four years with the U.S. Air Force Band. He now fronts the variety band Shaman, which plays 120 gigs a year for corporate and charity functions. He also engineers for local bands and musicians at his new studio.

Enrollment for the winter semester at ends January 5, 2006. Courses begin on January 9. Visit to learn more.