Dominique Smith, a student in the Audio Technology Program at SAE Institute New York, competed as one of America’s Top Producers at the iStandard Beast of the Beats seminar, which was held in November 2013 at SAE’s New York campus and Webster Hall nightclub in Greenwich Village. Smith was awarded the recognition for placing second in iStandard’s “Beat Battle” hip hop producer competitions that were held in Chicago and New York in 2012.
“It was great to be recognized at iStandard’s New York seminar,” says Smith, who will be graduating from SAE this month with a diploma in Audio Technology. “I worked hard to make it to the finals in New York and Chicago, and my strong showings in those competitions allowed me to be ranked among the top Beat Battle participants nationwide.”
iStandard Producers is an organization that offers professional networking opportunities for aspiring engineers, producers, and artists. They produce dozens of events throughout the year across the country, including Beat Camp seminars at SAE’s schools in Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York that feature panels, presentations, performances, and producer competitions. iStandard’s Beat Battles are open to all Beat Camp registrants, and have included entries by SAE students and alumni.
“I chose to attend SAE Institute because I heard lots of great things about the school’s Audio Technology program,” says Smith. “I found that it’s superior to the audio engineering programs offered by other schools because they teach students how to handle the real life challenges, scenarios, and professional equipment that we’ll encounter in our careers.”
Smith grew up in a family of music lovers, including DJs, producers, and musicians. His own musical aspirations began when he was a 7th grader in his hometown of Rockford, IL when he played snare drum in his middle school’s orchestra. He continued his drumming through his teen years, where he became a member of the CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) Gifted Marching and Concert Band at Rockford Auburn High School.
“While I’m mainly a hip hop producer, my favorite music genres are soul and R&B,” says Smith. “From hanging with my peers at SAE, I’m also starting to appreciate the creativity of alternative, indie, and EDM.”
Along with the academics of SAE’s Audio Technology program, Smith also enjoyed the collaborative nature of the school’s curriculum, in which Smith and his fellow students would help each other with their projects and assignments – including adding live instrumentation to original productions, getting advice about particular audio gear, and working together in study groups.
“My positive experience at SAE, along with the knowledge that I’ve gained and the personal and professional connections that I’ve made, will absolutely further my career as a producer,” says Smith. “Having an SAE engineering background will help me to take my own music to a very high level, not just creatively, but also sonically and professionally.”