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SAE Institute Graduate Wins Atlanta Music Production Competition

Gavin George, a 2013 graduate of SAE Institute Nashville, was a winner at the iStandard Producers Beat Battle, which was held in Atlanta on July 21.

Grammy-nominated producer !llmind (R) with Gavin George (L), a 2013 graduate of SAE Institute Nashville, who was a winner at the iStandard Producers Beat Battle (held at SAE Atlanta).

The Beat Battle contest was part of iStandard Producer’s Beat Camp, a three-day seminar for recording artists, engineers, and producers in the Atlanta area.  It featured a competition of original rhythm tracks created by up-and-coming songwriters/producers.  Gavin’s prize included studio equipment, VIP entries to future Beat Camp events around the country, and lifetime membership to iStandard’s producer networking service.

Beat Camp was held at the Atlanta campus of SAE Institute, a creative media college that was recently cited as being the best audio recording/engineering school in America by Vibe Magazine.

“I had been in a few beat battles in the past, so I knew that I needed to play a track with energy and originality in order to impress the crowd, who were also the judges,” says George.  “The competition at the Atlanta Beat Camp event was pretty tough and the 12 other producers who entered were really good, so I made sure to use the right beat at the right time in order to impress the judges and have a chance to win.”

George graduated from SAE Institute Nashville in June with a diploma in Audio Technology.  The program combines classroom theory with intensive practical work in the recording studio.

“All of the people who I knew and respected in the music industry had attended SAE, and they recommended it highly,” says George.  “I originally enrolled because I was interested in becoming a producer, but I ended up with a comprehensive studio and business education that I can now use in all aspects of the music industry.”

While pursuing his certification, George developed a wide range of studio skills by working with Nashville-based artists in a variety of music genres, including southern rock, jam, punk, metal, acoustic, jazz, country, hip hop, and R&B.

“I loved SAE’s studio work because it allowed me to go out into Nashville, find a band, bring them back to the school, and run a whole recording session for them to build up my experience,” says George.  “I also enjoyed the themed workshops about recording equipment and specialized topics, which we discussed in-depth in our classes.”

The fact that Gavin won the iStandard Beat Battle wasn’t a surprise to Dallan Beck, faculty chair for SAE Nashville’s Audio Technology Program.

“Gavin understands that being a successful audio professional is about taking all of your knowledge and experience and applying it to your craft,” says Beck.  “This is something that Gavin did in his impressive work at SAE, and he’s now applying it in real world situations.”

George is moving his home in from West Helena, Arkansas to the Atlanta area to pursue an internship at an area recording studio.  He’s tapping into SAE’s vast network of alumni and industry relationships to guide his pursuits.

“The placement team at SAE Atlanta have been a huge help for me, both in introducing me to studios where I can intern and also for production opportunities,” says George.  “Winning the iStandard Beat Battle was a first step in getting real professional studio work, and I plan on entering more Atlanta area battles once I’m settled in.”