Matthew Carnes, a graduate of SAE Institute’s Audio Technology Program, was selected for inclusion in the “40 Under 40” list of Arkansas Business, the leading weekly business journal for Arkansas. Carnes’ work as the owner/operator of Carnes Audio Visual, a successful commercial and residential audio visual installation consultancy based in Little Rock, earned him a place on the Arkansas Business listing.
“I’ve had a passion for technology since I was eight years-old, so to be able to make my living at it – and also have the quality of my company’s work be cited by Arkansas Business – is really satisfying,” says Carnes. “Our success is based on our goal of providing excellent design, a superb user experience, and unmatched customer service.”
Carnes grew up in Little Rock and graduated from Jonesboro High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas in 1999. His interest in technology – audio technology in particular – stems from his fascination with a four-track Teac reel-to-reel tape recorder and mixing console, which he was given when he was eight years-old. “I thought it was so cool,” says Carnes. “Any hopes of having a normal career were pretty much crushed at that moment.”
After high school, Carnes looked at a variety of college programs – both four-year and technical/vocational – where he could gain a comprehensive education in audio technology. SAE Institute in Nashville was recommended to him by some of Carnes’ relatives who were music industry professionals.
“The more I learned about SAE, the more I saw that the staff and educators were industry pros who oozed experience,” says Carnes. “The equipment and studios were top notch, and the campus is located in the heart of Nashville’s music scene.”
Carnes graduated from SAE Nashville with a Diploma in Audio Technology in 2000. The climate for jobs in recording studios was in transition due to the growth of Napster and unauthorized audio file-sharing among consumers. After moving back to Little Rock, Carnes set his sights on the burgeoning A/V (Audio/Visual) industry.
“During my time at SAE, I was focused on learning about the real world, day-to-day life of an audio engineer,” says Carnes. “With this knowledge, I was able to figure out how to manage the finances of running a business, staying ahead of the curve and the competition, and always being willing to try new things. This awareness and drive came about thanks to SAE, which thoroughly prepared me to become an entrepreneur.”
Carnes opened Carnes Audio Visual in 2004 and unveiled his residential and commercial A/V showroom in 2010. He also owns a production company called CAV Productions, which offers high-definition digital audio and visual recording/production capabilities. Clients for his multimedia production services include the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Stephens Investment Group, the Republican Party of Arkansas, the Arkansas Democratic Party, and Penguin Publishing Group.
“Even if your business is doing well, there’s always competition,” says Carnes. “Along with delivering excellent service and workmanship each day, I’m also actively committed to maintaining our competitive edge to ensure that we’re here for the long haul.”