Independent musicians might pride themselves on being great multi-taskers, but try learning Pro Tools in the midst of writing a new EP, moving from Boston to rural Canada, a European tour, and learning to play an 8-string guitar-bass hybrid. Berkleemusic student Kate Schutt was able to pull it all off with the personalized help of Pro Tools instructor Erik Hawkins.
"I found myself in Guelph, Ontario with a pile of books about how to use Pro Tools, none of the which went beyond the most basic concepts," explains Schutt. "No one in town had a Pro Tools system; very few people have digital audio workstations. To make matters worse, I was in the midst of writing a new EP of songs with a recording deadline looming. And I had a schedule full of gigs."
Kate Schutt Talks About Studying Pro Tools Online
Though worried that she wouldn't have time for the course-work of Pro Tools 101 at Berkleemusic, Schutt jumped in. "I didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep up, given my gigging and practicing schedule,” she recalls. “In fact, I had a week-long tour in England already booked during the middle of the term. But the course work fit right into my schedule, pretty easily." While on tour, Schutt was able to contribute to her class's online discussion by joining the weekly online chat from whichever city she found herself in.
Schutt also developed a working relationship with her professor, Eric Hawkins, who was teaching the course from Los Angeles, California. "I had a gig scheduled in February in L.A.," she says. "My Pro Tools 101 course ended in November, and I told Erik that I would call before I came to town. Of course, in the midst of touring, I forgot to contact him! He remembered though and showed up at my gig."
Since then, Schutt and Hawkins have kept in touch. They recently reconnected in L.A. when Schutt attended an ASCAP conference. "It was a brief, but fun and productive meeting," Kate says. "He has been extremely generous with his time and knowledge. We ate dinner in the car as he drove me to the airport to catch a plane to Boston to finish recording my new album."