The impressive engineer and producer Michelle Barry has created an exciting new initiative to increase the number of women in the recording studio. Read all about Noisy Girls here.
Michelle Barry is an engineer and producer who is the founder of an exciting initiative called Noisy Girls. The purpose of Noisy Girls is to increase the number of female producers, engineers and musicians in the studio.
Barry is a worthy leader for Noisy Girls - she has been working and hovering around studios since she was fifteen years old. With over twenty years experience under her belt, and sick of being the only woman in the room, Barry is spearheading an organisation that invites women to be a key part of the sounds we hear.
So far, Noisy Girls has seen a number of songs emerge including Bury my Debt by the all women sextet Big Mountain and Not My Problem by Sydney rockers Good Pash.
Music Love caught up with Barry to find out more about her career, get some tips and learn all about Noisy Girls.
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When did you first become interested in sound engineering and producing?
I found out there was a job you could listen to music all-day at about fifteen. I was already a teenage synthesiser geek, so engineering appealed.
How did you train?
I did a course at SAE [formerly known as the School of Audio Engineering] when I left school, then studied at AFTRS [Australian Film Television and Radio School] before getting an assistant engineer job at a studio in Sydney called Paradise.
So a combination of school and on the job.
What is the best studio session you ever had?
Difficult one. The ones when I first started were all exciting as I was learning so much. Now it’s more about more about people involved and, of course, what’s being recorded. With that in mind, one would be Jessie Murphy In The Woods, a super talented trio of women I recorded at a studio in Brooklyn while I lived in NYC.
Who are your favourite producers and engineers?
Andy Wallace produced and mixed Jeff Buckley with beautiful detail. Brian Eno for atmosphere, Vance Powell for great rock sounds. More recently, I like the stuff Joel Little (who produced Lorde and Broods) has done.
What headphones do you use when you are listening to music outside the studio? (If you do listen to the music outside the studio, that is!)
I prefer Sennheiser ones, I have a pair of HD280 for travelling about and a pair of HD595 that I use at home.
What’s your best tip for people who want to learn to be engineers and producers?
If people are learning and experimenting in their bedroom, do you think they should try and get into a “real” studio?
I think the experience is good even if they go back to their bedrooms with more knowledge. There are still limitations to most bedrooms as far as acoustics go, and [being in a studio] provides a benchmark that will only improve the quality of your tracks.
Tell us about Noisy Girls
Noisy Girls is an initiative to promote women working in music as musicians, producers and engineers. In my working life I’ve often been the only woman in the room and wanted to try and change that. Through recording songs with an all-female production team and creating video content that shows women in studio the aim is to show the diversity of talent and provide encouragement for women and girls.
How can people get involved in Noisy Girls?