Many of Pulse’s Graduates go on to work with some of the top artists and multimedia companies in the world. In this section of our newsletter, we catch up with past students to find out what life is like post-Pulse.
This issue, we quizzed Ross Stack, would-be product designer turned sound engineer, who confessed: “It was like the feeling of breaking up with a girlfriend except you’re graded on your performance afterwards.”
Ross continues the story: “A few weeks ago I graduated from Pulse College. In many ways, this came as a surprise to me. You see, as cliched as it is to say, the last two years of my life have gone by quicker than you can say ‘linear phase parametric equaliser’. It seems like only yesterday I was giving up a potential career in product design to pursue my love of all things sound-related.
“My reasoning for this rather abrupt shift in vocation was simple; I did not want to look back in regret at having not done the course. So, two years later, do I regret the decision that past tense Ross made in order not to have future tense Ross look back in aforementioned regret?
“‘Wait a sec, why did the graduation come as a surprise to you?’, I hear you ask. To answer that, I must take you back to June 2011, when we walked out of the doors of Pulse, leaving the college behind us. At the time, graduation in October seemed a long way off. Personally, I was too preoccupied with trying to fill the void that Pulse had left. It was like the feeling of breaking up with a girlfriend except you are graded on your performance afterwards. Actually, I suppose it’s exactly like breaking up with a girlfriend!
“On the upside, I had work experience in a post production house in London courtesy of the Leonardo scholarship to look forward to. In addition to this I was lucky enough to be invited to help produce a truly original collaborative music project called Castle Variations. The project basically involved turning a large castle in Co. Kilkenny into a recording studio for a week and simply locking a group of talented musicians in until they produced an album.
“The results were astounding, and the project left me hungry for more work. So much so that I began approaching some artists I wanted to record and graciously offered my services as a producer and recording engineer. As it turns out, there’s plenty of work to be had as a newly qualified recording engineer, the caveat being in most cases you have to be willing to work for next to nothing.
“All in all, the graduation date crept up on me and before I knew it it was time to for me to don my shiny shoes. The ceremony itself was intimate and unpretentious; no funny hats or latin verse, just some sage words from Tony Perrey that could probably be paraphrased as “Get a job”. One large bundle of certificates later, and I’m just another sound engineer in the ever-growing pool. Ominous though this may sound, I’m somewhat hopeful for what the future holds. You see, in this tightly knit industry, we’ve already made a large handful of contacts in the form of our fellow classmates, each with his/her own skillsets and interests. It’s also statistically probable that 90% of us will go on to work with U2 at some stage of our careers… or so I’ve been told.
“So, do I regret enrolling in Pulse all those years ago? To that, my answer would have to be:
“Are you kidding me? I learned how to use an SSL for crying out loud!”