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Meet Thomas Robertson of Robertson Sound Design in Mid City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Thomas Robertson.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My story in sound started at Webster University in my home town of St. Louis. While I was studying graphic design at the time, I started taking audio classes just for fun. I liked it so much that after a couple of semesters I ended up making more progress towards an audio major than I did towards my art major. When I found myself daydreaming of the recording studio in my art history class I decided to make the switch official and went all-in on audio production.

I feel very fortunate in my education, I was able to work on so many awesome projects from radio plays and short films to recording and mixing music. I ended up, however, finding the most joy in post-production sound for radio and film. I love using my craft to help tell a story. It is so satisfying when you can finally bring all the different tracks and takes together for a seamless natural sound.

When it came time for my internship, I was very lucky to work under my former professor Adam Frick at Hugmonster Sound in St. Louis. Because he had me in class, he already knew what I was capable of and I was able to hit the ground running, editing dialogue and Foley for several projects including a couple of animated kids shows.

After that I kind of hit a rut for a while and decided I needed a break and to get out of St. Louis. I spent a few months of traveling through Europe and Israel with my cousin and lived in Germany for a bit. When my visa finally ran out, I came back to the States and moved to Chicago for a fresh start. I got a job serving at Soho House to pay the bills, and that is where I meet Dina Brenci.

As fate would have it, she was looking to start her own podcast to complement her coaching business. Soon after talking we began meeting every week to record and edit The Sweet Life Podcast and my freelance career started. I could not have asked for a better first client. She has a very happy and high energy personality and is always looking for ways to help out. It wasn’t long before she started introducing me to more people in need of an audio engineer.

Not too long after that, I got the opportunity to move to Los Angeles with my brother and his wife. As the center of the entertainment industry, I could not pass it up. I still work with Dina though, Skyping in every week to record and editing from my home studio. I have been in LA for about two months now, trying my best to get around and network with people and get my bearings in a big new city. My hopes are to break in and work my way up in the film industry here.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely been a slow and rocky road since I have arrived in LA. The biggest challenge is just meeting people. I didn’t know anyone in the city before moving out here so it is really hard to even know where to go to meet up with people. I have been attending some industry meetings through AES and the LAPPG though, so hopefully my luck will turn around soon!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Robertson Sound Design story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a freelance sound editor under the company name Robertson Sound Design. I specialize in post-production sound for podcasts and film, namely dialogue editing and Foley, though I also have experience in location audio and sound design as well.

A couple of projects I am particularly proud of are The Sweet Life Podcast (now over 20 episodes) and the work I did on the pilot episode of The Wingfeather Saga.

As a small operation, I am very happy that I get to take a very personalized approach to all of the projects I work on. I like to work very closely with my clients from pre to post-production to ensure that their story is told the way they want and in the best possible manner.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I have been very fortunate in my life and career and have had many awesome experiences. I have been able to travel the world, meet wonderful people by chance, and move across the country. While all of these things have come up by chance, I always make sure to work very hard in the downtime ensure I am always prepared to take advantage of these lucky breaks.

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