To Top

Rising Stars: Meet Sutter Hellwarth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sutter Hellwarth.

Hi Sutter, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’ve always wanted to live in LA ever since I was a kid. I spent a few years growing up in Santa Barbara until my family moved east, and I have always had a lot of love and connections here so it made sense when I finally graduated college in 2016 to come back out here and live with my grandmother for a while with no particular plan other than to have some fun and get involved in the music industry. After a few weeks of hanging out on the beach, I got down to it and started interning at 4th Street Recording in Santa Monica, a 30-year institution with a hands-on, DIY attitude that was conveniently located to me as well. I got to take part in some cool sessions and became friends with the owner and staff and was soon able to bring in my own clients, mostly people I knew or found me through the alumni network of our Alma Mater Berklee College of Music. It was awesome to be able to collaborate with some great musicians both established and up-and-coming, but it wasn’t exactly a living. Always on the lookout for new ways to get involved and get paid, I started working with a medium-sized Post Production audio and video company, working in asset management and quickly becoming a full-time audio editor. Over the past few years, the scope of their work has grown and with it my responsibilities, but I’ve always been able to find time to make music with people that I care about and I’m hoping that will only increase.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The recording industry is becoming much trickier to work in – fewer big studios, shrinking budgets, more outsourcing, all means that making the art you want to make and making money don’t always go hand in hand. Artists are striking out on their own more and more and as producers, engineers, etc., we have to stand behind the ones we believe in.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Like many others, I often slide between the creative and technical parts of the job, even over the course of a day. I could be helping someone write the chorus to a song in the morning and figuring out the proper playback speeds for localized feature films later on. But no matter the job, I’m committed to using all my resources to do it thoroughly and efficiently and being reliable is the best way to establish trust amongst your network. Furthermore, there is a lot of crossover in the skills and techniques I use for different jobs. Post Production audio tends to be a very right-brained, analytical type of work. But I have a lot of musical and artistic background that helps me find clever ways to stretch and adjust my audio in ways that make sense in context and won’t get noticed by the listener. There are also many interesting ways you can create music using skills like programming, synthesis, and audio editing to enhance and inspire.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
Lots of love to my friends at Post Haste Digital and 4th Street Recording who have held me down pretty much since I moved to LA, and to my actual family for housing me, feeding me, and even hosting a music studio while I figure out what I’m doing with my life. I also launched a personal studio this time last year which was obviously put more or less on hold due to COVID safety concerns, but lookout for a few tracks dropping this summer!

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Nathan Sam @nathansamm, Lauren Mackson

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in