We’re in the heart of summer, which might seem a little late to review the winter issue of Women in Sound — but, you know, time is a construct and so are seasons.
This Pittsburgh-based zine, edited by Madeleine Campbell, features interviews with an array of sound engineers, recording artists, mixers and producers, all of whom happen to be women. The winter issue, which is fifth in the series, includes engineer and producer Susan Rogers, who has worked with Prince and David Byrne, sound and visual artist TRNSGNDR/VHS, and drummer Felix Walworth of Told Slant.
Discussions about “women in music” often devolve into fluffy and vague conversations about empowerment. Women in Sound steers clear of that and dives into discussions about specifics of the industry: how they got started, what equipment is used, the challenges of production costs. At no point is someone asked with a light tone of condescension “what’s it like to be a woman in music." Instead, they are asked about live sound mixing of arena-sized shows, what kind of samplers are used and how studios are built. This project is what happens when women who know what they’re talking about talk to other women who also know what they’re talking about.
It’s easy to tell that everyone involved in WIS cares deeply about the publication and the industry. If not well-versed in sound engineering lingo, some of it will go over your head, but there is still plenty to gleam about the world of music-making from the women who do it.