Music and Dance Student Profile: Michelle Felix Garcia

April 9, 2022

Michelle Felix Garcia
Michelle Felix Garcia

1. Hometown:

 I am from Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico. Also called Rocky Point by tourists from the United States. Thousands of people come every year to enjoy our relaxing beaches and breathtaking sunsets. We have earned recognition for having some of the cleanest coasts in the entire country and our delicious seafood leaves visitors hungry for more!

2.      Major and year in school: 

I am a senior. I am about to graduate from music recording technology and audio design this May!

3.      How did you decide on SDSU? 

Since I was a child, I knew that music was an essential part of my identity. I dabbled into audio briefly when I was ten and found it fascinating from the start, but really the moment that marked my future was the magical opportunity to play the piano with the band I admire as the greatest in the world, Coldplay, at a concert rehearsal in 2017. They were extremely humble and kind. Receiving in-ear monitors, passing by the machine room with the lighting boards and mixing desk, getting on stage and watching the action unfold in an empty stadium changed my life forever! I decided I needed to dedicate my life to audio, and I don’t look back! I researched programs that allowed for hands-on learning about sound, and I found great options in my country, Mexico, but they were extremely far away, and I wanted to remain near my home and my family. SDSU allowed me to follow my chosen professional path while staying close to those whom I love. Furthermore, I was excited about working with faculty who had written compositions with electronics and with Dr. Chris Warren, who had made an impulse response library with different reverbs from locations across North America.

4. What’s your favorite part about your field/major?

I am thrilled about music production from the inside out and how technology is constantly evolving to bring us richer sonic experiences. Mixing, composition and musical arrangement are the activities in which I feel the most enthusiasm. In the end it’s all about capturing and expressing human emotions in the most genuine way. It’s true that we must learn many technical skills such as manipulating frequencies, applying compression and other types of processing but the world of aesthetics and producing beauty for our ears is mind-blowing. Effects like reverbs and delays can change the space a vocalist is singing into and add depth to a performance. Imaging throughout the stereo field can take the listener to new worlds and even more so now that we are in the advent of immersive sound which gives tridimensional life to songs, movies, video games and sporting events.

5.      What does it take to be successful in your major? 

Passion and determination are definitely a must. It is a career that often demands working long hours and spending a lot of time refining microscopic details that 99% of people may not even notice. You need endless drive and motivation to take a thousand no’s and through perseverance and dedication turn them into yesses. Getting a job especially after a pandemic is not always easy. Therefore, you must love audio enough as one of the forces that make you get out of bed excited about life every day. I had the privilege to attend the Sound Girls virtual conference last December and April Tucker, one of the audio engineers I admire, said something that resonated with me at a very deep level: “In audio you’re not in for a small run, you’re in for a marathon.” I am ready to enter the race. Count me in!

6.      What do you hope to do in the future?

I would love to get a job at a recording studio or mixing live concerts. I am eager to expand my skills and be a lifelong learner because educating oneself never stops. This summer I plan to teach myself some programming language, whether it is for digital signal processing, music generation through code or software development. I also feel attracted to sound for video games, cinematic post-production and field recording.

7.      Any faculty to shout out and why? 

My music theory professor Dr. Andrew Aziz is a total genius! He deserves an award for the excellence of his work and the effort he puts into making everyone learn the concepts even if he has to explain them in a thousand different ways. His commitment to  the students is unstoppable, even customizing his lectures to our musical tastes to keep us engaged. He has been a fantastic mentor for me not only with class content but for my personal development as well. It is truly heartwarming to see how much he cares and always goes the extra mile. He rejoices about our triumphs, helps us solve our challenges and always listens to our words with the utmost attention. His emotional intelligence also makes him a great role model to follow.

8.      Favorite place to eat on campus, what do you get?

You know, I wasn’t such a frequent restaurant goer, but I think the cheeseburgers at The Habit were great and every once in a while Starbucks hot chocolate kept me going!
9.      Favorite place to visit in San Diego? 

The botanical building and Lily Pond at Balboa Park is impressive. I was delighted to experience its majestic variety of flower species. I have always been a lover of nature and I am in awe of its power to instill calm and serenity. It reminds us that the concerns of humans are not the center of the universe, and that we are part of a wonderful planet that we must take care of and preserve.

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