Meet Robert DiVito, Audio Expert & Innovator in Residence @ Fort York Branch

October 28, 2014 | Diana L.

Comments (0)

Robert DiVitoWhether you're a singer, musician, audio engineer, record producer, or someone who is interested in the music industry, Toronto Public Library invites you to meet our Innovator in Residence with audio expertise, Robert DiVito!

From October 20 to November 30, the multi-talented Robert DiVito will be sharing his expertise in a variety of areas within the music industry through free programs, workshops and consultation sessions at the Fort York Branch. Some of Robert's programs include a lecture on the recording industry, a hands-on, LIVE orchestra recording session and a workshop in the Digital Innovation Hub on editing with Logic Pro X.

Want to get to know our audio expert? Here's a little Q&A session I had with Robert:

What interested you about the library’s Innovator in Residence (IIR) position and what are you looking most forward to during your residency?

My interest in the IIR position is that it utilized many of my core competencies. That being music, audio engineering, and the entertainment industry. I felt that it would be a great opportunity to give back to the audio community in Toronto. That was my biggest motivator but I am looking forward to meeting and connecting with many audio enthusiasts during the residency and hope to inspire and be inspired with the exchange of information, ideas and passion for the arts.

What is your favourite piece of audio work or performance?
Oh, goodness there are so many! Glenn Gould's Bach Goldberg Variations is an iconic recording when the modern day record was just beginning. The 1955 mono classic is one of the reasons I got into audio.
What makes a good track or musical performance?
Engagement. If the performer can connect with the listener and engage an emotional response then they have done their job. As an engineer, if I can translate that performance onto a recording and elicit the same emotional connection (via the recording) then I've done my job.
What do you enjoy the most about being an audio producer?
As an engineer I enjoy trying new things. Different combinations of microphones and preamps, different recording and mixing techniques, new outboard gear, boutique plugins. All in the pursuit of creating a better than real life experience for the listener. 
As a producer I really enjoy interacting with the performer. Being a musician myself I find it intuitive to get into the head of the performer and know when they are on their game and when they are struggling, when to push and when to back off, when they are confident or vulnerable and knowing when I have the best take I am going to get from them. 
What is your advice for someone who wants to get into the audio industry?
Really want it a lot. Network with many audio engineers. Ask a lot of questions. Listen more than talk. Know the language of music. Listen, listen, listen. Listen more. To everything.
Audio experts are often behind-the-scenes. Who are some audio professionals that you think people should know more about?
Tom Coyne - Mastering engineer at Sterling Sound NY. Top of his game at the moment.
Wes Dooley - 50 year career in audio. Ribbon Mic specialist. AES legend.
Mark Donahue - Engineer at Sound Mirror in Boston. A broad spectrum of knowledge in audio from mastering to audio equipment construction and repairs.
Manny Marrochin - Mix engineer over an unusually broad spectrum of genres. Very talented.
Bill Putnam (1920 – 1989) - father of modern recording as we know it.
Can you tell us about your upcoming audio projects?
Starting the g27 orchestral season with fresh ideas in the mix. Upcoming recording with one of my favourite performers William O'Meara, organ soloist. We will be recording a new disc at St. Georges in Kingston, Ontario. Working on a pop record with soprano Rebecca Whelan and new choral disc in early 2015. Also looking forward to finally launching a new radio broadcasting project.
Thank you Robert! 

Don't pass up this opportunity to meet our first Innovator in Residence specializing in audio production and the first Innovator at the Fort York Branch!