News Briefs
Shane Patterson
Shane Patterson is a professor in OCC's Sound Recording degree program. His work on a new album as a sound engineer is part of a 2022 Grammy nomination.

Professor Shane Patterson’s childhood fascination with old music equipment led him to a dream career and a role in a Grammy-nominated album. “My parents were in a band before I was around. Growing up I would tinker with their old sound gear. I did a lot of learning by plugging things into other things and seeing what happened.”

Today, at age 22, Patterson is a Professor in Onondaga Community College’s Sound Recording degree program. And an album for a musical titled “Some Lovers” which Patterson worked on as an audio engineer was recently nominated for a Grammy Award. "I've been obsessed with this world forever and it's great I've been able to pursue this dream. It can be really challenging to break into the industry. You have to be prepared, be a little lucky, and be in the right place at the right time. Hopefully the trajectory keeps going in a good direction for me.”

Patterson grew up in Baldwinsville in the same neighborhood as Todd Hobin. He was a well-known local musician in Central New York before he transitioned into a successful career as a music producer, and writer, producer, and director of radio and television commercials. “He had a studio around the corner from my house. His son Brett told me I could come around any time and check out what they do. I was there as much as I could be. I would get my friends together and record things and kept getting deeper into it and annoyed people until they let me sit in on their sessions so I could absorb all I could."

Patterson graduated from Baldwinsville High School in 2017. During that summer he produced his first album for a local artist. It included 10 songs and proved to be a great learning experience.

In the fall he enrolled at New York University where he majored in Music Technology. During his junior year he became active in the New York City recording scene, spending as much time in recording studios as possible. Unfortunately Covid arrived on the scene two years ago. He would spend his final semester taking classes remotely from his parents home in Baldwinsville before graduating in December 2020.

Patterson began teaching at OCC in the fall 2021 semester. Outside class he continued working as a sound engineer, filling his calendar with opportunities as often as possible. His work which is part of the Grammy nomination was actually done in Syracuse at the Subcat Studios next to Armory Square. Actress and singer Auli’i Cravalho was in town working on a musical at American High in Liverpool when she got word she needed to record vocals for an album. Cravalho was the voice of Moana in the 2016 Disney animated movie, "Moana". She would need to go to Subcat Sudios where Patterson would work as the tracking engineer for the recording. He was in charge of getting together all of the technology and oversee the engineering needed to capture the performance. The tracking engineer has the ultimate responsibility in the recording process. “In that role I have virtually unlimited power to mess everything up. If you mess things up in the tracking phase, the recordings aren’t good. There’s nothing that can be done about it.”

During Cravalho’s recording session at Subcat Studios, the record producers were participating remotely from far away places. They could hear her singing and speak directly with her, commenting on each take until they got the finished product they were looking for. Patterson’s work as tracking engineer on her vocals led to him being part of the Grammy nomination. The winners will be announced April 3.

When Patterson comes to campus he enjoys sharing his passion and expertise with OCC students. Last summer he worked tirelessly with fellow Professor Tony Vadala to plan content for the Sound Recording degree program. He also stayed in touch with classmates from NYU to get their feedback on what students here would be learning. “I sent them our curriculum, talked about what we were doing, and our class order. I had some say 'I wish we were in that program.' We're setting our students up to understand how things are done and give them every opportunity for success.”

Onondaga Community College
Baldwinsville High School