Jarad Clement, a 2009 graduate of SAE Institute Nashville’s Audio Technology Program, has been promoted to the position of Head Engineer at the world-renowned Tracking Room Studio in Nashville, TN.
During his first semester at SAE in 2008, Clement began an internship at The Tracking Room. At first, Clement worked primarily on graphics design projects, which was a skill that he had developed as a high school student. Clement soon transitioned to engineering, and along the way, contributed his talents to projects by a variety of top artists who recorded at the studio, including Billy Joel, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith, Dailey and Vincent, and Martina McBride.
“The Tracking Room opportunity was made possible by SAE Nashville’s excellent career services team,” says Clement. “The school’s curriculum and great faculty gave me the tools that I needed to succeed.”
A native of Destrehan, Louisiana, Clement was influenced by his musical family: his father was a professional trumpeter who toured internationally, and his uncle Paul Clement was the original bassist for MCA Records recording artists Cowboy Mouth, a critically acclaimed roots rock band. After graduating from Destrehan High School in 2007 and interning at famed New Orleans recording studio The Music Shed, Clement decided to pursue an education in audio engineering.
“The folks at Music Shed recommended that I take a look at SAE’s Nashville school,” says Clement. “On the campus tour, I met Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer, engineer, recording artist, and SAE Audio Technology Program co-chair Alan Shacklock in the school’s SSL room, and he was soloing faders on a multi-track mix. I knew at that moment that I wanted to be part of that environment.”
General Manager of The Tracking Room Alan Cartee says that Jarad’s knowledge and incredible work ethic make him an asset to the company.
“The clients love his ideas and talents, and I can’t say enough about how happy we are with the excellent results that he consistently delivers,” says Cartee. “He is most definitely the guy.”
As far as advice for SAE students is concerned, Clement recommends total immersion.
“To build your career after graduation, you have to completely live and breathe audio engineering – or else you won’t make it,” says Clement, who does freelance videography and graphics design when he’s not in the studio at The Tracking Room.
“It’s also important to make friendly connections with everyone, especially the session musicians who you meet. Most of them have home studios, and they frequently need help recording or doing overdubs. Also, get to know songwriters, arrangers, the cartage guys, the piano tuner – pretty much everyone. Making contacts, getting yourself known, and being easy to work with will really help your job search and career.”