Recording Arts Grad Wins Daytime Emmy

Jake Allston was recently honored for his work on Tak and the Power of Juju

Recording Arts Grad Jake Allston Wins Daytime Emmy Recording Arts Grad Jake Allston Wins Daytime Emmy Jake Allston with his Emmy Award

Winning an Emmy is a huge moment for any artist, and the honor hasn’t been lost on Jake Allston, a 2006 Recording Arts graduate who recently received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing for a Live Action or Animated Television Show, for his work on the Nickelodeon series Tak and the Power of Juju.

Jake worked on the show at Los Angeles recording facility Advantage Audio, where he’s the Supervising Sound Editor, a position that has him creating the audio mixes for television series and film trailers. Tak was Jake’s first big project at Advantage, and being based on a video game, the unique characters and environments gave him the freedom to stretch his imagination and get creative with the sound design.

“You can just let yourself go with animation, and the show really felt like it was my own world,” he says. “I would watch the character’s movements, and put in the sounds to match them, then I’d play it all back and it would feel like it was living. I spent so much time on that show making sure that the audio was really unique, and it really felt like the universe that the director wanted. It was the coolest experience, and they said my work just blew them away.”

Jake was on the series throughout its 26-episode run, and while he knew he made a good impression with his bosses at the studio, the thought of his work being recognized by the industry was the furthest thing from his mind. Fast forward a few months after the show wrapped, and he got an unexpected call from a friend with the news that he’d been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award.

“I just went ballistic – who wouldn’t,” he says. “It’s so prestigious in so many people’s eyes. Just to be nominated, I already felt like I was a part of something so big, and no one could ever take that away from me. It was an unbelievable honor.”

The night of the ceremony was an even more surreal experience. Four months after the nominations were announced, Jake found himself sitting in the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, surrounded by the biggest names in television production. He waited nervously for his category to come up, then took out his cell phone and started filming himself as the nominees were listed – catching his changing expressions as his name was eventually announced as the winner.

“The look on my face was priceless,” he says. “Then I dropped my phone and just ran up there, passing by all these super talented people. When I got to the mic I said ‘I have no idea what I’m doing up here,’ and everyone just started laughing because they all knew how exciting it was for me. There were all these cameras flashing pictures – I’d never experienced anything like that before, and when I walked off the stage I was just shaking.”

In addition to boosting his confidence as a sound editor, the inspiration he got from the Emmy has also encouraged Jake to branch out into new areas of audio production, including a new line of microphones he’s been developing. His patented designs feature technology that gives singers the ability to activate vocal effects like distortion and auto-tune from their mics during a performance – a prototype for which he’s currently shopping around to different manufacturers.

“This is very important to me,” he says. “This will give the artist the ability to change things on the fly, and it will make the performance more creative. When you’re on stage there’s usually a mixer off stage who’s putting vocal effects on your voice at certain times during a song. They don’t have to do that anymore, the artists can do it by themselves whenever they want. I feel like the possibilities are truly endless with this idea, and I’m really excited to see how far it goes.”

Jake’s passion for his work is infectious, whether it’s mixing soundtracks at Advantage Audio, or the excitement he has for developing his mic technology. It’s that continuing fascination with producing great audio that he credits for his success, and keeps him focused on approaching each new project with the same drive he had when he first started on this career path.

“I made music with my brother when I was little, it was like my secret life at night,” he says. “I was just a high school kid, and I was always about being behind the board, and I’m still like that. I go into work, lock myself in the editing room for a few hours and get a segment done for broadcast the next day. And I love that, nothing makes me happier than when I’m sitting at my desk doing my thing. You can’t top that feeling for me.”

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