WCC 014: John McClain

WCC 014: John McClain

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John McClain is the owner and lead sound designer for The Dog and Pony Show, a boutique audio house in Las Vegas, Nevada. They specialize in creative audio for all media but tend to work heavily in sound design, composition and mixing for long form and indie film. He was the recording engineer on George Carlin’s “More Napalm and Silly Putty” which won a Grammy in 2001 and they’ve recently been nominated for a regional Emmy for a TV series they mix called Outdoor Nevada.


Show Notes:

  • John started as a post audio engineer in the 1980s in Detroit working on car commercials
  • He’s been working in Las Vegas for the last 20 years for clients including MGM resorts.
  • More and more of John’s time is spent networking and chasing leads as competition in his industry increases.
  • The key to building a client base is to find common ground and establish a relationship.
  • He performs as the lead in Paul Sating’s first season of Subject: Found. He will have a role in season 2, and will be doing sound design for it.
  • They were nominated for a Parsec award.
  • He’s also appeared on an episode of John Grills’s podcast Creepy.
  • John prefers recording his own sound to using prerecorded audio.
  • If you want to start doing your own sound, just get a recorder and start recording sound. Pay more attention. Try and emulate high quality work.
  • Include sound in a soundscape as it serves the story.
  • It’s the subtle details that draw you into the story.
  • Gimlet’s Homecoming is an audiodrama that impressed John with its sound design.
  • Quality is only half the work; you have to market yourself. Set aside time to do so.
  • If you want to commission work from Dog and Pony Show, contact them through the website
  • They do foley, they do sound design for independent movies. Use them to outsource some of your production to focus on other aspects of your production.
  • Complex sound design is an untapped niche in the audiobook world, especially when it comes to childrens’ books.
  • John recommends the Sure MV88 microphone. (Affiliate link)
  • Always have your actors record at the highest resolution: 28 bit 48k

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