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August 2014
Issue: April 1, 2014

Careers: Splice's Troy Hermes

Troy Hermes 
Sound Designer/Mixer
Splice
Minneapolis, MN
www.splice.tv

I guess you could say my audio career began with the tolling of “Hells Bells.” When I was a kid, my Aunt Cynthia bought me a couple of cassettes for my ninth birthday. She had gotten wind that I had recently saved up and purchased my first tape, AC/DC’s “Back in Black," and knew that I was eager to build my music collection. 

She wanted to find a gift that “popped” and decided to off-set my heavy metal collection with a live double album of Julian Bream & John Williams playing classical guitar. Well, after I got over the initial disappointment that gifts of classical music bring to most ordinary eight- and nine-year olds, I grew to love it and eventually started playing classical guitar myself. We had an old Yamaha nylon string guitar hanging around, which served as my main "ax" until my parents took pity on me and sprung for a banged up SG replica and a Peavey amp. I'm pretty sure they regretted letting their son "go electric" the first time they heard me play "You Shook Me All Night Long" well after bedtime.

We moved quite few times as a child; and I learned to make friends through music. A few other kids and I put together something we imagined to be a band. I think we called ourselves Maiden’s Revenge… though some might have thought it was "Montezuma" who sought retribution. I played keyboards, guitar and sang, but calling my pre-pubescent yodelling “singing” doesn’t seem right, especially since we were doing Iron Maiden, Ozzy & Ratt covers. But, as I grew older, other things became more important: Girls, sports, college.
 
It wasn’t until I dropped out of grad school that I decided to re-evaluate my life and career to find out what I loved and what I could see myself doing as an occupation. By this point, I was 25 and completely broke. I’d had a few unfulfilling jobs and I knew that an office job wasn’t for me. Thankfully, I had a friend who was an up-and-coming audio engineer in Miami and he helped me land a gig as an assistant engineer. I already had a background in music and then I started to read every book and article I could find on audio engineering. 

It was a great job, but I ended up moving to London and there I became involved in doing location sound as well as studio work. Eventually, I began freelancing with NBC’s London bureau as a sound recordist, and wound up traveling to war zones as a member of their news crew for most of 2002 and 2003. Ultimately, after spending a hot, intense stretch filming in Iraq at the height of summer, I decided that I was probably better suited for studio work.

Over the course of the past 12 years, since I began working solely in audio post production, I've been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with super folks on projects that have been viewed/heard by millions of people in the US and abroad. Now I'm happy to say that I've returned from a brief (but much warranted) hiatus in Alaska, which I spent hiking, fly fishing and working remotely for clients in the lower 48, and have landed a great new position at Splice in Minneapolis. 

The future is always bright, and I'm looking forward to collaborating with everyone here on many fun, interesting and challenging projects in the future. And remember, rock 'n roll ain't noise pollution!