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2012 Grad Joe Visciano Wins 2 Grammys For Work On Beck’s Morning Phase

The 57th annual Grammy awards on February 8th, 2015 was a big night for 2012 NESCom Audio Engineering alum Joe Visciano. Following a nomination in both the Album of the Year and Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) categories for Beck’s album Morning Phase, Visciano ended the night with two wins.

The ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Beck – Morning Phase
Beck Hansen, producer; Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Florian Lagatta, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano, engineers/mixers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer
Label: Capitol Records

Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Florian Lagatta, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Beck)
Label: Capitol Records

Since graduating from the New England School of Communications in 2012, Visciano has worked with artists including Beck, Mark Ronson, Coldplay, and U2, who dubbed him “Classy” Joe Visciano.

Joe Visciano
L-R: Robbie Nelson, Florian Lagatta, Darrell Thorp, Joe Visciano (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

A busy week finds rehearsals, presentations, workshops and upgrades at NESCom

Over the past week NESCom played host to everything from equipment upgrades to a world-renowned audio engineer to award-winning writers and directors. Here is a brief sampling of what a busy week at NESCom looks like.
We welcomed Hitachi technicians into our video production studio.  Emilio Aleman and Chee Liew were here to update our fleet of mobile unit and studio video cams with new components, enhancements and software. This is part of the great service that our partners like Hitachi, provide to us. By staying ahead of the curve, our students gain access to the latest Hitachi ideas and are better prepared for their careers. IMG_2646_sm IMG_2648_sm On another stop, a roving photographer caught the practice of two Husson teams on a great sunny day.  Below you’ll see some of the Eagles preparing for their next competitions. lacrosse1_sm lacrosse2_sm In the category of “you-never- know-what-to-expect-at-NESCom”, we received a call from the producers asking us to do a quick ADR session with one of the actors of USA Network’s Graceland. It so happens that Brendan Powers, who plays the role of Agennt Cranston on Graceland, was in Bangor performing in Penobscot Theater’s production of “Our Town” running from April 24 through May 11. IMG_2657_sm The cast for “Putnam County Spelling Bee” (May 2,3 &4) was in rehearsal in the Gracie’s Black Box Theater, which resulted in a few pics. IMG_2727_sm IMG_2685_sm A late night stop by the Gracie itself found the semi-finals of “Husson’s Got Talent” in full swing.  The new woofers from Meyer Sound really pump up the low end! Husson’s Got Talent is an annual campus competition that has grown to be quite a big event. IMG_2687_sm IMG_2692_smThursday night in the Gracie Theater, the NESCom chapter of the Audio Engineering Society welcomed world-class mastering engineer Bob Ludwig for a presentation. Ludwig owns Gateway Mastering in Portland, Maine and has mastered countless classic albums and modern hits like Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. BobLudwig Finally, on Friday, NESCom partnered with the Maine Film Office and the Maine Video & Film Association to host a filmmaking workshop with the award winning writing/directing team of alumnus Aron Gaudet (’96) and Gita Pullapilly. Their latest film, Beneath The Harvest Sky, was filmed in Maine and had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its US premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. aron_sm

Workshop with “Beneath The Harvest Sky” Filmmakers Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly

Gita Pullapilly & Aron Gaudet

Gita Pullapilly & Aron Gaudet
Photo By: Shane Leonard

On Friday, April 25th in Kominsky Hall at Husson University, NESCom presents in partnership with the Maine Film Office and the Maine Video & Film AssociationAward-winning filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly. From 3 to 5pm they will share their experiences as Maine-based artists and their innovative process of successfully making documentary and narrative films in the state of Maine. Their new feature film, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its US premiere will be at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film was acquired for release by Tribeca Films. Gaudet and Pullapilly were also chosen for Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” list and signed by the talent agency, UTA.

Gaudet and Pullapilly also made the Emmy-nominated documentary feature, THE WAY WE GET BY, on the Maine Troop Greeters of Bangor, Maine. The film won 18 festival awards, played in over 60 theaters across the country, and aired on the critically acclaimed PBS program POV in 2009 and 2010.

Gaudet and Pullapilly will share their experiences in the research and writing, pre-production, production, and post-production process as well as their strategies for marketing and releasing BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY nationwide. In the past, they have spoken on panels for Film Independent in Los Angeles, IFP in New York City, Silverdocs in Washington D.C., the Toronto International Film Festival, and traveled to Australia to be film mentors for the HIVE LABS.

Following the event, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY will screen at the Bangor Mall Cinemas, for the Maine premiere, where there will be a live performance from film composer/musician Dustin Hamman and the filmmakers will take part in a Q&A following each of the evening screenings.

For a complimentary ticket to the Maine premiere in Bangor on April 25, please RSVP:

The workshop in Kominsky Auditorium is free and open to the public.

Kominsky Auditorium at Husson University

Kominsky Auditorium at Husson University

NESCom Grads Working At Winter Olympics In Sochi

New England School of Communications (NESCom) graduates Brandon Gassett (’09) and Keith Bickford (’10) are at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia working for EVS, a company that provides instant replay capabilities for live sporting events. The two graduates are helping to supply NBC and their broadcast affiliates throughout the world with world-class televised sports coverage of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games.

Keith Bickford at Sochi Olympics

Keith Bickford at Sochi Olympics

Brandon Gassett at Sochi Olympics

Brandon Gassett at Sochi Olympics

EVS has a system that records all media to a server and then manages the media/metadata. Professionals then have the opportunity to edit the content directly off their server, send it to a third party editing applications or play the content on air. The EVS system is being used at the IBC (International Broadcast Center).

“NESCom’s ability to train students on the EVS system and help students get
internships at EVS, resulted in them receiving full time positions,” said Ben Haskell, Executive Vice President and Academic Dean at the New England School of Communications. “Their ability to contribute to large scale professional productions, like the Olympics, is a tribute to the educational quality available to students through NESCom.”

The NESCom graduates arrived in Sochi three weeks before the opening ceremony to configure the systems. While the games are underway, their responsibility is to monitor the system and make sure it runs without any issues.

In addition to Gassett and Bickford, Nick Barrows (’12) is in NBC’s new sports broadcast center overseeing the EVS operation for the Winter Olympics.

All three graduates studied video production while at NESCom. NESCom’s Mobile Production Unit prepared them for this prominent international sporting event by giving them professional grade experiences in the functional, operational and technical aspects of live production.

Aron Gaudet (’96) Recognized As Director To Watch By Variety

Variety has named NESCom alum Aron Gaudet and his wife/partner Gita Pullapilly as one of this year’s 10 directors to watch.

The latest project from Gaudet and Pullapilly is the film Beneath The Harvest Sky, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

2006 Audio Engineering Alum Bret Johnson Wins First Emmy

Congratulations to 2006 alum Bret Johnson on his first Emmy; Outstanding Sound mixing for non-fiction programming for his work as Sound Re-Recordist for History Of The Eagles. The Emmy was awarded at yesterday’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.

l-r: Elliot Scheiner (Music Mixer), Tom Fleischman (Re-Recording Mixer), Bret Johnson (Sound Re-Recordist).
Photo credit: Invision/AP

Alumni Check In: Stephen Wells – Nashville Event Lighting

NESCom loves to hear from graduates. Here, we catch up with 2013 Entertainment Production graduate Stephen Wells. Since earning his degree from NESCom, he has traveled to Nashville, TN where he is now Director of Productions for Nashville Event Lighting.

I hope your summers are going well.  I had a few minutes this morning,  so I figured I would give you an update.


I came down to Nashville in May with the plan of finding a job when I got down here and having all the details fall into place, like finding an apartment etc., just winging it; risky I know, but I was willing to take the challenge. I am now the director of productions for Nashville Event Lighting and loving every minute of it. That shows you that NESCom students graduate knowing what to do with their degree, they know how to be confident and show to their employers they are the best of the best – Thank you NESCom.


Stephen Wells ('13) having some fun in the NEL warehouse.

Stephen Wells (’13) having some fun in the NEL warehouse.

As Director of Productions, I am in charge of managing the crew hands and crew chiefs, and creating the schedules. I have a crew of thirty people and  I meet with the crew chiefs every week to go over the upcoming jobs.  I am also in charge of training and making sure everyone on the crew knows what to do when they are at the shop and out on a job setting up the equipment.  I also do production work and meet with sales to make sure everything they design is viable and will work for each venue.  Sometimes I go to venue visits to make sure the power is sufficient enough. I also make surprise visits to most of the jobs to make sure the client is happy and the crew is doing what they are doing. And it’s not all office work, there are plenty of jobs during the week that I can go to and set up for, which is fun, I can get down and dirty and meet with all the clients on the job sites, putting a smile on their faces making their special day even more special!


Nashville Event Lighting may be a small company but we put 110% into each event that we do, making it the best of the best and that is what we are known for and that’s what is most important. I am truly happy and so glad I attended NESCom and decided to make the leap to come down to Nashville, which I can now and proudly call my home.


Keep up the hard work and I look forward to visiting you all soon!


Stephen Wells
Director of Productions
Nashville Event Lighting

We are always happy to hear from alum. If you’d like to send us an update, email Alumni Director Mark Nason

Indie ‘Potato’ cooks up promo deal with Blue Potato film (via Variety)

Read about the newly announced marketing deal between Terra Chips and the independent film Blue Potato which was written and directed by 1996 alumnus Aron Gaudet and his wife Gita Pullapilly.

Indie ‘Potato’ cooks up promo deal | Variety.

To learn more about Blue Potato and read the film’s production blog, visit

Video production grads go for the “EVS gold” at the 2012 London Olympics


Before the world-televised events, before the opening ceremonies, even before the athletes arrived in London, graduates of the New England School of Communications were there getting ready to make sure the world sees it all. NESCom graduates Brandon Gassett (’09) and Keith Bickford (’10)  are all ready for the 2012 Summer Olympics with their positions at EVS. Here, Rodney Verrill, Director of the Video Production Department at NESCom chats with Brandon Gassett about his work in London and his work with EVS since graduating from NESCom.

Verrill: For those who might not be familiar with EVS, what does the company do and where is it based out of?

Gassett: EVS is known for it’s Instant Replay at Live Sporting events. Over the years EVS has grown its product line and offers a variety of options other than instant replay. We facilitate customers who want a tapeless workflow. This would include a system that records all media to a server, manages the media/metadata, edits it directly off our server, or send it to a third party editing application and also play media out to air. EVS’s main Head Quarter’s is located in Belgium amongst other offices spread out around the world. I am located in NJ, which is the North America’s Head Quarters.

Verrill: How did you find yourself working at EVS and where had this job taken you?

Gassett: I got the EVS job through my work at NESCom. I have been at EVS for about two years and have traveled to more places then I have in my entire life. I have made multiple trips to Belgium. I spent 6 weeks in Germany last summer for ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s World Cup.

EDITORS NOTE: In addition, Brandon has worked with the following programs and events through his work with EVS: US Open Tennis, The Late Show, The Ellen Show, Big Brother, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, MTV Studios NY, NBC Super Bowl Support at facility and the NFL on CBS.

Brandon Gassett at work during the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup

Verrill: During your time in London, what is your title in your involvement with the Summer Olympics?

Gassett: My title for the Summer Olympics is Technical Support. My involvement is to configure the EVS system that will be used at the IBC (International Broadcast Center). Myself and another colleague arrived in London 3 weeks before the opening ceremony to configure the system. While the games are going on, my responsibility, amongst a few other colleagues, will be to monitor the system and make sure it runs with out any issues. I will also be performing small trainings and answer any questions that the operators may have.

Verrill: What are you doing in London? (duties, job description)

Gassett: I will be in London working for NBC. Configuring the system, training people how to use the system and then monitoring the system through out the entire event.

Verrill: What happens behind the scenes that the viewers usually don’t see or hear?

Gassett: The viewers don’t see how much work and people it takes to put an event like this together. Viewers only see what is on air, they don’t see the 24/7 hour operation behind that. Editors and producers working shifts in order to provide the best coverage as possible. At times, we will be removing a couple pieces from our Database and pointing them to a database at a venue. This will allow the operations to connect into the venue and view the media on there entire system. They will then be able to initiate a file transfer back to the IBC. At the IBC we have 14 XT3 Servers, 1 XS Server, 13 IP Directors, 12 XTAccess PC’s and two redundant Database Servers. NBC’s facility will also have connections for file transfers back to the US.

Verrill: You also, visited the USA Olympic Training Center before heading to London. What was that like?

Gassett: I went to the facility to set up a miniature system to replicate the workflows we will be doing for the actual events. It was a good experience to see what we would be dealing with before arriving in London.

Verrill: With all that you’re doing now at EVS, did NESCom prepare you to work in that field?

Gassett: NESCom prepared me to work in the Live Production market. At EVS I deal with Mobile Production units on a daily basis. NESCom’s Mobile Unit prepared me by showing me how the Live world operated, operationally and technically.


For more information on EVS, visit:

NESCom alumnus works to build recording studio in Zambia one SM57 at a time


Justin Baker, a 2007 alumnus of the Audio Engineering department at the New England School of Communications has embarked on a mission that will culminate with a new studio built in Choma, Zambia. As this audio engineer works towards a goal that will bring audio to another part of the world, we catch up with him to talk about the Choma 57 project.

NESCom: Can you explain the Choma 57 project?

Baker: Choma 57 is a major fundraising mission to build a recording studio in Choma, Zambia.  It will be affiliated with the Choma Academy of Music. This studio is needed for these people on several levels.

NESCom: How so?

Baker: First, music is everywhere in Zambia. It’s the hope for people who are surrounded by situations that say there is no hope. The severity of the issues these people face are like nothing most of us have ever seen. Poverty, lack of clean water, sex trafficking, children orphaned due to Aids. Music is an escape and a source of hope. The Academy of Music in Choma was established to combat these problems and is now teaching over 200 students. We need to capture this. A recording studio can aid in the teaching of these students, can allow the students to share their music, and can spread this hope to other areas of Africa and around the world.

Second, operating a recording studio in an area filled with music that doesn’t have recording capabilities is an instant success. There is opportunity to literally feed families with what would be a very insignificant studio in the U.S.

NESCom: So how do you plan on raising the necessary funds for the studio?

Baker: Our efforts to raise the funds to build this studio are focused on selling a special edition Shure SM57. The SM57 is a legendary microphone. It’s inexpensive, extremely durable, very versatile, and has been almost unchanged for decades. We hope that it will attract musicians and audio engineers from around the world to support this project.

NESCom:Where did the idea originate from?

Baker: I was in a meeting with some friends of mine about the potential opportunity to travel to Zambia in an effort to assist with an orphanage there. I was asked prior to this meeting if I would be interested in going along with the team for the specific purpose of building a studio there. I was intrigued by the idea, but I wasn’t really sure how building a studio addressed the needs of these people or how any of us were going to raise the funds to make it happen.

I sat through the meeting and as I was hearing the stories from others have had just recently returned about how life-changing the trip was, I knew I needed to make this happen. I needed to find a way to raise the money to get there and serve these people in ways I can’t serve people here. I knew that musician and other engineers that I have met over the years were the people I needed to reach out to for help.

NESCom: but why the Shure SM57?

Baker: I have been fortunate enough to have worked in several different areas of the audio industry. Live sound, studio sound, consulting, studio design, etc. There was one item that kept coming to mind that I have used in every position I have ever held as an audio engineer: the SM57. There is nothing that bridges the gap between all of the different people I have worked with like the 57. While I was sitting through that meeting and I knew that I needed to go, I began to think about the financial side of the project. Building a commemorative edition SM57 was what came to mind. The moment the idea came, I knew it was just a matter of the details at that point.

Watch the  Chroma 57 project video

NESCom: Who else is involved in the project?

Baker: My full time gig now is at Crosswinds (Crosswinds Wesleyan Church where he works as Technical Director). We are a church in the Rochester area that partners with both the orphanage and the music academy. Poetice International is the organization that we work closely with in order to plan and execute our efforts with the local Zambians.

NESCom: How does the purchase of a Chroma 57 help the cause?

Baker: The lowest price a dealer is allow to advertise an SM57 for is $99.00. The reality is, you can but them at most music stores for about $85. We are selling these special edition SM57s for $120.00. I bring that up, only to say that I am aware that you can buy a 57 for less just about anywhere. Buying a Choma 57 though, has the capability of literally transforming lives by providing a new industry, economic opportunities, and music education for hundreds of Zambians. 100% of the funds we raise from the project will go to the studio and the Academy of Music.

NESCom: What involvement, if any, has Shure had with the project? 

Baker: Shure has basically walked along side of us in preparing what needs to happen for us to be sure that we are not breaking any rules. They have helped up to understand what we can do with their product that they have perfected and what we can’t do. We remain in conversation still about how Shure can help with some of the equipment needs at the studio.

Choma SM57s

Customized Choma 57 Shure SM57s

NESCom: The story is so interesting and takes you so far away from your beginnings. How have you gone from NESCom’s Audio Engineering department to trying to build a studio in Zambia?

Baker: It’s been a long road that has flown by. As with everything in the communications field, it’s all about the relationships you build. The relationships I have made with people all over the U.S. has shaped where I want to go and who I want to head down the road with. It’s amazing how much you can discover about yourself through other people outside of your cultural context. The initial phase of this project is very time sensitive and the we would really appreciate the support of audio students considering the purchase of a Choma SM57.

For more information on the Choma 57 project, visit