One definition of an Audio Engineer is someone who works on the recording, manipulating the record using equalization and electronic effects, mixing, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound. The audio engineer, according to Wikipedia, is also known as a recording engineer or a vocal engineer. Mateo Barragan, the Ecuadorian born audio engineer, is all those things and more.
He started out in his native Ecuador as a classical guitarist and then later took up the saxophone. His sense of musical sound perfection brought him into the world of audio engineering and music production and he immersed himself in the study of sound engineering at the university San Francisco of Quito. Of course, he regularly played in a very popular Quito band while he studied audio engineering and he even made time to play saxophone with the band El Extraño at one of Ecuador’s largest music festivals, Quitofest.
Mateo finished up his audio engineering studies in the United States and moved to Los Angeles to work in the music industry. He has worked with some very well known industry professionals such as composer Ruy Folguera, Grammy Award winning engineer/producer Gustavo Borner, English composer Fil Eisler and Mexican superstar Vicente Fernandez, whose album Un Azteca en el Azteca” won a Grammy for Best Regional Mexican Music Album, in which Mateo was the digital engineer.
In Los Angeles, Mateo has worked as stage engineer, digital engineer, score technical engineer, and he is currently working for Sofar Sounds as Audio Manager and Lead Sudio Engineer. Sofar Sounds is an organization that started in London and that is now present on more than 400 cities around the World, being LA one of the three major cities, with NY and London. Sofar Sounds organizes private and intimate concerts all over the city and is aimed for true music lovers.
Mateo is currently working with SPARS (Society of Professional Audio Recording Services) a non-profit that mentors younger less experienced engineers and producers with those people that have been in the industry for a longer period of time, creating and developing educational videos, mentoring sessions and interviews.
Some of the engineers and producers that have been taking part of this include: Barry Rudolph(Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart), Greg Wurth(Steve Vai, MacAlpine, Tracii Guns) and Robert Margouleff ( Stevie Wonder, Depeche Mode,Isley Brothers).