Recording Connection grad Hadley Alley talks Studio Management

Recently, a former member of Recording Connection’s team, Doug Boulware, realized his lifelong dream of opening his own recording studio. In what is probably the ultimate proof-positive that he remains a staunch believer in our hands-on approach, Doug brought on not one, but two graduates of the program–Hadley Alley and Jesse Rhodes. We recently caught up with Hadley to talk about the opening of The Abstract Recording Studios, located just outside of Los Angeles, in the city of Glendale, and to hear some of Hadley’s perspective as once-student and now Studio Manager of a Recording Connection mentor studio.
Partial construction is still underway and they’re anticipating the studio will be 100% operational in just a matter of weeks. Hadley says, “It’s decked out so we’re able to take on clients and students” but ultimately it’s just “one room out of the three we’re going to have.” Included in that number is a large live room where the team plans on hosting a nightly where artists can come together to foster relationships and share their music.

The Recording Connection apprentices at Abstract Recording are making the most of getting in on the ground level. In fact, the remix that Doug and Master’s level Recording Connection apprentice Scott “Addie” Wimbrow are currently tackling for rising star, rapper Dej Loaf, was brought in by Addie. And when actress and singer Brooke Sorenson, of Modern Family, recently recorded her cover of One Republic’s “Counting Stars” at the studio, Hadley says, apprentice William Crutchfield made the most of the opportunity and “stepped up to the plate and helped with the entire production/shoot of the video.” All that and William is only on Lesson 5 of the program!

As Studio Manager, Hadley’s role is geared towards keeping the studio running well and taking care of the day-to-day operations. So naturally, we were curious to know how this bonafide audiophile and DJ feels about the work he’s involved in. Answer: he knows his job is key to the ultimate success of the studio. He focuses on setting the stage so that the creative work can go on unfettered by phone calls, scheduling, etcetera. He says he makes sure “Doug knows exactly what he’s going to be working on each day and who’s going to be coming in” and has the mental space to focus on “the actual hands-on creative work production-wise.” Hadley continues, “I think that it’s absolutely essential to let the creative side worry about that and keep a level of organization so that everything just continues to move. It’s all just little gears of a clock, and I try as hard as I can not to throw a wrench in it.”

And even though he’s wearing the manager’s cap, Hadley sees his Recording Connection education as vital to the work he does every day. Without it, he says, “I wouldn’t even know what I was managing work-production wise.” Hadley’s also finding there’s plenty of creative work to go around. The build out of Abstract is being documented in a series of videos and much of the music to accompany the footage is being produced by Hadley.

So does Hadley have any parting words of advice for students who want to make the most of the program? Sure he does.

“The only advice I can really give is you have to make yourself available and you have to be tenacious. What I always tell people is [whether it’s] music, audio or film, any of the creative paths that one can take in their career, it’s never an easy out…Sometimes I feel like people think, ‘Oh, I’m just going to pick up a laptop and I’m going to be the next Skrillex and it’s not going to take any time. I’m just going to do it.’ But that’s not how it works. You really have to be very tenacious. You have to work at it every single day.”

Checkout Brooke Sorenson’s cover of “Counting Stars” by One Republic, shot on-location at The Abstract Recording Studios.


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