As a sound designer at iZotope, Rachel Alix is directly responsible for creating and refining some of the most widely-used audio tools in the industry. Here she discusses the important role that she plays at the company, along with some cool new products and features on the horizon...
Having consistently been included in various ‘Top Places to Work’ lists in recent years, it’s no surprise to discover that Alix’ favourite thing about working at iZotope is the people. Yet it wasn’t this factor that drew her to the company in the first place. A budding musician and songwriter in her teens, Alix quickly developed an intense interest in the recording process, eventually taking that passion to Berklee College of Music where she studied contemporary writing and production.
“Through that time, I was performing a lot and getting involved in the electronic music scene at Berklee, which led me to wanting to make the tools for people like me, particularly live vocal production tools,” she recalls. “That’s how I found iZotope - I started as a customer care agent, and got an opportunity to play at a company party really early on.”
Hitting the ground running opened up a world of opportunity at the company:
“I got to do the marquee video for VocalSynth 2, along with a whole bunch of company songs and videos that were played at company meetings,” she adds. “I eventually ended up on a project with Kimbra [a popular New Zealand singer-songwriter] where I mixed one of her songs and talked through the production process with her. That was really cool, and that essentially landed me in sound design.”
I proceed to ask Alix what her role as a sound designer entails working for an industry leader in music production software:
“As a broad description, any sound that the customer can make out of one of our products is something that has been fine tuned by the sound design department,” she explains. “Anything from the presets you’re hearing to the knob that turns your reverb up - we checked every parameter on that knob to make sure it sounded good and had a use case. We’re the ears that hear the product first, and make sure it sounds good before users get to play with it.”