F18-EX 4: Don Ross Productions


People may think talent comes natural or a blown up youtube video. Well thats not quite true especially from a man who has a lot of success from playing in multiple bands. “Talent is not always a substitute for competency” said Don Ross.  Thirty years of true success come from mindfully adapting to what we aren’t afraid of trying out.

Don Ross began working with digital audio work ( also known as D.A.W) since he was 28 years old. When Don began attending the University of a Oregon he planned to pursue political science and attend Law school, however he came to realize he wanted to walk his path of passion in music. Strolling patient, and humbly he came across bands with commitment to get somewhere. One of his most recognizable bands he was in was “Classical Gas” an Oregon gold record winning band. Having being involved with bands branched his connections  with sound engineers doing some small things in audio production in 1988. Pro tools had not existed during this a time making audio recording more difficult. Don himself described the evolution of audio workstations. Before he a had record on record tapes because a audio would get lost and is not secured like today. Getting used to new technology was also a joy for Don he would talk about how it can be a frustrating in the beginning but In the end its a masterpiece.

Don has always been patient with his work which I noted most because having a particular work method is key to sound engineering. His work setting is very quiet allowing great acoustics within the room he is able to hear his work perfectly clear and colorful. Every sound panel is pure muscle memory watching him work on projects while meeting deadlines. His structure is to always have projects done a day before the due date. This allows him to revise audio sequences thoroughly.

Music tends to be like a tree to Don. One must be wiling to grow new branches and explore what they may be like. I asked Mr.Ross what does he like to listen more of ? but there is not one in particular because as a sound engineer you have to be open to what clients are looking for. I personally figured he likes more blues and country just because it was discussed more. Another part of that question I asked him was what tune or note has made you feel like this is true music talent? He responded by saying it’s a lot abut alignment. Finding a pattern with the lyrics and the message being delivered in the song. Don does not like high pitch voices or sound because they tend to intervene sometimes. Now this does not mean he doesn’t like a higher notes in music all the time, he prefers to hear the color in music. Instruments that don specializes in is guitar, bass and working with sound boards he can play some keyboard.

Don has been an astonishing asset to music mentoring young musicians and really satisfying clients in his own production studio. One of his most amazing clients we discussed of was Octavio  Solis hispanic playwright who also voiced in the movie “Coco.” having clients in Pixar, Netflix, Warner Bros,  and Fox! are outstanding clients Don has worked with. Don has demonstrated that dedication and humble commitment achieve success.


1 thought on “F18-EX 4: Don Ross Productions

  1. Alison

    I like how the overall tone of this interview is really hopeful and focused on personal growth as well as including the technical side of things. Inspirational!


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