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API's Visionary Scholarship Winner: Gibran Sponchiado

Eight years ago API made the conscious decision to give back to the audio community. Although the company contributes to the industry in many ways, the annual API Visionary Scholarship has been getting increasing attention as the awards continue to flow. Students must be enrolled and continuing to attend an institute of higher education that features a 1608, Vision, Legacy or Legacy Plus console in their program's studio. This year we were able to acknowledge these up-and-coming producers and engineers with awards towards their school tuitions. Now that the new school year is about to begin, we wanted to share a little more about each of the winners with you.

Gibran Sponchiado is a Masters student in his third year at Middle Tennessee State University. He is currently enrolled in the Recording Arts and Technology program at MTSU, where an API Vision console is available to students. After finishing school, Sponchiado plans to be very busy as a professional producer and audio engineer, to teach at the undergraduate level and to own a recording studio in partnership with friends.

"One Kiss at a Time", Sponchiado's winning submission to the scholarship, was recorded as part of his Production classes. "I was the producer and co-engineer with Paula Hernandez. I mixed the final version later in my home studio. As a producer, I went through arranging, instrumentation, finding musicians, and coaching everything the musicians recorded. I also played keys. The recording process was made with a tracking session (drums, scratch guitars, keys and vocal) at MTSU's Studio B followed by several overdubs in various locations. The entire production took about two months of work. I remixed the song in 2015 after taking an Advanced Mixing Seminar; the improvements from the original mix are noticeable."

Even when he's not at school, Sponchiado says he is a "proud user of API gear. I normally use API preamps, EQ's, and compressors in my sessions. They add nice warmth to the sound and are normally very smooth. I have found those characteristics to be quite musical. I tell that to anyone who asks me about gear."

2016's Visionary Scholarship will open for submissions on January 1st, 2016. Submissions will be accepted until April 1st, 2016, and winners will be announced by June 30th, 2016.