Mark Wessel is an associate professor in the Music Production and Engineering department at Berklee College of Music, where he has taught audio engineering and production techniques since 1996. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Emerson College, Wessel worked as a staff engineer at Blue Jay Recording Studio for many years and is now an independent recording and mix engineer.
With more than 20 years of experience in records, films, and television scores, his credits include numerous label projects, including Sony, Narada, MCA, Rounder, RCA Victor, Gramavision, Sire, BMG, American Gramaphone, CBS, and Flying Fish, as well as projects for Miramax Films, WGBH, National Public Radio, Paramount Pictures, and various independent records and films.
"I want students to come away from my classes knowing how to listen critically. It’s about being able to listen to a finished CD and figure out what’s right about it, what’s wrong about it; being able to listen to raw tracks and figure out what needs to be done to get the mix done coherently; or being able to hear a performance out in the live room and know how to capture that best while at the same time knowing how to make the musicians feel comfortable."
"The foundation of the MP&E program at Berklee is musical as opposed to technical. The focus first and foremost is the song and the production. The knob twisting and button pushing is always contextualized. Most of our engineering classes serve production classes. Students in the production classes 'hire' engineers from the engineering classes. It mimics the real world in that way."
"All of our students come in being proficient in an instrument. Many of them are singer-songwriters, so performing is their focus and they want to do MP&E to learn more about how to make a record as an artist. They don’t necessarily want to be an engineer, but they want to learn the language and the protocol that goes into making a record. They’re great students to have, because they bring something different than people who are just interested in engineering."
"Working in recording studios, it’s a culture of apprenticeship and moving up through the ranks. I try to incorporate that culture into the classroom. I put them into the position of being the engineer, the assistant engineer, a runner, or the producer during in-class sessions. I’m trying to set up real-world scenarios."