Andrew Carballeira

Assistant Professor

"I teach Principles of Music Acoustics, Applications of Acoustics, and Concepts of Mathematics. I really enjoy this huge spectrum of learners that I have. My acoustics class has to exist simultaneously as a general audience class for students who might not have had high school physics to students who have master's degrees in mechanical engineering. It's the task of the educator to keep everyone engaged and to be not the teacher but the facilitator. I really want the mechanical engineer to sit down with the great bass player who doesn't have that background, and I think I can create an environment wherein they both learn a lot from each other."

"I came to Berklee in 2000. I took this great course in acoustics with one of my mentors, Tony Hoover, and the firm that Tony worked at, Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, is where I really cut my teeth in acoustics. I got a great education on the job on what it takes to solve problems in sound and vibration. That's the fundamental goal of an acoustician. More fundamental than that is to engineer solutions to these problems before they occur. We want to be designers rather than redesigners. I got interested in a small niche—how does sound behave in control rooms—and built my own business to design spaces for the performing arts, Driftwood Audio. It's great to be a generalist so you can talk to everyone, but defining your own niche and saying I'm an expert in that has paid great dividends to me."

"My students get the most benefit from being directly involved in real-life examples. I like to start class with a narrative of what one of my clients brought to me recently. As acousticians, we exist at the intersection of art and science. As such, we have this great role to play as translators. We can take someone who says I want more air in this recording and translate that to an equalizer stetting where we boost 12,000 Hz by four decibels. I'm really trying to go from equations to word problems."

"Same thing in mathematics. Last week I said some of my clients pay through Payapal, because it's quick and easy. But they charge 3%, and if I want $1,000 in my bank account, how can I figure out what I should take out so that after that 3% I'll have $1000? So we just talk about how we can take everyday situations that are constantly arising in the corporation of one that is an independent musician. Because I kind of see musicians in 2011 as really being entire corporations composed of exactly one person. We have to do everything with music, whether that's promotion, playing the music, the business side of things, or transportation, so I'm really trying to help my students have a jump on things that they're going to have to deal with in operating their own business. My favorite example is when we talk about you're going to produce 500 CDs and you're going to spend this much money initially and you're going to sell them at this cost, how long will it take you to break even? Students get the most benefit from being involved in a real-world process as opposed to an abstract process."

 

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Plays Hammond organ, piano, and keyboard
  • Leader of Hothouse Jazz Group and Left Ear Trio
  • Member of the Acoustical Society of America, the Audio Engineering Society, and the Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Performances with Stacey Dillard, the Kubblebucket Afrobeat Orchestra, and Jeff Palmer
  • Recordings include Dream with Left Ear Trio