We had the good fortune of connecting with Sian McMullen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sian, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think taking risks is necessary to reaching your goals. I’m a firm believer that you cannot grow within your comfort zone, and without taking risks you won’t ever step out of that comfort zone. I’ve accepted many opportunities that I wasn’t 100% sure about and most of them have had great results, even if I was nervous at first. Oppositely, the risks that didn’t work out taught me important lessons and humbled me. Without believing in myself and taking chances I would have never grown.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Although I’m a recording engineer first, I also produce, mix, master, and write. It’s important to me to be well rounded and bring as much value as possible to my sessions. If someone doesn’t show up to a session, I’m able to fill in those gaps with my other skills even though I may only be expected to engineer. I’m also very invested in the engineer and producer community and offer consultations, lessons, raffles and giveaways to share the knowledge with anyone who may be interested in learning. I also make original sound packs from scratch that can be purchased on my website.

I’ve had to work very hard to get to where I’m at now. I’ve been making music since I was 13, went to college for recording arts at 18 but only started to see real success in my 20s. I used to live in San Diego and commute to LA to take sessions at Atlantic Records. Being able to finally move here two years ago was a big accomplishment, especially after having to drive two hours each way multiple times a week for almost two whole years. It definitely wasn’t fun or easy but it was what I needed to do to get to that next level in my career. Now I live 100% off my own freelance work and have full control over who I work with, what projects I work on, which studios I work out of, and what sessions I take. I’m proud that I’ve worked hard enough to earn the luxury of being selective in my work because it definitely hasn’t always been this way.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend were visiting we would just hit the studios I work out of or hang out at my place. Even before the pandemic, I didn’t go out that much unless a friend or client of mine was performing. I suppose if they wanted to do tourist stuff I would suggest the typical places like Venice Beach or the pier. But other than that we would just be in the studio -I don’t spend much time anywhere else.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family has been supportive of me working in music even when it was a hobby of mine as a young teenager. I feel extremely grateful to have such a solid and genuine support system, I definitely wouldn’t be here without them and wouldn’t be nearly as motivated without their continued love and support. So shoutout and thank you to mom, dad, my siblings, my grandparents, aunt and cousin for always believing in me and my dreams.

I’ve also been very lucky to have met some great studio communities here in LA that have been extremely helpful in my journey as an engineer. Huge shoutouts to my friends at Neighborhood Watche and Playback.LA for always being in my corner and providing awesome environments to create and learn in.

Website: sellfy.com/sianmcmullen

Instagram: @conductorsian

Twitter: @conductorsian

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCXtQbiYGMkw2XzPodoqJrDA

Image Credits
@AshleyHarrisCaptures @LosAngelesNomad @MilesInTheCut @Poe.Logan

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.