About Vanguard Sound
Vanguard Sound is a home/project studio based in San Diego, California. The studio is ran by the band’s drummer, Jesus Dominguez, & offers pre-production, recording, mixing (in-house & online), producing, & sound design services.
To learn more about Vanguard Sound’s services, click the button below:
Hi, I am an audio engineer with five years of professional experience in live sound reinforcement, recording, mixing, & sound design for film. I began my professional career as an audio technician for the School of Music & Dance at San Diego State University. To read my blurb on sound, click here.
Note: The projects shown are not the only projects I have worked on; most of the recordings I’ve mixed are for “private” use (i.e. student & faculty recordings at the School of Music & Dance). That being said, my philosophy on sharing those recordings is pretty simple:
If the musicians I worked with do not wish to post their music online, I won’t share it here.
But there’s a lot of it out there.
Like, a lot.
Vanguard: Universal Law (Single) — Producer
Swarmius III: Transclassical — Recording Engineer
El Gran Concierto de Gala de Mariachi — Assistant 5.1 Mix Engineer
- Misfortune, Directed by Chloe Cummings — Field Sound Recordist
- Split Devotion, Directed by Matt Benson — Field Sound Recordist, Sound Designer
- Prepare the Ground, Directed by Ethan Garcia — Field Sound Recordist, Foley Artist, ADR Recordist, Sound Designer, & Score Composer
My Blurb on Sound
I always knew I had an interest in making records (I’m sure you’ve heard that one before); however (in an attempt to differentiate myself from all the other gals & guys you’ve read about prior to finding me), I actually remember the exact moments that helped me make the decision to pursue audio engineering.
Back in middle school, I was playing drums in — what was supposed to be — a mariachi class; we were playing songs from bands like Led Zeppelin, Kiss, The Eagles, & other classic rock acts. I wasn’t the only drummer on the show, so — when I wasn’t playing — I would hang out backstage & listen to a mix of the live performance (of the songs that were being played by the other drummers) in a pair of speakers.
This was my first experience into the world of — what I would call — “complex audio.”
I only say “complex audio” because I didn’t know how they did it, all I knew was that I wanted to hear my performances (something that would never happen then since they weren’t recording the show). This was my first year playing drums &, to be frank, everything excited me so I would: brisk over to the drum set — in order to contain said excitement — when it was my turn to play, find ways to get out of class to hang out in the music room, & even stay in the after school program — as late as possible — jamming with Andrew, former Vanguard guitarist.
This experience, without a doubt, is one of the reasons that drove my itch to dive into the world of audio: the need to hear my progress.
I got a drum set for my birthday in the second half of seventh grade, so I told Andrew the news & told him to come over & jam. We invited a couple of other people from the “mariachi” class to play with us & we started a band that…went nowhere, really; we only played one show & wrote one song. I was kind of happy that it didn’t work out, though, because I wanted to play metal.
Fast-forward to the formation of Vanguard, & you will easily find the next reason why I wanted to pursue audio: we started writing songs & wanted to record them.
Here are some of the ghetto techniques we used to record our songs:
Ghetto Methods I & II:
- We used a laptop webcam.
- We used Voice Memos on our iPods.
These methods were normal for amateurs like us, but I actually went a step further & multitrack-recorded different instruments with these two methods (usually with apps on my iPod), the modern equivalent of tape recorders (that bands used back in the 80s).
Ghetto Method III was more complex; allow me to explain:
My dad brought a mixer from his job (he’s a radio engineer), cables, mics, & a DAW called CoolEdit Pro.
We sent the signal from a Line 6 Spider IV guitar amp — yup, we had some interesting guitar tones in our tracks — into a Yamaha 16- channel mixer, & the output of the mixer was sent to the mic input of the laptop. CoolEdit Pro, however, wasn’t able to monitor what we were recording, so we had to wear a set of earphones to hear the click & a set of headphones (over the earphones!) to hear the guitars & bass. Tracking drums was actually easier because I didn’t need to monitor a drum mix while I tracked.
It was a mess.
My dad noticed that we were taking our demos seriously, so he bought us an iMac with an eight channel recording interface that came bundled with Studio One, & a basic set drum mics.
This is where the Ghetto Methods ended. Thanks, dad.
I learned to produce on my own teaching myself how to mic up a drum set (after lots of trial & error) & a guitar cab, take a DI signal from an amp & send that into a DAW, edit audio (quantizing audio, copying & pasting, pitch shifting, etc.), create & trigger drum samples, use midi & virtual instruments without a teacher or a guide (YouTube was…helpful, but I didn’t really need it); essentially everything I felt I needed — at the time — to produce metal at home.
There’s a ton of Vanguard demos that may — or may not — see the light of day, but they exist nonetheless. There’s also a ton of stuff I wrote & recorded on my own for fun that probably won’t.
When it was time to apply to college, I applied to a new audio engineering program at San Diego State University, but was rejected because I couldn’t read music. I entered as an undeclared student instead — still hoping to get in the major one day — & began to hang around the music building.
I never got in (I studied advertising instead), but I did get a job as a student assistant; I was tasked with recording recitals & live sound reinforcement. So — instead of paying to be there — I was actually being paid to be there.
A good trade to me.
I worked there for three years & volunteered for two, helping those that did get in how to run a show & record it.
Nowadays, I spend most of my time playing shows with the boys, making stuff at Vanguard Sound, & running sound at dives.
Thanks for reading. 🤘