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Making (Sound)waves

A little bit of Hollywood comes to Oceanside


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Music and movie recording legend Russell Whitaker is about to open a $2 million, 5,000-square-foot state-of-the-art multimedia recording studio and digital film and video school — just a few hundred yards from the sand in Oceanside. He’s calling it MediaTech Institute.

Whitaker, who is known for his work recording musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Sublime and Destiny’s Child, has completely remodeled the space to make it fully soundproof — a huge feat for a building so close to train tracks. Inside, there’s a recording studio for musicians, a dubbing room, multiple film-editing units, a green screen, a Foley room to mix sound and a 14-seat theater, all outfitted with top-of-the-line equipment. Rooms are named after surf breaks: Blacks, Lower and Upper Trestles, Rincon.

“There is really nothing in San Diego County that compares to this level of studio production,” says Whitaker, adding that serious musicians, music producers and film­makers will appreciate not having to schlep to Orange County or L.A. to access the most up-to-date technology. While the school will cater to all aspects of audio and film production, Whitaker, a surfer and musician, is excited about the institute’s potential to appeal to action sports filmmakers.

“I have always been interested in surfing and making movies. In opening MediaTech, we are giving people access to Hollywood-type training right on the beach.”

And Whitaker’s training is top-notch. In the late ’90s, he opened three schools in Dallas, Austin and Houston. Various alumni have gone on to win Emmys, play at Vans Warped Tour and work for Lucasfilm. The Oceanside campus is scheduled to begin classes in May.

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