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Bringing (music) power to the people



If you harbor a burning ambition to make Katy Perry’s supposed fireworks look like sparklers or the ring Beyonce encouraged men to put “on it” look like crackerjack bling, SLO Pro Tools might just be the vehicle to help you get there—or, at the very least, on your way.

IF A TREE FALLS IN A RECORDING STUDIO …:   Luke Thoene brings his recording industry expertise to SLO County residents looking to be heard. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • IF A TREE FALLS IN A RECORDING STUDIO …: Luke Thoene brings his recording industry expertise to SLO County residents looking to be heard.

Luke Thoene operates SLO Pro Tools out of The1Audio studio in Los Osos. Thoene was schooled at the American University in London and is an Audie Award-winning audio producer who got his start in the industry as an amateur composer for audio books, producing spoken word pieces with sound effects, not unlike old-school radio.

Thoene opened The1Audio studio in 2003. The space was designed by professional acoustic architect Chris Pelonis, whose clientele includes Skywalker Sounds and Disney Burbank. The atmosphere of The1Audio—stylish with its blue and tan palette and crisp architectural lines—is a visually aesthetic delight, in addition to an aural inspiration. The sound room, the place “where the magic happens,” was designed to be free of any 90-degree angles, a necessity for capturing the best sound.

The SLO Pro Tools course, which is a new offering, teaches students how to use Pro Tools, the music industry’s standard recording software. One of the perks of the program is getting an expert’s insight into the tips and tricks that can be used to get the most out of the software, something that can’t be taken away from a book or classroom setting.

“Schools don’t give a real sense of what studio work is like,” Thoene said. “I want to share this knowledge with folks.”

At the end of the course, SLO Pro Tools students are awarded a certificate of completion, then included in a professional studio recording session. The session might be an audio book, a band recording, or a film score, and it helps solidify information given throughout the course by applying the knowledge in a hands-on environment. Students are given recognition for their work, earning credit as a Pro Tools engineer on the project, which they can use on their “audio résumé.”

Thoene is also giving back to the community by sharing his knowledge with students at Los Osos Middle School. Students who show exceptional talent and interest in the technological field are selected to learn the basics of the recording arts, free of charge.

“Seeing kids who are learning the program light up when they get it is a really unique reward,” Thoene said, beaming.

He recently began producing a pre-recorded radio broadcast on 890AM that features some of his students’ work. The program allows students to hear their work broadcast and offers people aspiring to work in the music industry another great opportunity to earn the experience that will enhance their résumé.

SLO Pro Tools’ eight-day, 64-hour program costs $1,200.

For more information on SLO Pro Tools, visit or check out You can also get in touch with Thoene directly at 748-5671.

Fast fact

Being in shape is awesome. Curing cancer is awesome. Curing cancer while getting into shape is super-awesome.

CrossFit and CrossFit Inferno in San Luis Obispo are teaming up with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital to present CrossFit for Hope on June 9. The event is a five-station, five-round workout circuit. Participants are asked for a minimum donation of $25. All proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, with daily operating costs of $1.7 million.

For more information about CrossFit for Hope, visit or contact Mariela DeSantiago at 801-3313.

Intern Ana Korgan compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send items for consideration to

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