Gina Fant-Saez has been called "The Howard Hughes of the Internet," although the author, entrepreneur, engineer and studio owner laughs at this designation. "Personally, I'd rather be thought of as the Martha Stewart of digital audio - without the prison stint, of course," she quips. Her book, Pro Tools for Musicians and Songwriters - covering Pro Tools Version 7 - was published by Peachpit Press in March of 2006.
Fant-Saez has earned renown as a Pro Tools engineer (for Sting, U2, Shawn Colvin, Nelly Furtado, Walt Disney Pictures and many others). An early evangelist of digital recording, she helped spark the transition to Pro Tools in Austin, Texas, with her own Blue World Music studio. Her work as a composer and songwriter, meanwhile, adds to the nuanced understanding of music creation she brings to her book and other ventures.
"Gina has incredible vision, drive and energy," says renowned engineer Kevin Killen, a longtime associate and business partner. "Her charisma as an entrepreneur and a visionary is infectious," chimes in Mike Piliero of Coolbirth, the New York design and technology firm that built Fant-Saez's online venture, eSession. "She's intelligent, very versed in the technology and really has that vision and entrepreneurial spirit."
Raised in Houston, Fant-Saez taught herself guitar and piano. She moved to Austin and formed a band, soon winning "Best Pop Band" and "Best New Band" plaudits; and earning enough money from winning songwriting contests to move to New York City.
She studied music theory at NYU and Juilliard, receiving her Masters from NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. Landing a national jingle provided her the funds to build a digital recording studio, and she began hiring herself out as a MIDI and digital-audio tech. Over time her bedroom studio, Blue World Music, grew into its own building on two acres of Texas Hill Country. It became Austin's first Pro Tools room in 1997. "Back then, Austin was a huge analog-tape town, and here comes this chick with her Pro Tools studio saying this is the way of the future."
She was right, of course, and has since forged the way for countless studios, producers, engineers and musicians to move into the digital age. She undertook Pro Tools for Musicians and Songwriters to further help music makers adjust to this new reality where the creative possibilities are boundless.
Fant-Saez continues to serve as owner/chief engineer at Blue World Music, though she admits that her studio business has taken a backseat to her other ventures. "I was tied behind a console for almost 20 years," she says. "Today's technology allows my office and studio to be anywhere I am. My book and other projects are dedicated to giving the global community of musicians, producers and engineers access to the same freedom."