Additional Instructors

David Earl - Pyramind Instructor

David Earl


// Logic Pro

// Synthesis

// Mixing and Mastering

David is a composer, producer, author and educator. He has been working with Pyramind Training, teaching ground campus classes in Logic, Sound Design, Synthesis, and other music related subjects since 2000. From 2004 to 2007 he was Pyramind Studios’ lead composer and creative director and now brings his Logic expertise to Pyramind’s online training programs.

David is perhaps best known for his online avatar, sflogicninja, with a following of over 28,000 subscribers and over 3 million views on YouTube. Since sflogicninja’s humble beginnings in 2006, he has become a globally recognized certified trainer and expert for all matters relating to Apple’s Logic Studio.

As a composer David’s compositions have been heard coming from televisions, computers, and other screens since 1996. He has written for advertising, television, independent movies, video games, and just about any other medium in need of music. He has contributed to a diverse range of projects by industry leading developers like Double Fine, Sega, LucasArts, Microsoft, THQ, Activision, and ImaginEngine, among others. 


Liam Shy - Pyramind Instructor

Liam Shy

// Ableton Live

Liam Shy is a dynamic and passionate audiophile, dedicated to the world of sound his entire life. His work includes being a Music Producer, DJ, Sound Designer, Live Sound Engineer, Audio Instructor and advocate for the electronic music community. Liam graduated from the Pyramind in 2009 specializing in Music Production, Sound Design, Mixing and Mastering. He has worked professionally as a Sound Designer and Composer including work on titles for the Wii and nationally broadcasted television commercials.

In addition Liam has run several successful music projects, most notably DISSØLV, a live EDM band specializing in dubstep and psytrance combined with classical and tribal themes. The band featured Liam as the vocalist, guitarist and live electronic manipulator – alongside violinist Valentin Santana, keyboardist Lauren Keys and Drummer Zeta Ceti. The band has opened for Infected Mushroom on several occasions including performing at the esteemed Warfield Theatre (2010) and Fillmore Auditorium (2011). 


Paul Simmans - Pyramind Instructor

Paul Simmans

// Pro Tools

// Game Audio

Hailing from the UK, Pro Tools Expert Paul Simmans has been living in San Francisco since 2001. Specializing in audio engineering and production, post-production, game-audio, sound design, foley, ADR, and voice-over work for film, TV and advertising, Paul has worked at several Bay Area studios, including: Studio D (Sausalito), Fantasy Studios, Polarity Post Production, Outpost Studios, Broken Radio (now ‘Coast Recorders’), and Pyramind. He was Senior Audio Engineer at Mark Keller’s Loudville Studios in Sausalito for 5 years, and continues working with Mark recording voice-over for Emmy award winning show Undercover Boss, as well as National Geographic shows Unlikely Animal Friends; Shark Men; and Can it be Built?.

Paul has worked with a wide array of artists including Chickenfoot (Michael Anthony, Chad Smith, and Joe Satriani), Keith Urban, Alice Russell, Tony Lindsay of Santana, Pomplamoose, actor Robin Williams, The Muppets, actor Peter Krause of Six Feet Under, and solo-engineered the new Tender Mercies album, a side-project of the Counting Crows. Now working in-house Production at Pyramind, ongoing clients include Microsoft and Samsung as well as multiple gaming and ADR projects. Recent feature film credits include: Muppets Most Wanted, The Singularity is Near, The Scene, and The Big Wedding.

Paul has taught Pro Tools and Game Audio classes at Pyramind since 2009. A life-long musician and inventive guitarist, Paul has written and produced several albums and gigs frequently with his band Gone to Ground. He is one half of the experimental duo Dizzy Twin and also composes music for film. 


Jerome Rossen - Pyramind Instructor

Jerome Rossen

// Production & Arranging

Jerome Rossen is a composer, songwriter and professional musician.  He is best known as the composer for the Happy Tree Friends. Since 2005, Jerome has scored the music for this animated internet sensation, recognized as the most-viewed web series of all time, with over 2 billion video views.

As a composer, Jerome’s work has been featured in prime time and cable television, film, video games, advertising, animation, concert, the internet and theater.  He is an active guest artist in elementary and high schools, leading songwriting workshops to teach kids how to write their own songs. As a musician, Jerome has performed in wineries, cruise ships, grand hotels and dives.


Scott Looney - Pyramind Instructor

Scott Looney

// Game Audio

Scott has been producing designing and teaching interactive audio for multimedia since 2005 when he first pioneered the audio curriculum for the graduate Web/New Media Department (WNM) at Academy Of Art University (AAU). He is now teaching classes in Game Audio in a number of schools throughout the area. He possesses an active, engaging, and informative teaching style that breaks down the complexity and really helps students understand the concepts and practices behind sound for interactive media, not just the specifics of the applications.

In addition to his teaching, Scott continues to do professional interactive sound design work nationally and internationally. As an artist, he is significantly interested in the creation and performance of compelling sounds across a broad spectrum of contemporary, improvised, and experimental music. He has studied composition and improvisation at California Institute Of The Arts with Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Morton Subotnick, David Rosenboom, and Frederic Rzewski. He has performed at numerous international festivals and venues for experimental music on piano and electronics, and has recently designed instruments and performance interfaces using sensors and micro-controllers. 


Steffen Franz - Pyramind Instructor

Steffen Franz

// Music Business

Steffen has been in the music business for almost 30 years and brings his many years of experience to his current positions. For the past 18 years, Steffen has run his own independent record label, Positive Sound Massive Recordings, releasing over 20 different albums and singles over the past decade and a half. He has also produced dozens of albums for other people and has deep knowledge in both the production and label management aspects of the music business.

In addition to running PSM for the past 18 years, Steffen founded a physical and digital distribution and marketing company called Independent Distribution Collective in 2004 that currently manages a catalog of over 600 titles in almost 400 independent stores (and a few major chains) across the US. Steffen also developed “InstantDistro” a turnkey marketing and promotion system that now includes Print, Radio, Retail and Web promotions as well as music licensing, artist management and booking as well.

Steffen loves all aspects of the music business and teaches Music Business 101, 110, and 301 at Pyramind, an audio production school in San Francisco. In 2013, Steffen was named President of Tarpan Records, an independent record label founded by multi- platinum, Grammy winner, Narada Michael Walden, based in San Rafael, CA. 


Will Marshall - Pyramind Instructor

Will Marshall

// DJ

// Mixing & Mastering

Will Marshall is a DJ, producer, teacher and technologist, originally from New Zealand. Beginning his musical career as a jazz trumpeter, Will started producing in his late teens, releasing a string of psychedelic breakbeat tracks with Broken Robot Records and playing festivals across the world.

After moving to Oakland in 2014, Will founded Coma Cartel, a production duo focusing on experimental bass music. He runs a small studio in Temescal, where he writes and teaches production.

An experienced programmer and Ableton guru, Will is expert in developing technology for live performance, working with artists such as Patrick Gleeson, Ill Gates, Freq Nasty, Mr Bill and the Fungineers to develop their live shows, as well as developing tools for Ableton performance.


Taylor Elsasser - Pyramind Instructor

Taylor Elsasser

// Synthesis

// Ableton Live

Taylor Elsasser committed his life to music at the very young age of 12, starting out as a budding bass player trying to sound like Eddie Van Halen in the humble town of Sparta, New Jersey. After moving to California at the age of 15, he met his business partner and drummer, Tim head, and started a progressive death metal band. Tim and Taylor were signed to Jonny Gunn productions as studio artists and eventually opened their own studio called“Quantum Studios”. They both attended Pyramind to further their knowledge of mixing and mastering, but under the tutelage of Brian Trifon (Trifonic) Taylor was driven to pursue the art of synthesis and to learn how to make banging Dubstep.

Taylor’s study of synthesis took him deep into the world of Native instruments and since he has worked on numerous projects including designing many of the sounds heard on his current collaborator and Pyramind alumni Luke Estes “Sugarbeat’s” release “Cherry Bomb”. Taylor’s passion lies in fusing glitch hop with Dubstep in aggressive mash-up’s of gritty bangers and granular robot sounds. He is also working on numerous online tutorials for Reaktor players and ensembles, which has proven his ability to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Brian Trifon. 


Zaak Kerstetter - Pyramind Instructor

Zaak Kerstetter

// Ableton Live

Zaak’s current projects and expertise focus on bass heavy, soundscaped, narrative driven composition for live performance. In addition to being an electronic music producer, Zaak is a painter and fire dance performer. His background in performance and visual art make Zaak a talented facilitator and visionary for collaborative creation, which is the focus of his most current project The Zenotope Collective. Zenotope is a group of performance art collaborators that combine live electronic music, multimedia projections, dance theater, and circus arts for a multisensory musical experience.

Originally from Philadelphia, Zaak’s relationship with music started with his love of punk rock. He played guitar for various punk bands as a teenager and continued his aesthetic evolution from there. He first began producing electronic music while living in Kyoto, Japan years later. Influenced heavily by the Japanese noise music scene, he focused primarily on experimental composition.

After moving to New York City in 2008, Zaak began collaborating with a variety of movement artists including contortionists and Butoh dancers. Zaak then moved to the west coast to further pursue electronic music production, where upon completion of Pyramind’s Core Program Zaak wrote and produced Zenotope’s first album titled Miasma. Currently he and the rest of the Collective are developing a unique 3 dimensional light/sound/movement based structure for live performance of the Miasma album. His second album is currently underway due in early 2013. 


Ryan Rey - Pyramind Instructor

Ryan Rey

// Music Theory

// Piano

Ryan Rey is a composer, guitarist, and teacher from the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes music for chamber ensembles, symphonic band, orchestra, rock groups, videogames, ringtones, and film.

At the age of 5, Ryan’s first instrument was a bright orange and neon green plastic toy guitar and his first recording setup was a Playschool cassette player with microphone combo. Using this toy tape recorder, he captured the sound of his screaming voice and feedback noises. This was his first exploration into composition. Nowadays, classical chamber music, electronic loops, heavy metal, and a mix of other genres influence his music.

In 2009, Ryan was the inaugural recipient of the Glenn Glasow Fellowship in Music Composition which commissioned “Shaped By A Burr Grinder” for woodwind quintet. He has also been commissioned by Composers, Inc., Guerrilla Composers Guild, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble Intersection Workshop, and REDSHIFT Ensemble. His compositions have been performed by Rodrigo Cortes (baritone), Guy Livingston (piano), Stephan Poetzsch (violin), REDSHIFT Ensemble, as well as numerous ensembles from CSUEB that include: Jazz Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Trombone Ensemble. Feature film soundtracks include: All About Dad (2009), Liquor Store Cactus (2009), and documentary Corner Stores (2013). Other film productions include work for: CSUEB, Dirty Shoe Crew, Hemogoblin Teradactle, and Hewlett-Packard. His music has been performed in France, Mexico, South Korea, Vietnam, and throughout the United States.

Ryan holds a B.A. in Music Composition and is currently completing an M.A. in Music Composition from CSU, East Bay. He currently teaches Music Theory and Piano at Pyramind and Recording Arts, Music Theory, Electronic Music, and Guitar at Fusion Academy. As well, Ryan is an Artistic Co-director for Composers, Inc. and also plays guitar (sometimes trombone and backup vocals) in the chiptune/folk/ doom/chamber music band, The Mineral Kingdom. 


Shawn Mercado - Pyramind Instructor

Shawn Mercado


// DJ

Shawn began his journey into the electronic music world at the age of 15. As a high school student, Shawn managed to piece together a DJ setup and practice everyday until he mastered his craft. Shortly after graduating high school, Shawn decided to take the next step and start producing his own original music. He later enrolled at Pyramind and completed the CORE program in 2013. Shawn has performed at many world renowned venues & events including; Avalon Hollywood, Ruby Skye, The Regency Ballroom, Fox Theater, Sunrise Event Center, LovEvolution, Control LA/SF, Insomniac Awakening, etc. He has performed with artists such as; Noisia, Zedd, Sub Focus, Jack Beats, Madeon, Tommy Trash, Dada Life, The M Machine, The Chainsmokers, LA Riots, Blasterjaxx, and many more. Shawn currently holds a residency at Ruby Skye nightclub & Control in San Francisco under his solo alias ‘M3RC’. While attending Pyramind, Shawn took on an internship in the studio department which lead to the start of a new duo ‘BNZA’ with Pyramind’s production manager, Mike Forst. The two have had recent success with their productions including an official remix of ‘The Wall’ by K Theory and their original track ‘Make Your Head Pop’ for Microsoft’s AAA title game ‘Sunset Overdrive.’ 


Jonathan Parra - Pyramind Instructor

Jonathan Parra

// Media Composer

A Filmmaker, Artist, and Instructor with a passion and the dedication for crafting original content, non-conventional marketing and advertising, and breaking past the status quo in media with the purpose of carving out fresh new paths in entertainment. He is a Writer, Producer, Director, Editor, Teacher and Fanboy who has worked within the genres of comedy, drama, action, and horror all in the pursuit to entertain and connect with the audience. His 18 years of film and video production experience runs the gamut. Documentaries, corporates, commercials, trailers, television, news, independent cinema, and how-to videos; he has applied his talents to all. He has written, produced, directed and edited videos for high profile companies such as Electronic Arts, Kabam, GREE, Spicy Horse Games, Double Fine, Genentech, Topcon, Telemundo, and Univision. He is always up for talking comic books, music, video games, television, and movies. He also likes to spin records for anyone who’s willing to listen.