The Genesis of Triple A Audio: A Musical OdysseyOctober 17, 2023
Hello, I’m Olajide Paris, a composer and the CEO of Triple A Audio. I originally come from LA, but here I am in Armenia starting a company with one of the greatest Armenian musicians of all time, Serj Tankian. But first, how did this all happen? Well, I’ll tell you.
It all started with a trip to Georgia in 2011. I had my first recording at the incredible Georgian Film Studio, an amazing scoring stage in Georgia. The studio was used to record soundtracks for hundreds of Soviet films over its time. I was absolutely amazed when I first saw this place and immediately saw the potential for recording film and game soundtracks. So, during my second visit, I sat down and sampled my first instrument: the Steinway D. It was a 1960 Steinway, and we recorded it with all the mics they had at the time, which were half-dozen vintage Neumann U67s. The sound was magical. The process was tedious, but eye-opening. Little did I know where it would lead me on a journey for the next decade.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I was working on the soundtrack for Dead Rising 4 at the Georgian Film Studio. I was tasked with recording strings, big band, vocals, and importantly, creating custom sampler instruments for the team of composers working on this project. This was a massive opportunity for me, and led to the opening of my first own sampling company. After this venture, I went on to work for a who’s who of companies, recording and producing everything from solo instruments to full orchestras, and virtual instruments based on folk instruments. This is where I received my on the job training as an ethnomusicologist and began traveling the world seeking out rare and exceptional musical talent and instruments.
In 2017, I received a grant from the US State Department for innovations in film scoring, which allowed me to compose the soundtrack for a graphic novel and record it with a full orchestra. At the time, I was living in Georgia. A conductor friend with ties to Armenia recommended that I travel to Armenia to check out the musicians. I was thoroughly impressed with their talent and ended up bringing a small group of musicians from Armenia to Georgia for my project. The results were outstanding.
Over the next several years, I found myself frequently traveling to Armenia, diving deeper into the musical community and hiring local musicians whenever I could. I was, more or less, creating projects for myself to travel to what had become one of my favorite cities. I even volunteered at the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, where I taught courses in cinematic music composition and virtual instrument design.
However, as my work expanded, challenges arose. While I was thrilled with the musicians, there were things I felt could be improved. This desire led to a discussion with a friend, and we decided to put together a business plan. After pitching our plan to many, we caught the attention of the man who would become the co-founder of this company, Serj Tankian, who saw the immense potential.
You see, it’s one thing to offer remote recording services and create virtual instruments, but there’s a bigger story about why those services are vital to the development of the music industry in Armenia. The music industry here is almost non-existent. Unique to this part of the world, orchestral musicians and even big jazz bands are state-funded, essentially making them government employees. This structure brings its own set of challenges. They’re underpaid and often don’t even own their own instruments. Seeing this situation, we wanted to make a change.
Our company is committed to paying musicians competitive wages, and providing profit-sharing in the form of royalties for products. We believe this approach is pivotal for the development of an industry that needs opportunity and growth. On top of this, we recognize the rich musical tradition of the region and aim to spotlight these unique sounds and traditions.
My own adventures in sampling have allowed me to seek out and record many of the instruments in this region. For instance, the first instrument I recorded in Armenia was the Qanun, which was the first instrument I recorded in Armenia, in 2018 and have recorded again for our first product. I have collaborated with this musician on numerous projects since then, including the Age of Empires 4 soundtrack. We’re really bringing things full circle, with our first release also being the Qanun, but this time much more deeply sampled.
But our mission extends well beyond Armenia and Georgia. There are talented musicians everywhere deserving of opportunities, and a world full of rare instruments waiting to be discovered. We consider it our mission to seek them out and share them with the world, providing them with a platform for growth that we hope will pave the way for their success in music Our commitment to paying royalties, and offering market rates is paramount. Through our values of exploration and community support, we aim to drive opportunity and celebrate the talent of exceptional artists in Armenia and beyond.
We invite you to join us on our journey to explore the unknown. Stay tuned; we have some exciting things coming up.