ARU’s new bilingual engineer/sound designer, Ana De Irisarri, was part of the team that handled sound on a recent package of 28 Blue Cross-Blue Shield instructional viDeos — half of them in Spanish — for agency HYConnect.
The timing of De Irisarri’s arrival at ARU was perfecto, as Spanish language recording had climbed to 15% of ARU’S business, says ARU engineer/partner Mark Zeboski.
A native of Bogota, Colombia and possessor of three college degrees in various aspects of sound, De Irisarri, had a decade of mixing experience behind her when she moved to Chicago in January, 2014. (Needless to say, she speaks fluent English.)
Making Chicago her new home was an easy decision, “because there are so many great opportunities here. It has a big advertising community and for music, it’s amazing. You can do more and different things here and people support you,” she says.
De Irisarri has also become part of the city’s vibrant music scene. “I’m a music fan,” she says. “I used to play drums, but now I’m a DJ and my specialties are Deep House and Tech House, very cool genres of electronic music.”
She left Bogota in 2004 to attend college in Buenos Aires and earn her first degree. Then, being “very lucky and working hard,” she spent nine years engineering live sound for big award-winning musicals, like “Cabaret” and “Hairspray,” in Calle Corrientes, known as the Broadway of Argentina.
Back in Bogota to receive college degree number two, De Irisarri was hired by Teleset SA, a division of Sony Pictures Television, for audio post on popular TV shows, like “Colombia’s Got Talent” and the never-ending production of telenovelas (soap operas) and occasional film.
Moving to Chicago a year later, she applied for a full-time position at ARU but no full-time positions were available. She was able to help out, however, while attending Tribeca Flashpoint for degree number three.
From partners Zeboski and Don Arbuckle, De Irisarri received the best graduation present ever: a permanent chair at the console.
De Irisarri also has the distinction of being the fifth member of an elite circle of female engineers — Katy Mindeman, Particle; Amber Tisue, Stir; Marina Bacci, Optimus and Sarah Krohn, Energy BBDO — out of an estimated 50 local mixers.