Aaron Doerr | St. Louis Public Radio

Aaron Doerr

Production Assistant

Aaron’s first glimpse into the world of audio production came during his high school band practices in the 90’s when they recorded themselves for reference and, later, for early social media websites - think Myspace and Napster. But as the oldest child with access to the family video camera it was actually in the late 80’s when Aaron first began playing with video production experimenting with perspective illusions, stop and start techniques and sound effects in homemade videos with siblings and friends. The fun he had as a kid got serious in college when a Practicum in Radio class at UMSL introduced him to the professional world of radio and audio production - right here at 90.7 KWMU.

“It really is exciting” he says talking about the energy of live radio “...it’s like an airplane taking off. You feel all this energy here [in the studio] with all these people running around and figuring things out and you’ve just done mic checks and you’re monitoring air control for the handoff and then you hit the button and give a big [here Aaron raises his hand and with a flourish points forward with a loud whooshing noise]... it’s just fun.” In 2001 Aaron changed his academic focus from art to audio and earned an audio engineering degree from Webster University. Having returned to KWMU to for an internship requirement his graduating year he was hired as part time production assistant in 2004.

A typical shift of St. Louis On The Air sees Aaron, usually working alongside an intern (full circle moment) positioning microphones, cueing the start of the show, balancing audio levels, playing music breaks, airing call-ins, and fading in theme music. And there really are a lot of people in the room: there’s two or three producers monitoring show content, social media engagement, potential podcast excerpts. There’s a call screener too and when the room gets noisy Aaron puts on a (very nice pair of) headphones and zeros in.
Post production duties include editing the show and recording re-takes for the re-air if necessary, recording and uploading promos for the next day’s show, and separating the program into segments for the podcast.
Show inside jokes include yelling “Hit the dump!” when anyone on the air says something that could be construed as vulgar, and “Cue [song name]” when anyone on the air mentions something (even remotely) related to a famous song.

Aaron teaches guitar and bass guitar full time from his home studio in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood of south St. Louis city where he also hosts jam sessions for his adult students, live streams improvisational music over NASA tv on twitch, and maintains a growing collection of audio equipment. His wife Amy earned her PhD in Psychology from UMSL in 2010 and their dog Tallis has an adorable instagram account.

Ways to Connect

My St. Louis VA, Part 3: 'Getting Back to People'

Nov 10, 2017
The stories of St. Louis-area veterans are featured in a three-part series.
Monica Ramirez | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Mission Continues fellow and former U.S. Army combat correspondent Monica Ramirez and production engineer Aaron Doerr took us through the final part of a three part series about veterans getting health care and related services through the St. Louis VA Health Care System.

Through sound-rich narration and storytelling, we heard the perspectives of eight local veterans and their families as they weighed in on what is troubling, isolating, encouraging, and healing about the VA.

Tim Yandell, 53, served in the United States Army for eight years as a Morse Code Interceptor.
Monica Ramirez | St. Louis Public Radio

The number of veterans seeking care from the VA has shot up in the last few years but across the country, the number of medical staff available to provide healthcare services has not.

My St. Louis VA, Part 1: ‘Hoops & Cracks’

Nov 8, 2017
Laurie Ootey is pictured with her husband, Donald Ootey.  Donald Ootey died in 2015.
Monica Ramirez | St. Louis Public Radio

The number of veterans seeking care from the VA has shot up in the last few years but across the country, the number of medical staff available to provide healthcare services has not.

A 2014 law, the Veterans Choice and Accountability Act, funneled $2.5 billion to VA medical centers for assistance in hiring more doctors, nurses and other medical staff. However, an investigation by NPR and local member stations conducted earlier this year found that wait times have not improved.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’ band in the late 1960’s  and blossomed as a composer, band leader and improviser through decades of genre-bending traditions, especially those electric jazz-rock fusion years that lead him to form, among other groups, Return To Forever, the fourth edition of which is about to embark on an extensive U.S. tour amidst their 2011 World Tour featuring Frank Gamble on guitar, Jean Luc-Ponty on the violin and Larry White and Stanley Clarke on drums and bass respectfully.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Aaron Doerr spoke with him by phone, asking him about learning music, the role of one’s environment, and jazz and the complexity of reaching a wide range of people with a genre so rooted in musicianship and technical skills.  

Aaron Doerr:  How have you been doing and happy belated birthday!  You just turned 70 this past June.  Do world tours age you quicker or keep you young?

Chick Corea: Oh yeah no... I definitely love to play and travel so travel's part of the deal, you know... and you get used to it.  You get used to the actual physical traveling - you get all those little things together that you have to have together for hotels, and planes and busses and all that, but… definitely playing the music keeps me fresh.

The dance and percussion company STOMP is in town this weekend for its Dance St. Louis performances at the Fox Theatre.

Charlie Hunter hasn't used his famous 8-string bass-guitar hybrid for some three years now.   These days, it's seven strings.  He's got the low three of a bass and the middle four of a guitar, all tuned a minor third higher than normal.  He happily abandoned the highest string in favor of a more condensed and practical version of his one-of-a-kind instrument.  He may be practicing more drums than guitar nowadays anyway. His 2nd solo album, Public Domain, is highly percussive. Released on his own label, Public Domain kicks the dust off eleven old standards from his grandfather's era, who turns one hundred this year.

A. Dennis Sparger, Music Director and Conductor of the Bach Society of Saint Louis, stopped by CITYSCAPE to preview the 60th Christmas Candlelight Concert at Powell Hall on Tuesday, December 21st when internationally acclaimed soprano Christine Brewer joins the chorus and orchestra in three works.   

Uncertainty plagues end-of-year tax planning

Dec 13, 2010
Aaron Doerr

The Senate voted this afternoon to move ahead with Obama's compromise tax cut package.  A final Senate vote is expected Tuesday. But the bill still faces an uncertain future in the House. 

Have fun at the Los Flamencos show on Friday? Love Flamenco music? Check this out!