Frank Charlton

The home page of software test engineer / record producer Frank Charlton.

Well this is a weird resume.

I don't have a standard background for a software test engineer, and I think that's what helps me think differently than everyone else in the room.

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. When I was 7 or so I discovered the Windows 3.1 Sound Recorder and realized that I could not only download Simpsons sound clips and play them back, but I could record myself imitating them as well. I even discovered that I could play the Simpsons sounds backwards, then record myself imitating them that way, then reverse the file again to get myself doing a weird sounding impression. Magic. This started off my love of sound and recording.

Throughout high school recording music was my passion. I was recording friends, working in local recording studios, and traveling to New York and Nashville studios during the summers to really polish my skills. This lead me to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston where I majored in Music Production and Engineering. I really fell in love with the production aspect - working with bands to hone and perfect their individual instrumental parts, songs and dynamics in order to create the ultimate musical experience. It turns out music production was teaching me how to lead people, and how to be critical. Music brought me to Los Angeles, where I started working with bands again, and assisting music producers who were further along in their career. This work lead me to work with Rick Rubin who had in his possession a magical thing.

"Type in a song."
"Any song?"
"Any song."
Trying to be clever, I type in the super weird "My Pal Foot Foot" by The Shaggs. It was there. It was playing, on Rick's incredibly nice speakers. We move to a different room.
"Type in another song."
Ok. The Shaggs was playing. I'm going to type in a friend's band from college. It was there too! It was playing in a different room. They both were still playing.
"Pretty cool, huh?"

As soon as I got home I started telling my (now) wife about this magical thing called Sonos that Rick had showed me. Someday when I was a famous producer we'd get one. Turns out he'd give me one the next time I was out there.

I was doing contract testing at the time at a company called Line 6, focused on testing guitar amplification related products. I was at a bit of a crossroads in my life. I was working with incredible people and artists in the music industry but saw that if I continued down that road my life would likely lack the stability I wanted. Maybe there was a reason I was a tester. I seemed to be good at it. I really liked breaking things, solving problems, leading people and helping to create great products.

On a whim I checked if Sonos (my new favorite thing in the world) had any job openings. They did. Despite my odd resume they took a chance on me, and some five and a half years later I'm still loving every second of it.

I'm now in Seattle living with my wife and our impossibly loud cat. My passion for music lives on through my alter-ego Minimum Wage Audio.