Audio production professor brings experience to classroom, studio


Professor Dustin Painter instructs students in his Intro to Media Technology class how to set up three-point lighting.

Kameko Coleman, Contributing Writer

This professor may be new here at Virginia State University, but he is no rookie to audio production.

Dustin Painter is one of the newest professors to join the Mass Communication Department, beginning in the Fall of 2021.

“So far, I have taught Audio Production, Introduction to Media Technology, Introduction to Mass Communications, and am currently teaching Introduction to Live Sound,” Painter said.

Before coming to VSU, Professor Painter was an instructor for Game Audio and Sound Design at SAE Institute— a private for-profit institution in Nashville, Tennessee.

Initially, Painter studied to be a high school band director, but his teachers helped him find his creative and artistic side.

“Without them, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had over the last fifteen years,” Painter said.

Painter worked with several production companies as a composer, sound designer, and audio producer. He has had opportunities to work in Los Angeles, primarily as an assistant for different film composers at different times.

“I got to work with some amazing composers including Christopher Young (Spiderman 3, Drag Me to Hell), Darren Fung (The Great Human Odyssey), Blake Neely (The Mentalist, Arrow, The Flash), Mike Kramer (Ninjago, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures) and Megan Cavallari (The Nightmare Before Christmas).”

Painter has over 80 credits to his name which include working with production companies and working freelance.

In addition to his teaching duties, he has assisted with building two new recording studio spaces and a synthesis/beat production lab in Davis Hall. The purpose of the studio spaces will be for both learning and for the usage of students if they wish to be productive. Students will be given outside lab time and assignments to further explore the studios’ capabilities and explore their creativity.

Professor Painter is enjoying teaching here at VSU. “The engagement from students in media/audio production and recording is incredible,” Painter said. “I frequently get emails from students outside of class time asking me to listen to music or productions they are working on.“

This is Painter’s first-time teaching at an HBCU and is honored to have the opportunity to do so.

“The most significant difference here has been the sense of community with the students. Having that connection with students and having the opportunity to work with them either individually or in smaller groups really feeds my soul.”