Piper Payne builds career with experience as Student Consultant in DC/DMC studios

photo of Piper Payne, 2009 BFA graduate of U-M SMTD and "alumnus" of the DMC Audio Studio

Piper Payne is a top industry audio-mastering engineer based in Nashville, TN, where she works on albums for independent artists and major labels at the famed Infrasonic Mastering firm. She is a 2009 BFA graduate of the U-M SMTD Performing Arts Technology program and served as a Student Consultant in the DMC’s Media and Studio Arts studios. Piper is also a widely-respected advocate for the increased participation of women and minorities in the music recording industry who emphasizes that she “lives for quality and equality in audio.”

Piper is a keeper of Vinyl Quality Control and a consultant for vinyl record pressing plants, and is opening her own vinyl manufacturing plant in Nashville in mid 2021. She is the Co-Chair of the P&E Wing Steering Committee of the Recording Academy and she is a recent former member of the Board of Trustees. She is a former Governor of the Audio Engineering Society and she is the Co-Founder and former Co-Chair of the AES’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee as well as an active member of Women’s Audio Mission and she serves on the Board of SoundGirls.org.

Piper has mastered a wide variety of music including nationally renowned artists Janis Ian, Third Eye Blind, LeAnn Rimes, The Go-Go’s, Madame Gandhi, Geographer, The Steven Universe Soundtrack’s composers Aivi and Steven, Basement, and more.

photo of Piper Payne, 2009 BFA graduate of U-M SMTD and "alumnus" of the DMC Audio Studio

In an interview for her alma mater, The U-M School of Music, Theatre and Dance, she speaks clearly about her values and commitment to see expanding opportunities for women and minorities in her chosen profession.

“Women are outnumbered by men in the audio industry. That’s a fact,” said Payne. “The engineering community is not just male dominated—it’s white male dominated and all minorities are not feeling welcome.” But girls, she agrees, are often not even considering the field. “We need to make girls feel more welcome by encouraging STEM education at a young age,” said Payne. “This isn’t a problem that will fix itself overnight. It will take a generation of close attention to the problem, and constructive adjustments for real change to occur.”

Read more about Piper Payne:

Find her at infrasonicsound.com/piper

Waves Audio – Mastering Masterclass with Piper Payne” (video: 1:40:02), May 27, 2020

Interview with Brandon Monzon, “PAT: The Future is Female” – U-M School of Music, Theatre and Dance, June 9, 2019


Student consultants are essential to the success of both students and faculty who are using the advanced, technology-rich spaces in the Duderstadt Center. They add to their existing skills, learn best practices, and bring their own innovative and creative sensibilities to every project they support. We think of them as our own Duderstadt Center Alumni.

Interested in employment as a Student Consultant? Opportunities in all areas of the Duderstadt Center are described on the “Student Employment” page.