Engineers and Staff

Vital Sounds Recording Studio has a group of gifted engineers at the controls. They emphasize the unique aspect of every artist and treat each work as individually as possible. In doing so, you will notice a professional and creative atmosphere in every session.

Feel free to request an engineer for your session!

Josh Gotoy

Brooklyn native Josh Gotoy isn’t just another rapper. He’s a singer, songwriter, producer and self-taught musician who plays the guitar and piano. For the 20 year-old, success has always been about striking a balance between two different, yet equally important elements: an education and a musical career.

Growing up in a home where his mother was a teacher, education was always a priority.  Josh attended a small private school in Brooklyn called Poly Prep. Josh’s mother passed away when he was only 11, but he continued on at the private school while living with his brother and grandmother. In his junior year he would face another loss when his grandmother also passed. It was then that he wrote his first song. Shortly thereafter, Gotoy moved in with his aunt and uncle. This marked the beginning of his exposure to the industry. His uncle worked at a recording studio and occasionally brought young Gotoy to work with him as he grew up. Showing an interest and natural talent for music, Josh went on to learn even more about music production at his uncle’s home studio. “My family and everything I’ve gone through with them is largely influential, and impacted me to pursue music,” Josh says of the early years establishing his craft. For Josh this craft has always been as important as continuing his education. In school he excelled at athletics and languages, while having the opportunity to travel around South America. These experiences and his willingness to expand his musical horizons have started generating a buzz, creating an online presence with a growing fan base.

Steven Panacek 

Steve is a current Loyola student and engineer employed by Vital Sounds recording studio. Starting his musical career playing guitar, Steve has been studying music and playing in bands since middle school. Steve began recording music professionally when he came to Loyola in 2010, and has recorded everything from jazz combos to a capella choirs to metal bands. Steve is very knowledgeable in music theory, arranging, and songwriting, as well as engineering and producing. Some notable acts Steve has worked with include: Naughty Professor, Green Envy A Capella Choir, Crooked Culture, TrumpTower, and Cozy.

Paul Schoen

Paul is a resident New Orleanian who is a freshman at Loyola. He attended NOCCA for four years, which entailed two years of independent study. During this time, Paul had constant access to their recording facilities and produced a wide variety of recordings; ranging anywhere from 25-piece jazz ensembles to rock bands. Paul's catalog of recordings won two national awards from Downbeat Magazine for both live and studio engineering categories. Paul is also experienced in electronic music production, and is constantly looking for new ways to combine musical ability with technical witchcraft.

Flor Serna

Flor's love for recording music began when she realized that she could layer tracks of audio -- two at a time -- in Windows Movie Maker. This tedious process motivated her to learn and employ modern recording, mixing, and mastering techniques used today. A native of New Mexico, Flor thrives in New Orleans and never gets sick of the rain. Flor enjoys capturing talent and technique through the art of recording at Vital Sounds. 

The following engineers are only available for commercial sessions

Dimitri Stazewski

Born and raised in San Francisco, he started playing violin at the age of seven, picked up guitar in middle school, and played in various jazz and rock bands in high school.  While music was always important to him, he never saw himself as becoming a professional musician.  Dimitri got his first glimpse into the studio environment after taking a music production class his senior year of high school and hasn’t been able to get away from it since.

Dimitri has interned at Faultline Studios and Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, and Avatar Studios in New York.  He constantly records everything from jazz to hip hop to rock and roll in the studios at Loyola.

Recently appointed President of Vital Sounds, Dimitri aims to build long lasting relationships with people who value high quality recordings and the process it takes to get them as much as he does.

Outside of the studio Dimitri would most likely be found biking around, searching for the dopest spot, planning what’s next, and generally loving life.                         

Some of his most recent projects include EP’s with PALS, Aerial Attack, Sara Vail, and Bourgeois.  If you’re interested in hearing some of his work, check out his website:

Spencer Winkles

I’m an island kid; grew up in the Caribbean surrounded by calypso & reggae and always enthusiastic about new and different music. Upon moving to New Orleans I was gladly pulled into the world of jazz bands, brass bands and street performers.  I’ve spent time doing live jazz recordings as well as some studio work in hip-hop, R&B, reggae, alternative rock and more. If it’s real and it’s got soul behind it, I’d love to record it.


An updated list of our board members and talented engineers will be provided soon.