The Team

From Left to Right: Michael Ungar, Loren Toolajian, Ben Soiefer, Ralph Kelsey, Melanie Reed, Sean Canada

From Left to Right: Michael Ungar, Loren Toolajian, Ben Soiefer, Ralph Kelsey, Melanie Reed, Sean Canada


Ralph Kelsey

One of Sandblast’s founding members, Ralph is a percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and award-winning sound designer.  A graduate of SUNY Fredonia with a B.S. in Sound Recording Technology, he was nominated in 2014 for an Emmy for his outstanding audio mixing work on HBO’s Vice.

He has mixed and sound-designed for ABC, CBS, NBC, Showtime, HBO, USA, Syfy, ESPN, Nickelodeon, MTV, VH-1, Lifetime, Paramount Network & the History Channel, among others.  Ralph and partner Mike Ungar have mixed the ESPYs for an unprecedented 12? consecutive years.

From the first season of NBC’s 30 Rock and parody commercials for SNL, to HBO's series Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas and Sesame Street’s Abby’s Flying Fairy School, Ralph continues to explore the power of sound and the way it elevates good work to great.

Recently, Ralph mixed and sound designed the feature film The Lennon Report.  He just completed the mixing and sound design for this past season of college football on ESPN and their Saturday Night feature game campaign.

Loren Toolajian

Sandblast founding member, and composer, producer & broadcaster, Loren combines his passion for music and exploring the creative process in myriad ways.

His music for film and television has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, Showtime, MTV, ESPN, HBO & Sesame Street.  His theatre music has played in New York, most recently for Christine Jones' Theatre for One, and in regional theatre in Boston, San Francisco, & Louisville.  He recently scored the feature film The Lennon Report. He is also a proud member of NY’s renowned 52nd Street Project.

As the resident composer of NY’s acclaimed Signature Theatre Company, Loren collaborated with the greatest playwrights of the 20th century, including Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Horton Foote, Lanford Wilson, Adrienne Kennedy, Bill Irwin, and Edward Albee.

In the studio, he has produced songs for T Bone Burnett, Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Jennifer Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Mos Def, Brad Paisley, Meghan Andrews, Shane Patrick, and Jesse Lenat.

After broadcasting stints in San Francisco, Los Angeles, & New York, Loren is starting his twelfth season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he conducts live backstage interviews for the 10 million worldwide listeners of the Metropolitan Opera Saturday broadcast.


Michael Ungar

One of the founding members of Sandblast, Mike is an award-winning sound designer and audio-post mixer who, as a jazz trumpeter, multi instrumentalist, and composer, has received acclaim throughout his career for his unique blend of technical skill & innate musicality.

Mike has mixed and sound-designed TV shows, promos, commercials, documentaries, animated specials, Up Fronts, indie films, award shows & marketing tapes and still has time to play tennis every now and then cause he gets up real early.

His mixing & music have been heard on a wide variety of projects and networks from cartoons like the original ThunderCats to Showtime's Emmy Nominated documentary A Game of Honor; from the NFL’s documentary on the making of  2015’s SuperBowl Halftime Show with Katy Perry, to the Degree and Axe spots for Mindshare World Entertainment that aired during the same. 

Over the years Mike created sound design and mixed the launch campaigns for network launches and reboots for The History Channel, TV Land, Nick at Night, Noggin, Syfy Network, USA, Sprout, PBS Kids, Logo, Paramount Network as well as program launches like  Paramount Networks's Ink MasterInk AngelsLip Sync BattleYellowstoneBar Rescue, and Premier Championship Boxing and Nick’s Peter RabbitBubble Guppies and Ben and Holly Nella, the Princess KnightPaw Patrol and many more. 

Michael wrote the theme for The Phred on Your Head ShowGirls vs BoysPBS KidsStick Stickly specials and  has written and produced music for many Sesame Workshop DVDs, including their most popular DVD of all time, Elmo’s Potty Time, and the series Sesame Beginnings. He also wrote and produced the Magilla the Gorilla Rap and is still waiting for the royalty check to come in after 60,000 plays on Boomerang and the Cartoon Network and over 3 million hits on YouTube.

Bill Lacey

Composer, sound designer/mixer and Grammy Award-winning mastering and restoration engineer, Bill recently sound-designed and mixed the launch trailers for Showtime’s Dexter, Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex original series.  In addition to his post-production work for Showtime Networks and Major League Baseball he restored sound for Sesame Workshop’s Old School, Vol. 3 – which was profiled in Post Magazine – well as sound restoration of the classic Fellini film “La Dolce Vita,” – for which he received a prestigious CEDAR Award.   He has also mastered over 300 CDs.

As a composer Bill has scored twelve films, six television shows and over a hundred trailers, promos and commercials, including recent music for Dexter, House of Lies and Shameless.  He also received an Emmy Nomination for his original score for the Smithsonian 9/11 trailer.

Bill writes for the esteemed British publications Sound On Sound and Resolution and lectures at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Shane Conry

Shane graduated at the top of his class with a degree in Music Technology and Ethnomusicology, and began his career in NYC as a recording and mix engineer, cutting his teeth on everything from Hip-Hop & Jazz to Rock and Techno. He has worked with stars including Cam-Ron, Tribe Called Quest, Diddy Dirty Money and Digable Planets, and has produced a number of projects on his own as well as remixing artists like Madonna and 50 Cent.

Now in his twelfth year working with SandBlast, Shane provides award- winning post-production mixing, sound design, original music and foley for clients like SNL, Spike, ESPN, SYFY, HBO and Showtime.  When he’s not in the studio he can be found at a number of NYC venues DJing under the name Victor Loveless.

Sean Canada

Sean is one of our phenomenal audio engineers as well as the Director of Technical Operations. He has been mixing for television for the past ten years, since working his way up from assistant bagel slicer and tape librarian to audio assistant and, finally, to his double life as mixer and technician, all under the expert tutelage of Mike & Ralph.

He got his start with recording in high school, performing & recording all the parts on his own music, as well as producing records for his and other local bands out of his parents’ living room.

Sean then decided this could actually be a career and went to NYU for Music Technology, where he learned all aspects of recording, technology, music, and audio for video.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Technology.  During his time in school he won a Mix Magazine TEC Award for Excellence in Audio Education.

Now, Sean is happy to oversee our brand new SandBlast Studios, as well as to continue working on many diverse projects for a myriad of clients.

Melanie Reed

Too often in our industry, Studio Operations and Studio Production are separated by different paths that never seem to connect.  That is certainly not the case with Mel.

As a graduate of Full Sail University, with a B.S. in Recording Arts, Melanie’s over ten years experience in the industry began with the basics.  From cleaning studios and re-stocking the refrigerator, to editing drum tracks, recording local bands, and live mixing at local venues in NJ, Melanie became aware of every facet of  the music recording business.

When the opportunity to do freelance mixing, sound design, and foley for a handful of animations and independent projects came along, she knew she found her passion in the wonderful world of Audio Post Production. Over the years, along with assisting, editing, mixing, foley + VO recording, she has worked with Video Editing, Media Management and the more technical side of Post-Production.

Now the Director of Operations and Head Scheduler for Sandblast Productions, Melanie’s experience has been vital to facilitating the workflow and understanding the workflow and understanding the needs of the client’s project from start to finish.

John Crenshaw

When I was growing up, there was always music, whether it was on the stereo or someone picking up one of the many musical instruments in the house. There was also a tape recorder and microphones for all the kids to play with.  I was the luckiest boy in the world, and one of those recordings was recently released on Jack White’s Third Man Records.

I moved to NYC when I was 18, worked for a rehearsal studio/construction company and attended The Institute of Audio Research in the Village. When my brother Marshall signed with Warner Brothers, I quit the job and school to join his band, first as a roadie and, later, to play
percussion, keyboards and vocals.  After touring for a few years, I got a job at Howard Schwartz Recording working with Rankin and Bass on their TV series Thunder Cats, directing sessions, helping with last minute re-writes, going over storyboards, character voices, and musical compositions.  I went on to work on two more cartoon series for Rankin and Bass: Silverhawks and The Comic Strip.

Some years later, I joined Mike Ungar and Ralph Kelsey at Broadway Sound, where I took the things I had learned as a musician, producer, and engineer and combined them to  create a fun and productive niche in the world of Audio Post.  My various, somewhat odd experiences have given me the ability to mix, sound design, compose, and perform on countless projects through out my career. I have won several awards and an Emmy nomination for my work.

Diriki Mack

Diriki has worked over the years at major production and post production facilities in both NYC and L.A. as a music producer, artist developer, audio mixer/sound designer, and voiceover talent. Some of his clients include the National Basketball Association, ESPN, Ford Motors, Showtime Networks, MTV Networks and Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry, for which he created the show open.  He has loaned his talents to various independent films and Emmy nominated documentaries, while working with many talented artists including Mos Def, [1], Public Enemy, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, comedian Shang Forbes, and Tony Award winning poet Poetri.

Diriki started a production company, Fuzion Entertainment, with his music partner in order to control the distribution of the music and video properties they were creating. The company recorded and released album projects, self-produced music videos, and also wrote and produced for many independent artists, television networks and music service companies. Fuzion has grown to also include talent development and media divisions.

Diriki graduated from New York Institute of Technology with a B.F.A. in Communication Arts with concentrations in Media Production and Advertising.  He then went on to work at RCA Records; partnering with the team in the A&R department to help manage album and remix projects for many artists including Michael Jackson, SWV, and the Wu-Tang Clan.

Diriki has created an impressive blend of art and business; on one hand staying true to his unique sound and vision, and on the other having the ability to stay on the cutting edge of the business while being involved in a multitude of exciting projects.

Kevin McElligott

Music and Sound have always been my passion. I grew up in a musical family, my brothers and I obsessed with all things Rock and Roll. I had the great fortune to work with some super-talented musicians while chasing my Rock and Roll dream. I was attending the Institute of Audio Research years ago, while in the studio with future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tommy Ramone and I asked him about pursuing my dream of being a recording engineer. His advice, “Get into jingles or advertising. You can have a great career and a normal life”.

I followed his advice and have had a very rewarding career, winning NY Emmy and ProMax Gold Awards, among others. I love what I do, whether it’s a 5 second ID or a 5 minute Upfront reel, and give 100 percent every time out to make things better than envisioned. Bouncing ideas back and forth with Creatives is a blast, and brings out some really fun and rewarding work.

I am honored to work with such clients as Syfy, USA Network, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Nick Jr, NickMom, Food Network, Chiller, MTV, VH1, CBS, A&E, and Lifetime.

Ben Soiefer

The youngest member of the Sandblast team, Ben is our hardworking Assistant Engineer. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from University of Rochester with a B.A. in Music and a Minor in Audio and Music Engineering, Ben joined us as our Studio Assistant at the beginning of 2017 and moved up to Assistant Engineer in 2018.

Ben has had a great ear and a love of music & sound since he was very young. He took piano lessons as a kid and has been playing alto sax for almost 15 years. He always knew that he wanted to have a career involving music in some way, and everything finally clicked when he took his first audio engineering course in college.

Over the past two years, in between answering the phones and troubleshooting problems around the studio, Ben has engineered VO sessions for a broad range of clients, including CBS, ESPN, Nickelodeon, Showtime, and MTV Networks. He recently finished editing and mixing two podcast series for the Wall Street Journal’s Custom Studios, and he sound designed and mixed three short films in the past year, two of which premiered at film festivals in NYC.