Herman "Soy Sos" Pearl - Owner / Head Engineer

Herman Pearl (Soy Sos) is head engineer and owner of Tuff Sound Recording, as well as sound designer and co-founder of PearlArts Studios, a sound and creative movement company he formed with his wife, Staycee Pearl. Through PearlArts, Herman creates soundscapes to serve as a component to contemporary dance.

As a sound designer, Herman’s repertoire includes a wide variety of projects and collaborators. His work has been featured in various independent films and documentaries, video games, and advertising. He has designed soundscapes for numerous choreographers. He has collaborated with many visual artists to create installations and touring exhibits. He has recorded and produced work for a plethora of recording artists across genres and techniques. For an extensive client list, go to our Clients & Collaborators page.

Herman is also an artist. He has performed, created, and recorded his own music for over 25 years. With DJ MKL, Herman created 3 Generations Walking and MKL vs. Soy Sos, a deep house music-centered collective that produced approximately 30 releases with worldwide distribution and acclaim between 1998 and 2006. In 1997, Pearl and longtime collaborator Christiane D founded the band Soma Mestizo, which produced 8 albums and performed over 500 shows. With reggae group Chill Factor International/CFI Massive, Pearl acted as co-founder, member, manager, and producer between 1986 and 1999, during which the band performed at nearly 1,000 engagements and released six records. He has produced immersive installations for art galleries. His full-scale sound installation, “Named/Unnamed,” was featured at 937 Gallery for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Three Rivers Arts Festival. He continues to develop live performance ensembles, remix projects, and multimedia art installations. For news on these projects and more, check out our blog.




photo by Kitoko Chargois

photo by Kitoko Chargois


Amos "DJ Thermos" Levy - Production Assistant

Amos Levy, an educator, DJ, and audio engineer is dedicated to unlocking joy through creativity, and empowering voices through the arts. He has over ten years of experience as a hip-hop producer, and has been a mixing engineer for the past four. He is a Teaching-Artist with the YMCA Lighthouse Program in Pittsburgh, and he leads a digital storytelling project at the Women’s Shelter and Center of Greater Pittsburgh with Jess Gold. Amos produces and performs music under the stage-name DJ Thermos, and as Junk Foods with rapper Billy Pilgrim.






Kitoko Chargois - Program Coordinator

Kitoko Chargois is a graduate of Chatham University where she studied Journalism and Photography. Since graduating in 2014, she has been involved in a variety of pursuits from interning at news organizations to photographing beautiful people and products to being a project coordinator on a large installation photo project. She is currently the program coordinator of the Tuff Sound Apprenticeship Program. As someone who considers herself a creator, she is excited to be part of a program that empowers youth to do the same and to follow their passions.