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Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Daniel Casas Buitrago & Cindy Takehara Ferrucio

We are happy to post some interviews with the student recording competition winners of the AES133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!

gold award winner of category 4 (Sound for Visual Media): Daniel Casas Buitrago & Cindy Takehara Ferrucio

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Daniel: I was born in Tunja, Boyaca, which is located in the center region of Colombia. Right now I am based in Bogotá, capital city of Colombia and I’m into sound design and music production. ?

Cindy: I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan but currently, I’m based in Bogotá, Colombia. We both studied Music with emphasis on sound engineering at Javeriana University. At college, we learned about every field related to audio engineering from classical/non-classical music recording to live sound reinforcement, and for each field, there are lots of interesting things, but I am definitely into sound design and post-production for visual media.

SDA: Tell us about the production of your competition entry. How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? Stories? Inspirations?

Daniel: That’s right; we put a lot of ourselves in this project, so we decided to participate in this competition.

Cindy: It took about 1 month of researching, recording every sound to create our own sound library, 3 months of editing, recording music and working for the pre-mix, and finally about a month for mixing in surround 5.1. It sounds like we spent a lot of time on this project but actually, we worked on several projects during that time and we had academic responsibilities to fulfill, so sometimes it was hard to find enough time to complete all the tasks we had.

Daniel: We had to handle lots of stress caused by all the work we had ahead of us, there were days we were not able to get any sleep. Sometimes we had to work on the project at night and the next day we had to go to class and deal with other assignments. This situation happened quite often.

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?

Cindy: My passion for audio grew while I was studying at college. And that’s because of my fascination for Music (which is why I decided to study music) and all the admiration I have for my teachers who taught me so much. In a similar manner, my interest for audio increased when I saw the making of “The lord of the rings” for the first time. I was astonished when I saw how they worked the sound design aspect and, in that precise moment I said, “Wow, I want to do that! “

Daniel: Well, it all started when I was 13 o 14 years old. I played music with a couple of friends and one day we wanted to record one of our songs. We didn’t have any kind of DAW or digital interface, but there was a Home stereo system at my place with a cassette deck, which had the option of playing and recording for 2 cassettes, so we took this old mic and started recording the drums, then alternate cassettes and do bass, and guitars, creating a new mixdown every time. We repeated this process until we had our song finished on one of those cassettes. This was very exciting for me and my friends, the fact that we created our recording, had it in our hands and were able to listen to it every time we wanted, was simply amazing!

SDA: How did the AES help you on your way of being a successful audio engineer?

Cindy: I'm way far from being a successful audio engineer... I mean, you never stop learning being as a sound engineer, that’s for sure. There are so many things to do and learn! I think the role of the AES has been to encourage students to keep learning and share knowledge through all the workshops, conferences and conventions that go through around the world. Besides, the AES has given us opportunities to meet pioneers and the greatest audio engineers and that is the most amazing experience we could ever have...At least for me :)

Daniel: Cindy is right; we are not any close to becoming successful audio engineers. This was a notable accomplishment on what is the beginning of our professional careers as engineers. However, we have lots of things to learn, but we like to thing that we are on the right path. Also, with every convention comes the opportunity of being a part of it, we are getting tons of knowledge from the masterminds of Audio.

SDA: What are your highlights of the AES133 in San Francisco?

Cindy: The students recording competition, certainly. It was a great space to appreciate the incredible work of the finalists, and the feedback from the amazing judges gave us a lot to learn. There were also interesting talks in paper sessions and some others like Sound for picture sessions and Engineering briefs.

Daniel: Exactly, the fact of being able to show your work and to get different opinions about how to make it better, it’s a unique opportunity.

SDA: What was your funniest experience as an engineer so far?

Cindy: During ADR recording, there are always some bad takes that make us laugh a lot. I never recorded professional voice actors, but there is always a friend who can make different voices at the class. He makes an effort when doing some of them, and he has to make funny faces when he’s recording a line. I know I should not laugh, but I can't help it.

Daniel: I was recording some songs that a friend asked me to. We were tracking vocals and everything was going fine until my friend got his voice really messed up, because he was making a huge effort while singing some of those songs. At that point I thought it was no big deal, but then he started making this involuntary chicken sounds! I couldn't hold it and started laughing. I was fortunate he was my friend and we have trust in each other so he didn’t get upset with me for it.

SDA: Can you tell us your biggest mistake you made during a production?

Daniel: Probably was the day I wanted to experiment in a drum recording, by using a room mic, placing it outside the studio hall. It sounded really nice but there were a lot of people there, and I couldn’t get a clean capture with that mic.

Cindy: I remember a concert when I was working as a monitor engineer, the drummer of the band asked me to send more of secondary guitar to his monitor, so I sent more of it, but actually, I was giving him more of bass. He kept telling me that he couldn’t hear the guitar, and I was doing this gesture that I already sent it full. After a few minutes, I realized that I was exploding his ears with bass, poor guy!

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Cindy: Tough question, there are so many. I would say Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Christipher Hogwood in 1980. Definitely, one of the finest performances ever! I have another one, I wouldn’t say this one is the best recording in the world, but the last album from the Foo Fighters “The wasting light” is one of my favorite too. I think it was a huge challenge to be tracking in the front man’s garage, and still make it sound brutal!

Daniel: I’m with Cindy on this one, as a sound engineer and a Foo Fighters fan, they did an incredible job on that last album. Also, I must say that, looking to the past, I love to see when artists, bands, composers and musicians in general experiment and try new stuff. That’s why I want to include The Beatles’ White Album. Everything they accomplished on that record was incredible!

SDA: Do you play any instruments?

Cindy: I play some, mostly dabble, but I play piano, acoustic guitar, trumpet, and a little bit of ethnic instrument such as Quena and Zampoña.

Daniel: I play guitar, piano, a little bit of drums, and I’m trying to improve my voice.

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Daniel: I’m into photography, making videos movies, and I constantly like to buy music records, even If I already have their music on my computer, not just to get good quality audio material but, for the delight of appreciating the art and visual concept on every record.?

Cindy: I'm a big movie buff from mainstream movies to independent films.

SDA: Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Cindy: Hopefully, working at Skywalker Sound with Ben Burtt, Lora Hirschberg and Christopher Boyes… You never know, right? ;) In short, I see myself at television studios or working as a sound engineer for independent film or maybe for some big feature films.

Daniel: Working professionally as a sound designer or a folley artist. Hopefully, I’d be creating music for film or any other visual media. I'm really interested on everything related to films since I started studying “Film and T.V.”. Anything could happen in 10 years from now!

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

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