Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where are you from? What do you study? How did you discover your passion for audio?
I had my first experience with sound recording in 1994, at the age of 12, in my hometown Bagé in Southern Brazil. As a piano player, I formed a band with my two brothers and started recording rehearsals with a Tascam Porta One four-track cassette tape recorder given to me by my father. During the following years we wrote and recorded a number of tracks and submitted them to several record labels, which helped us to secure a deal with Antídoto/Polygram Records in 1996. Later that year, I did my first recording at ACIT studios in the city of Porto Alegre. That was a huge learning experience as I had the opportunity to observe and learn about recording techniques, microphones, analogue consoles and tape recorders, and got to work with professional sound engineers and music producers in a professional recording studio environment. In 2000, I started a degree in Marketing and Advertisement at URCAMP University in southern Brazil and simultaneously set up my own recording studio, called SG Studio, where I recorded local bands, produced jingles and created commercial audio content for radio and television.
Tell us about the production of your submission. What is the story behind it? How long did you work on it?
The track “Glimpse of light” by the band Chapa was my first entry into an AES recording competition. It was recorded during my degree in Sound Engineering at the SAE London in 2012. It consists of a combination of real and virtual instruments, including drums, guitar, piano and different types of synthesizers and effects. The idea was to create unusual sound textures, like the vocoder line used in the introduction and chorus of the track. The song was recorded over of a month in four sessions. Drums and bass were recorded simultaneously. Then the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Wurlitzer electric piano and acoustic piano were recorded. Finally the synthesizers and vocoder lines were created and the vocals were tracked. During the editing and mixing process, programming of samples and loops was also performed and applied to the track.
What were your most significant, funny or inspiring experiences as an audio engineer?
It was in 2004, when I worked as the main tracking and mixing engineer for an entire album for the first time, recording Chapa’s third studio album. The project was challenging and despite the gear limitations and lack of a deep technical understanding, the accomplishment motivated me and gave me the confidence to pursue a career in sound engineering.
Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake in a production and what did you do to redeem the situation?
In one of my early recordings I decided for the first time to record a snare drum with two microphones. However, I didn’t reverse the polarity of either of the microphones. As a result, they totally cancelled each other out. It took me a while to recognise the mistake.
What’s your advice for engineers who are just starting out?
Work hard and be patient.
Tech talk: What are your favourite pieces of equipment?
Condenser microphone: Neumann M149
Dynamic microphone: Shure SM57
Studio monitors: KRK-V8
Plug-in: Waves V-EQ4
What is your favourite recording or production?
“Pet Sounds” by The Beach Boys.
What do you like about the AES? How does it help you to become a better and more successful audio engineer?
The AES Conventions, where we can meet other members of the audio industry, have access to the latest research developments and the opportunity to learn directly from experts.
Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 134th AES Convention in Rome!
It was to present my work and to win in both recording competition and design competition. This also gave me the opportunity to receive feedback from audio industry professionals.
What is your favourite frequency?
What do you do when you’re not in the studio or doing anything music related?
I like being with my family and friends, reading, exercising and travelling.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In the recording studio.
To get an impression of Diego's work follow this link to watch a video filmed during the drum recording for his submission "Glimpse of Light" by Chapa.
If you want to get in touch with Diego, connect with him on LinkedIn.
Would you like to be interviewed for our blog as well? Take part in the student competitions at the next AES Convention in Berlin in April and make use of this amazing opportunity! For more information, follow this link!
Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014