Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Where and what do you study?
I’m Indra, I come from Bali, Indonesia, but now currently studying my Master’s Degree in Time Dependent Media — Sound/Vision at HAW Hamburg (University of Applied Sciences Hamburg).
What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?
It started quite early when I still watched Japanese cartoons. I was totally in love with the soundtracks but at that time there wasn’t Internet available and I didn’t have access to the original recordings. So instead, I hooked up the RCA audio out connector from my TV to my family’s old cassette deck and started recording the intro/outro songs from those cartoons. That was technically my first recording in my life. Soon enough there was internet, Cool Edit, and I was totally trying the FFT Filters and stuff. Cool period in my life!
Tell us about the production of your submission. What is the story behind it? What was it inspired by? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry?
It was quite interesting actually, because for this submission I didn’t plan it to be a submission, because it came up first from my professor. He said, “I got a big band album recording coming up, who wants to be in charge?” and I realized that was my chance. Five days of recording, months of editing and mixing, and in the middle of it my professor said it could actually be a good submission for the AES Student Recording Competition! And yes, that was my first entry.
What was your most significant/funny/inspiring experience as an audio engineer?
I think recording this submission was. It was the first time in my life recording 18 musicians live in a studio with 26 track coming in, and it should be perfect sounding. That was a hell lot of stress, but I also learned a lot in this production, microphone techniques is very important and very crucial when you start putting 15 musicians in the same room and getting a lot of bleed. But in the end, it was a joy mixing it because it already sounded so good and all the hard work was paid off!
What was your biggest mistake in a production and what did you do to redeem the situation?
I was a n00b back then recording drums, and I did lots of mistakes recording it on my bachelor’s end thesis. It sounded so poor with phasing everywhere, and I was so not pleased with it when I tried to mix it a few weeks later, but I did realize that it was too late too fix and I couldn’t do the recording again because of time factor. In the end I tried to fix it in the mix, ended up making the drums sounding “usable” but very thin and shallow sounding. I can safely say that it was not rescued and it is “printed” forever in my first album.
What’s your advice for engineers who are just starting out?
Firstly, microphone is your eq. Don’t record if you’re not satisfied with what you hear and do not hesitate to make hundreds of small changes. I promise, it’s worth it! Secondly, mix with your stock DAW plugins. If you can do it well, so you can with paid and shiny plugins. Last but not least, it’s not Pro Tools or Nuendo or whatever defines your mix, it’s you. DAWs are just helper tools to achieve your goals. Look again on advice number two :)
What are your favorite pieces of equipment (microphones, outboard, plugins), and why?
I totally love the Neumann TLM 103. One of the quietest mics on earth, and sounds so beautiful. I don’t have any fave outboards because I don’t work a lot with it, but my fave plug-in is the DMG Equilibrium. One of the heavenliest EQ that I’ve ever heard in the digital domain.
What/who made you join the AES?
My professor Thomas Görne and his AES Student Section Hamburg!
Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 140th AES Convention in Paris!
Getting to volunteer as TPVR team with the amazing people from France, getting to know Michael and Sue Williams, and Glenn Lorbecki personally, and of course winning the silver award on the AES Student Recording Competition!
What is your favourite frequency?
2,5 kHz and neighboring frequencies, the frequency area that our ears are most sensitive to.
What do you do when you’re not in the studio or doing anything music related?
I think I would be working/owning a specialty coffee shops, roasting and serving our own coffees and make the best coffee in the world! ;-)
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’d see myself as a professional in the Sound Design/Engineering world, working on a lot of projects but at the same time teaching in my Uni in Indonesia to help Indonesia develop this area of expertise and helping them to compete in the big bad world.
Could you provide us with some closing comments?
I think AES is a really amazing community of sound experts to connect people to the bigger world and also learn a lot from the experts. The "big guns” who I normally only see in the internet were totally friendly and helpful, and not arrogant or unfriendly as I imagined before. Kudos to AES and AES Student Sections for always organizing the awesome Conventions! Special thanks to Michael and Sue Williams for the chance of volunteering, the juries of AES Student Recording Competition Category 2, Glenn Lorbecki, Prof. Thomas Görne from HAW Hamburg, and the HAW Hamburg Tonlabor.
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2016