When did you know that you're going to become an Audio Engineer? Tell us a bit about your journey?
I always had an interest towards Sound, be it live engineering or sound design. I was into DJing in my 8th standard and probably one of the youngest DJs here in Pune/Mumbai.
This is when the interest towards sound & music started building up. I think when I was in my 10th I completely dismantled my music system at home to see how the connections are done, started playing around with the ‘driver’ (speaker), understanding how acoustics help to give a thump or loudness etc.
Then in my college, I took up Film, that is when I realized the importance of sound with respect to visuals. I directed my 1st film and visually it looked great, audio wise it was a total wreck. This is when I decided that I would love to pursue the most challenging thing at that time. Since I was already into music and playing around with different sounds, I thought it would be easy, but till date I keep discovering new things learning different aspects and I love it.
Tell us about your role in Easy Wanderlings and as an Audio Engineer? How did you guys start the band? Tell us a bit about your journey?
Well, to be honest, it all started as a simple home project to record songs/audio and see how it feels. Sanyanth, back from San Francisco, was staying over at my place in Pune. He had composed a few songs back in the US. I was completing my Sound recording and Design Course from SRFTI (Kolkata) and was back in Pune for the holidays. I wanted some project to learn/practice, so one day we thought of just putting these songs down digitally to see what happens. He made me listen to a few songs (Enjoy it while it lasts, I for little things, Summer is away, Hillwalk, etc) They were beautiful when he sung it.
Some songs definitely needed a female voice which we both agreed on. Pratika, who was studying then in Flame fit the bill perfectly. I still remember the 1st time we sat together and she sang this song for us. We both had goosebumps.
Now, we had to record these songs. We literally had no money or budgets for any of these songs. Honestly recording a good production is expensive when you are about to start out.
We did all the possible “jugaad” we could. I had a sound card, 1 SM 58 & one akg perception series condenser mic. We would sleep in the day and record at night when everything was peaceful and quiet. I had 2 sofacumbeds, which I would erect as walls for the little sound proof dome and ask Sanyanth / Pratika to go inside and sing or play instruments. That’s how we tracked 4 of our first few songs. Literally in the living room of a 1bhk with no proper equipment or acoustic treatment.
Once these songs started doing well and people demanded more music, we hit Gray Spark Audio and tracked our 1st Album ‘As written in the stars’.
Why did you get into film sound and what are some of the challenges you face on set?
Editing the film really changed my perspective towards sound and how important it is for this visual medium. That’s when I started doing my research and applied for FTII & SRFTI and got through in the 1st attempt. (I was super lucky there)
Challenges are there in every production. Every location is different, noise levels are different, dialogue delivery is different, gears are different, boom operators are different etc etc. I can go on… but there’s no fun without these challenges.
What is the once piece of gear you can't live without?
What is going to be your next gear purchase?
Advice to Audio Engineers who want to make it in this industry?
If there was one thing you wish filmmakers knew, what would it be?
What are some of the most challenging and rewarding projects you've worked on?
Where do you see the future of Audio Engineering headed?
Audio is needed in literally every field, be it medical, automobile, architecture etc etc. There are so many fields an engineer can choose to get into. So there’s definitely a lot of scope and future for all the budding engineers. Also, AI is going to be the next big thing in our industry.