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Studying The Science Of Sound With SAE

Written by John Ritchie on June 22, 2011

With mid-semester breaks and trial HSC exams approaching, you may be thinking about new plans for study next year. SAE have been helping people across the country for years to get skilled in one of the best sections of the Music Industry – Audio Engineering. We chat to one of this year’s Bachelor of Audio Production students, Chris Johnson about why he likes SAE.

Music Feeds: What made you decide to start a career in the Audio Visual and Music Industry?

Chris Johnson: I play in a band and wanted to know more about the intricate details of music and in particular frequencies and how we hear them. Our band was recording at Studios 301 in Byron Bay with friend and head engineer, Paul Pilsneniks. I asked him how I could work in the studio with him as I was wanting to work with and record bands to get a greater understanding of the process.  He  simply told me to study at SAE, so I enrolled the following week.

Who are some of the bands and performers who have inspired you to enter this industry?

CJ: Tool and anything heavy. Having said that, I really enjoy artists like Bjork and Sigur Røs to blues and also orchestral music, all of which I find interesting.

What are the best things about the facilities at SAE?

CJ: The studios are great! I’d say that having the chance to work on an SSL K Series console is such a unique opportunity considering there are only about 17 or so in the world. There is some good outboard gear we have access to at SAE and it’s nice to mix in 5.1 [surround sound].

Who inspires you at SAE and why do you enjoy working and learning with them?

CJ: There are a great bunch of people and engineers at SAE, both past and present students whom I find interesting and they have a lot of knowledge. Also the lecturers that I have are also a wealth of knowledge and fun to talk to and share ideas with and they really listen to how you feel and what you are trying to achieve, which helps.

What is the course that you’re studying? What are your favourite subjects or particular aspects of the course?

CJ: Bachelor of Audio Production. My favourite subjects would be Post Production with Michael Worthington and Studio Production with Jan Muths. They are both intelligent thinkers and bloody great at what they do and most of all are more than happy to share any of their ideas and thoughts on all things ‘sound’. I don’t think there is anything those two couldn’t do? Other subjects that I have really enjoyed have been Music and Sound Theory, EMP [electronic music production] and Music Styles, all of which I will definitely find very useful for life after SAE.

MF: What are you hoping to do once you graduate from this course?

CJ: Sound Design for the motion picture and video game industry. Myself and two colleagues have got a business idea up and running, which is a good challenge. It is going well, we have a few things in the mix and look forward to the future. I would also love to get some work as an assistant somewhere to further my skills and continually learn.

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