Wisnu Ikhsantama is SAE Indonesia’s Audio programme alumni. Now Wisnu works as a Record Producer and Mixing Engineer for. Feast, Indian, Barasuara, and Glaskaca. Here’s Wisnu’s interview with Audio student SAE Indonesia Khalid Jaladian about his experience at SAE Indonesia.
Since when you enter SAE?
I graduated SMA in 2012, but i enquired SAE from 2011 at JAPEX (The Music Instrument exhibition at PRJ). Since high school I have been attracted to audio engineering and music production. Since 3rd grade of SMP I liked to hung out at music studio; and the studio operator taught me to operate the recording tools. At Grade 2 SMA i can operate the recording tools and often help many bands. But then it was a destructive path, because I often skip school and went to studio, so the school is messy. And because of this passion, i already convinced that i want to study audio production, so I searched for campuses that roughly fit. One of the most famous of these was SAE. But my parents advise me to take the state campus with majors such as literature, etc. I don’t want conventional major. I really don’t care about my score as a form of my rebellion. I was at that time go to JAPEX and found SAE booth, wow it’s wonderful! and i applied myself.
At that time, SAE’s still using the old curriculum, i presume? which is 2 years programme.
I was 3 years studying at SAE because i enquire Diploma programme. Maybe according to people’s view, the lecture at SAE is easy and ‘ artsy ‘. But there are challenges too. Like the other campuses, there are worth the score, learning the technical stuff, and other things.
What is your favorite course?
There are 3. First, communication courses. The first day of college i came alone and had not known anyone, suddenly there was someone saying: Hi! New Kid huh?. I think he’s a student, apparently lecturer.. Ha ha. It was fun. The essence of the communication courses, in the end, are all communication tools, so whatever audio production we do must be communicative. The class is very exciting because there are games and team building. And the lecturers appreciate it as well. Second, advance recording and mixing course. At this time i’m shifting my ideals that had wanted to be a mixing engineer, want to be a record engineer as well. Because I think there are many mixer, but expert at recording? not much. And the third, MDX Degree class, which discussed essence art, form, genre, etc. In that class we were told to write 5000-6000 words for essay, but instead we become trained to write a weighted essay. That’s 3 classes that manage to shape me.
What is your most hated course?
Hmmm… i don’t hate it, just these courses aren’t my favorite. They’re Acoustic and Citizenship course. I was confused to study them because nobody wrote about those courses, there aren’t any journals as well. Do you believe me when i say i got O at Electronic Music Production (EMP)? I was really upset and started to study Ableton Live seriously, and it works until now. I kinda regret the fact that i’m not take that course seriously. Electronic music is important currently, though.
What is your most memorable experience at SAE?
At that time I was appointed by lecturer to work on the band held by Music Business students. And then i record its band, and the recording result are not proper. The band was Barasuara. The recording was not proper since I still thought that flaws in the footage could still be fixed in the mixing process, and it turned out to collapse it all. Starting from that I dig into the lecture again how to record the right, etc. I’ve also repeated the Mastering class with my own will. Because I felt still lack of Mastering skill.
How does the work experience after graduating from SAE? Is the skills obtained from SAE useful?
Very useful. I feel it will not be as it is now if I don’t get lecturings from SAE. Now i’m working with Hindia, . Feast, Reality Club, and also I still work on other bands that are not as popular as they are. I’m working on singles. Feast it when I was 5th semester. Mixing on campus.
You get a lot of work while still in college, huh?
Yes. My advice, do not eyeing famous bands at first. Sometimes your friends can also help to apply the knowledge we get. While SAE campus still at FX Sudirman, I’ve helped Kerispatih and Indra Lesmana. For me, projects like that can be valuable experiences.
Advice for SAE’s Audio students?
First of all, Don’t stop exploring. Because this field is always in contact with technology, and the technology continues to evolve. The semester is usually tiring, but believe me it will pay off in the final semester, as a provision. For example, if we do not know the signal flow, how can compress the good. As for example when I work on the Feast’s song (Tarian Penghancur Raya), the drum was made mid-side, and i just realized when working on the song.
There is a stereotypical saying that art cannot be a career, so what makes you decide to go to SAE?
Because I feel gifted in this field. I’m not close minded or else, but I feel total here. Just pushing the limits. It’s my way of proving around i am serious in this field.
The working prospect as a sound engineer other than live sound and mixing & mastering in Indonesia?
Post production. And many more, even my friends work in agencies doing voice over or ad production, make jingle, etc. I also used to worry during the 6th semester, if I graduated where will i work? Because after graduation I was not financed anymore by my parents. But finally I still try my best.
What is the difference between educational engineer and self-taught engineer?
I don’t know how to answer that. Maybe the difference is when we exploring by ourself, we need 3 years to understand. If we’re in college, we could get it in a month.