August 1, 2009

特别越洋专访---Jemi Sitanayah

《反吸烟全国录音室歌手选拔赛》的主题曲《湮没》即将于全马首播,而这首为了公益而诞生的歌曲,是多位“名将”的杰作。其中,Jemi Sitanayah是负责整首歌的母带后期处理,包括混音。身在外国的Jemi是名获得Berklee College of Music Boston (Schulich School of Music Dan McGill University, Montreal, Canada) Master学位且经验丰富的录音师,这次也是在外国的专业录音室完成《湮没》的混音。就让这位来自印尼的音乐人告诉你何谓母带后期处理和混音!

Red line: Shaynon (reporter)
Black line: Jemi

Hi Jemi, how are you today?

I am good, how about yourself?

I am good too. What have you been up to lately?

I have done with some project for a Voice Of America(VOA).

What kind of project is that?

I prepared 64 transits music for the VOA Radio and 2 opening music for VOA Pop Culture. I also did a Live Concert Recording for the Indonesian artist “Superman Is Dead” during their touring in USA.

Sounds like a cool project. We would like to talk about the project you have done together with Serene. Could you tell us the story behind this project?

I know Serene during my study at college and she is a great singer songwriter. We always be in touch although we live in the different world. One day Serene asked me if I would like to be a part in this project(anti-smoking singing competition) and I absolutely honored to work together with her.

How do you like the song?

I think the song is great. The production is really wonderful. I love the composition, the arrangement and the production. Serene and team did an excellent job. I can hear a lot of hard work going on.

Could you explain how did you do the mixing for this song?

First at all I listened to the entire song to understand what Serene was thinking during composing and arranged the song. This arrangement is a combination between modern pop and modern orchestra style. There are strings with harmonic and melodic movement and question answer pattern between the traditional Chinese instrument and woodwind. I have to place all instruments very carefully to make sure they wont mask each other and clearly stand in the music but blended together with nice depth. The Vocal is the main point so we decided to put it at the front. I really like the Er Hu and Timpani sound. The timpani remind me when I was doing an Orchestra recording.

What was the challenge you found during mixing the song?

The song contained a lot of tracks starting from the instruments followed by the Vocals. The Vocal tracks are really a lot but it was very interesting to see how the production was done. I have to make sure everything placed properly at its place so you can hear all of them clearly and nicely.

We always hear people say “You need to master your song”. Actually what is mastering and why do you need to master your song? How does it different between mixing and mastering?

Mixing is a process where you do balancing of your multitrack and apply necessary digital signal processing and effects to make your music sound interesting.
Mastering is the final step of your production where you try to bring your final mix to the next level before finally you release it to the market as a professional product.
Personally I will recommend people to bring their song to the mastering level since this is the last step where you will have your last chance improve your sound and make it sounds better.

How long have you been working as a Mixing Mastering Engineer and what is your musical background?

I have been working as a Mixing Mastering Engineer for around 6 years. I had a great chance to learn properly thru the formal education. I am a pianist as well . I started my professional musical education at one of a musical college in Malaysia and then transferred to Berklee. In Berklee I was dual major in Music Production and Engineering as well as Piano Performance. My minor was Contemporary Writing and Production. I learned about small and large ensemble arranging which covered orchestra and big band. Later I was honored with a Schulich Scholarship to continue my Master’s Study in Sound Recording at McGill University. At McGill, I was working with a lot of high level musicians and we recorded real orchestra and a lot of Classical music. All of these experiences really help me to become a real professional Sound Engineer.

How are your studio setup looks like?

I use Pro Tool all the time for doing mixing and mastering. I have plug ins and analog equipments for doing mixing and mastering.

How long does it take you to be done with a mix?

It is vary depending of the tracks and the recording quality. Sometimes it takes me only 4 hours, sometimes a day, sometimes a week just for one song. For Serene’s song basically it takes me a day to be done with the mix not included the changes that need to be made.

Do you have any tips how to be a great Sound Engineer?

Be a real professional Sound Engineer will take a long process and a lot of hard work. I highly recommend people to go for the proper education. Many people think doing a recording can be done just by taking a microphone and place it in front of the person or an instrument and than hit record button. Some people just download the material from the Internet and try to apply during their session. It was not that simple. There are too many aspects need to be focus and listened very carefully. You need to study, you need to practice, listen to music, work with other people, assist a Senior Engineer, be in the studio, etc. I am still practicing my engineer skill every day until today. I slept only for 2 hours almost every day during my study at Berklee and McGill just to make sure that I really get everything in my hand. It was really hard but you have to be strong and maintain your focus until you finish with your job.

It was a great time talking with you Jemi. Do you have something that you would like to tell us?

Never stop to study. Try to work together with other people that capable in their field and know what they are doing. When you work with other people, your music will get richer and richer.

Ricky's Blog(这部落格写了对Jemi的一些认识,看了就知道Jemi有多厉害!嘿嘿!)