Alumni Audio Producer returns to SAE Byron
5 Jul 2017
Alumni Audio Producer returns to SAE Byron
5 Jul 2017
Italian-born Leo Guardo is an Audio Engineer specialising in sound post-production for film, television, advertising and the web. The passionate music fanatic crossed continents in his pilgrimage from Italy to Australia to enroll as an International student at SAE Byron Bay and complete a Bachelor of Audio Production.
Since graduating and relocating to the much bigger city of Melbourne, Leo has collaborated with a number of film, television and production studios worldwide, to mix a wide range of material for top brands such as Holden, Nissan, kikki.K and broadcast networks like SBS, ABC and Network Ten. During his time with SBS Australia, the young producer was in charge of audio production for the station’s language department where he managed the production of advertisements for TV, radio and web across 74 different languages!
Two of Leo’s short films have received international industry recognition. His first film Happy Birthday was screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2013, with a second film My Name is Sid selected to screen at the Venice Film Festival in 2011.
He also happens to be the Founder and Sound Designer behind his own recording and mixing studio, LG Soundesign!
Leo was recently invited to give a special guest lecture sharing his knowledge and experience in the audio industry to the students at SAE Byron. Having relocated back to the shores of the Northern Rivers earlier this year, the accomplished producer spoke to the students about getting started on a career path, creating an online profile, how to develop a network/client base and building/managing a small business.
“Follow your passion because it will be the fuel that will keep you going. Don’t be afraid of failing because it’s a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Get as much experience as you can now because it will help you to grow stronger, quicker.”
We caught up with Leo after his guest lecture to find out about his time on campus as an International student and discover what keeps him inspired working in the audio industry.
What inspired you to enter into the audio industry?
I was inspired by a DJ mixer. It was 1993, a close friend and I started playing around with a DJ mixer we’d bought at the local electrical shop and a couple of old turntables we borrowed from our grandparents. We had no idea what we were really doing - but I remember loving it so much!
I was captivated by the knobs and faders, the way they could shape and mix the sound. A few years later we had our own custom built sound system, DJ decks and lighting. We were doing lots of parties in town. I loved the combination of passion for the technical aspect, as well as being able to get people having fun and dancing.
My passion and knowledge for audio grows day by day, and it has pushed me to explore and experience different facets of the audio industry. It’s always been clear to me that my ‘everyday’ job had to be in the audio industry - and now I enjoy every second of it!
What are your fondest memories of your time at SAE?
Studio time at SAE - for sure! There’s nothing like being able to enter a professional audio studio and being able to explore, create and manipulate sound. The process of doing this is fascinating and incredibly rewarding.
What did you love most about studying at SAE?
On the top of my list there’s course studio time and the practical assignments. But I have to say that studying the basic principles of sound as well as all the technical aspects of audio engineering has been incredibly satisfying and enjoyable. Being able to understand the principles and use them to manipulate and create sounds has been fantastic.
Can you shed some light on how studying at SAE has lead you to where you are now?
I think that studying at SAE has given me the solid basics and a clear understanding of sound application in different audio fields. This has helped me develop my skills a lot quicker and extended my knowledge to many kinds of audio applications. It has also given me the confidence to be able to comfortably use professional equipment and easily learn how to operate new and upcoming gear, technologies and techniques.
What have been your career highlights?
Certainly being an audio producer at SBS Studios in Melbourne has probably given me some recognition in the industry. I think my career highlights have been mixing for TV shows like Luke Nguyen Street Food Asia (SBS), Tattoo Tales (ABC) and working on commercials for mainstream brands such as Nissan, Holden, Kikki K, NAB, ANZ, Medibank. I’d also like to give credit to all the independent productions that I worked on, they’re more challenging which means you need to be more creative.
What do you enjoy most about working in your industry?
Riding faders and knobs, shaping sounds and creating soundscapes to hit people’s feelings. Whether it’s music, sound design, or any kind of audio production - I love to work in the element of sound. I enjoy that every project is different, knowing that I will always work with different people, and that I will never stop learning new things.
What projects/upcoming gigs are you working on at the moment?
In addition to my main work as post production engineer, I recently decided to also produce, mix and master pop/dance music. As a result I’m currently working on a dance track with a fellow Italian musician and an incredible singer from Melbourne. Can’t really say much at this stage but the aim is to create a pop/dance hit. So stay tuned as you’ll hear it on the radio waves soon!
Can you share an artist that inspires you?
Very hard question but at the moment there’s a mixing engineer that is definitely inspiring me - Luca Pretolesi. He’s the founder and head engineer at Studio DMI in Las Vegas.
What advice would you give to students aspiring to become successful their field?
Follow your passion because it will be the fuel that will keep you going. Don’t be afraid of failing because it’s a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Get as much experience as you can now because it will help you to grow stronger, quicker.
This and that game..
Converse or Vans - I’d say Nike, otherwise Converse!
Coffee or Tea
Apple or Android
Instagram or Twitter
Interested in a career in audio?
Enrol in an Audio course at SAE Institute Australia!