SAE girls rock!
15 Aug 2017
SAE girls rock!
15 Aug 2017
Becki Whitton is a singer/songwriter who goes under the alias of Aphir. Having graduated from SAE Melbourne with a Bachelor of Audio last year, Becki now works as a Producer and Mixing/Mastering Engineer with the Melbourne-based studio, Deluxe Mastering. Becki has mixed and mastered for much-loved indie artists like Japanese Wallpaper, Tash Parker, Anatole and more. Outside the studio Becki works as Sound Manager for Girls Rock! camp in Canberra and has a passion for promoting performance opportunities for women in Melbourne who are making original experimental, electronic and alternative music.
We spoke to Becki about what inspired her to go onto tertiary studies at SAE Institute and the career she is paving for herself in music…
What inspired you to study audio?
I made the decision to study a Bachelor of Audio at SAE Institute mainly after my experiencing frustrations with recording my own mixes! Before I started my degree I was making music by recording layers upon layers of my own vocals. I was proud of my arrangements, but my mixes never sounded as clean and flawless as I wanted them to be. Studying Audio seemed like the best way to rectify that.
What did you love most about studying at SAE?
I loved learning about all the nuances of Ableton (digital audio workstation/console) and the infinite potential it gives to create unique new sounds. The in-depth knowledge of Pro Tools that I gained during my studies has meant that mixing is a relaxed and intuitive process for me now in the studios where I’m working.
Can you shed some light on how studying at SAE lead you to where you are now?
My studies were so helpful in allowing me to further my own solo musical project, Aphir, and enabling me to help other artists with their mixing, mastering and audio production. Songwriting has always been a passion of mine, so having the technical skills I acquired at SAE I can now produce and mix the songs I write. It’s meant that I have a lot more creative control over the way my songs turn out. I can also produce the songs I write for other artists.
What do you enjoy most about working in your industry?
I'm constantly inspired by the artists I get to work with. There are so many talented people constantly coming through the studio where I work, and it's great to be able to help them realise their vision through the songs they're making. I've made some lasting friends who love writing and producing as much as I do, and with whom I can share valuable critique and encouragement.
What role are you in now?
Can you tell us a bit about the company and your responsibilities? Last year while I was still studying at SAE I had the opportunity to travel to Berlin and perform at Music Tech Fest (a global festival of music ideas) to showcase the way I've been integrating the motion control app, AUUG Motion Synth, with Ableton in my live shows – that was a big highlight for me! Since then I've released an album of my own which I produced, mixed, and mastered myself. In my final year of studies at SAE I started working for Andrei Eremin at Deluxe Mastering, a Melbourne-based production studio. I've had the opportunity to mix for amazing artists like Japanese Wallpaper, Tash Parker and Anatole. On top of that, I also work as a Sound Manager for Girls Rock! Canberra (a week-long camp that encourages young women and gender non-conforming people to learn a musical instrument and form their first band). In this role I've mixed live shows for artists including Courtney Barnett and Moaning Lisa.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I'm lucky to be releasing my music through a great indie label, Provenance Records. I've been doing a lot of mixing, mastering, writing, and production work with some other talented women on the label - look out for records from KAIA and Arrom in the very near future! I've also been working on a lot of new solo work for release throughout this year and next. So stay tuned for that also!
Can you share an artist that inspires you?
A big inspiration for me is Syd from The Internet. She's an incredible songwriter and producer and she always seems to bring amazing musicians together in the stuff she works on. Based on her interviews it seems like she's a fun person to spend time with - I think that's the life I aspire to live: just working on great records with my friends.
What advice would you give to students aspiring to become successful their field?
This advice is for women and gender non-conforming people specifically who want to study audio… the music industry needs your skills and insight. Learning about the technical details of recording, production, mixing, and mastering at university is a good way to gain confidence and start your career.
Interested in a career in audio?
Enrol in an Audio course at SAE Institute Australia!