We caught up with SAE London Audio Production alumna Angela Marion Diaz Mena to learn more about what she’s been up to since graduating, and to find out how her masters degree in Acoustics has been going.
What have you been up to since graduating from SAE?
As soon as I graduated, I went back to Cali, Colombia where I was for a year. I started to buy equipment for my future studio and I recorded a demo with my band. I also assisted in some live sessions and practised with Digico consoles at a live sound company warehouse. I am currently doing a masters in architectural and environmental acoustics at London South Bank University.
What is your band called and where can people hear your music?
Our band is called Now in Chaos, we have been playing rock since 2015 and started composing recently. We still do not have any music on digital platforms but have three songs almost ready to be recorded. Our Instagram is @nowinchaos_ and Facebook @nowinchaos
You also assisted with some live sessions for the Utopia Jazz festival and the inauguration of the ICESI's university recording studios. How did you get involved with this project, and how did this draw on the live sound skills you developed during your studies at SAE?
I got involved with this project as the assistant of the main engineer. I was in charge of the live room, making sure the live stream went fine. My knowledge of gain staging and signal flow were really important for this role as I had to make sure all the levels were right and nothing was clipping.
While in Cali, you did some work with Digico consoles at CH productions live sound company warehouse. How important is it to practice to keep your skills fresh as a live technician?
For live sound, as it is for studio, it is really important to keep practising to have the signal flow fresh in your mind. Since most of the live sound consoles now are digital it is even more important to know the signal flow right away as not all the busses and routes are visible in the main screen of the console. It was amazing to apply my knowledge to be able to use the consoles and learning in new ways to connect them with external devices.
Since then, you’ve returned to the UK where you are doing a masters degree in acoustics at London South Bank University. Was postgraduate study always your plan — what led you to pursue this qualification?
I knew I wanted to do a masters after I graduated. As I was finishing my major project at SAE which was related to hearing health and noise pollution in the London Underground, I found out that I wanted to know more about acoustics. I am really glad I chose to do the masters since it has expanded my knowledge in this field.
How is the masters degree going, what have you learned or been working on lately?
The masters is going well. I have learned that acoustics has more applications than I thought. I am currently in my last semester doing my thesis related to the absorption coefficient of various fabrics and paints.
What are your long term career goals and how do you hope to realise them?
My long term career goal is to get to the right balance between the studio, live sound and acoustics which are three things I enjoy doing. I also want to have my own studio back home which I am planning to design acoustically.
If you could go back in time and give your younger self some advice at the start of the Audio Production course, what would you say and why?
Time at SAE flies, so spend as much time as you can in the studios and start thinking about possible thesis ideas at the start of the second year. I would say this to my younger self because thinking about the final project at the last moment can be stressful, and considering the different possibilities early on can help you to make a better decision at the end.
Where can people find you and stay up to date with your work?