Vasan Alagappan’s success story is a testament to the power of education, passion, and hard work. He learnt his craft at SAE Byron Bay after travelling from India at 19. Today, he works with a portable hybrid setup, creating exceptional music on the go.
Having come to Australia at the age of 19, Vasan studied the Diploma of Audio Production, specialising in electronic music, at SAE Byron Bay.
‘When I first started I wasn’t that musically literate. The teaching from my lecturers at SAE was very precise and methodical, and they had such fantastic knowledge of audio and music.
Not a lot of education institutions have audio decks like the SSL 9000, and being able to learn on that and have access to every mic you can possibly imagine was fantastic – they really do have amazing facilities at SAE.
If I had to pick one thing for my sustainability and survival, aside from my immediate family, then it would have to be my days at SAE!’
Recently Vasan got the chance to work with child prodigy Lydian Nadhaswaram, who won $1 million on CBS show World’s Best. ‘After studying at SAE, I returned to Chennai. Lydian’s father was someone I had met, and he was well aware of my abilities as an audio engineer.
I later taught Lydian basic audio engineering, when he was getting into recording and production. He told me he was getting ready to work on his first album, and asked if I’d like to assist him with the production and record, mix, and master the album also.’
Some of the special guests that feature on Lydian’s debut compilation include jazz greats like Dave Weckl on drums, Frank Gambale on guitar, Mohini Dey on bass, and Eric Marienthal on saxophone.
Vasan had some words of wisdom on the key ingredients for a high-quality recorded song. ‘You need a very good artist, with well-maintained instruments, a proper recording space to bring it all together, a good choice of microphone that goes into a very good preamplifier, and then a decent recording. If you have weak links in any of the parts, like if you haven’t recorded properly… Making sure you have all the key elements before you mix and master a song will lead to a greater finished product.’
SAE Creative Media Institute understands creators and provides students with the experience, skills, equipment, and connections to succeed in the industry. Find out more at sae.edu.au.