Ian Umali

Ian started his audio engineering career in 2002 after taking a short course in SAE Singapore. There were not a lot of opportunities in terms of music-production related engineering, so after a few years of freelancing, he decided to try applying for a post-production studio job around 2005. It was during that time that he realized this career path was interesting enough for him to get into, even though it was not hiswould first choice at the time.

Admittedly, there have been times when he felt like he'd burned himself out and wanted to do other things. But there's really something about having done this all these years, acquiring skills, experiences and relationships he never would have gotten in another job. There's so much satisfaction in having a career that his family and he are proud of.

There was one project that required him to build an audio-guide for a TVC. The producer told him to do a rough guide, using his own voice and, if he was willing, his own music as well. Soon after, everything was approved by the client – voice-over, music and over-all soundtrack. It had to be the easiest (and most fun) work he'd ever done even if he was the engineer, music-arranger and voice-over talent. The pay was pretty good too... he says.

His advice to those wanting to enter the field would be, "that this is not for everyone. For some, it may seem like there's not a lot that goes into the work we do; and it's definitely not your standard desk-job. If you're into building things, putting things together... or just being creative with whatever you're presented with... it's worth checking out.
You don't actually need to have the skills of a musician, or a silky-smooth voice, or high-level IT knowledge (although all of that can definitely help) – you just need to have a lot of patience and perseverance... know how to listen to not just the material you're working on, but also to the people who are overseeing the work. It really has to do with a lot of collaborative work; understanding and accepting that you are (just) a part of the bigger picture."