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From the Amazon to Australia, An Audio Adventure

21 Jun 2018

For Diego Depane, coming from Brazil to study Sound Production at Melbourne Polytechnic has helped him establish not just a great creative career, but a whole new life in Australia.

Diego Depane’s story reads a little like a movie script. Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in a musical family, music was always a part of his life. “My mother liked sound and music, so my interest in sound started with her. We went to church on weekends, and I always opened the hymnbooks to have look at the music scores, and played them on the guitar and organ. We would also sing with a microphone. I’ve been recording sound since the early 90’s on a basic microphone and tape recorder.”

Not content to be merely a hobbyist, Diego became involved in recording sound for Brazil’s first crowd-funded documentary ‘Belo monte: Announcement of War in the Amazon. The ecologically informed documentary concerns the biggest hydroelectric dam in Brazil on the Xingu River; it screened internationally, and was nominated as an important film at the Paris Climate Assembly in 2015. This major project cemented Diego’s passion for audio and the environment. “The Belo monte movie gave me the opportunity to record natural ambience and indigenous music. When the film was in post-production, I spent days and nights editing and mixing. This sparked my passion recording ambiances of nature. I love to capture natural sounds. Sound is abstract for me, but when recorded, it can be replayed and captured forever.”

Melbourne Australia is a long way from Sao Paulo, but both cities have a strong musical culture. For Diego Melbourne was a natural fit, and discovering Melbourne Polytechnic a happenstance due to the thriving live music scene happening at the Prahran campus. “I didn’t have much of an idea about Australia before I arrived. I planned to come to Australia to improve my English and study sound. I had a friend who lived in Melbourne; he always said to me that Melbourne is the best place in the world if you like music. One day, I was in my car, and I saw lots of guys with guitars leaving the David Williamson Theatre. I went to the theatre to watch a Jazz concert where I saw Shane Simmonds mixing. I was curious enough to want to study at Melbourne Polytechnic, and I made it a reality."

Diego found he enjoyed live sound and studio production equally, and he praises his favourite teachers. “Learning live sound just blew my mind! With Shane Simmonds, I trained to hear where the faults were in the room, and to taper frequencies with EQ. This knowledge has been priceless. I learned more about post-production with Michael Costa, who I really liked to learn with.”

Diego’s story isn’t merely one of professional development, he also found romance and started a family in Australia. “It's very good being a father. Every day I try to enjoy my family. I am currently working in live sound for an events company in Melbourne. I'm trying to evolve as much as I can. I hope to gain some local experience and work on film productions here. Melbourne Polytechnic gave space and motivation to improve my skills. Today I feel confident to work in more diverse areas. I learned more than I expected at Melbourne Polytechnic, and now I'm able to say I am a sound producer.”

If a career in sound production is your dream, it truly can be an international career that transcends borders. With two enrolment intakes per year, there’s no reason to wait!

Get in touch with the team at Melbourne Polytechnic, to find out how our friendly expert teachers can support you on your journey in sound.