In this interview, Aldo shares his journey studying at SAE Creative Media Institute, to carving a career as an audio engineer working on some of the world’s biggest films, and what it was like shaking the hand of music legend, Dr Dre.
Aldo has worked with some of the most prolific composers in Hollywood, including Hans Zimmer, David Fleming, Henry Jackman, Ludwig Göransson. To date, Dune’s Oscar winning soundtrack has been the most satisfying project he’s been a part of. He was also recognised by The Recording Academy for his contribution to the Grammy award-nominated recording.
“I was there from the beginning and could see how the ideas developed from scratch – that was mind blowing for me. I was part of the audio engineering team recording singers and flautists and worked closely with David Fleming. My role was to work with David, to deliver all the creatives to Hans, who would then prepare and finalise the soundtrack for the film.”
Growing up in Mexico, Aldo was encouraged by his parents to explore his passion for music, firstly through a Casio piano and later the drums.
“I didn’t have the best kit, but I said to myself I’m going to try to make it sound as good as I can. There are a lot of tricks that you can do, but at a certain point I hit a limit in what I could do with the technology I could afford, which is when I went to SAE,” Aldo said.
At SAE Byron Bay, Aldo studied for a Bachelor of Music Production, and learnt about the fundamentals of producing music.
“Getting to meet other creatives who had other passions was very satisfying, as we were then able to collaborate on music and other projects. I liked the opportunities to experiment and ask questions about the methodology. In my second year, I learnt how to put together a business plan, which was really beneficial; particularly when I moved to LA,” he said.
In Los Angeles, Aldo had the opportunity to network with fellow audio engineers, including 21-time Grammy award-winning sound engineer Al Schmitt, who worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.
“Al and I became good friends, and he showed me another side of the music business that he only knew – which was all about showing kindness and love to the artists and people you work with.”
Aldo would get an insight into the Al’s work, when he was regularly invited to sessions at Capitol Records, made famous for Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones, and Aretha Franklin.
“On one occasion, Al was recording strings for Dr Dre’s Beats documentary. It so happened that Dr Dre was also there, which was crazy. Getting the chance to shake the hand of one of the icons of the music industry was pretty surreal.”
In 2019, Aldo was recognised by The Recording Academy as an assistant engineer for the Grammy-nominated soundtrack for The Lion King, which he worked on with Hans Zimmer and David Fleming.
“David and Hans were working on a demo for the ending of the film, and I was in the studio with them to provide playback and record the singers,” Aldo shared.
“It was a special moment, because more and more people started to come into the studio to listen – Hans was there, and it came to this beautiful crescendo. I felt honoured to have been a part of that, and it made all the work worthwhile.”
For those audio and music students out there who may want to follow in his footsteps and engineer film soundtracks in the future, Aldo gave some valuable advice.
“Understanding the basics of audio production is crucial, and somewhere like SAE will give you the foundational skills you need to start off in the industry. Aside from that, being adaptable, having a good attitude and being likeable are important. And by likeable, that can sometimes just mean listening. Being able to read a room is key, and that comes with time and experience.”
SAE Creative Media Institute provides students with the experience, skills, equipment and connections to succeed in the industry. Find out more at sae.edu.au.
About Aldo Arechar
Aldo Arechar is a passionate composer with deep artistic and technical knowledge. He has over 10 years of experience in feature films, multimedia shows, and international advertising campaigns. Aldo has worked with some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed composers including Hans Zimmer, David Fleming, Henry Jackman, and Ludwig Göransson. His film and television credits include Top Gun: Maverick, Dune, The Lion King, Wonder Woman 1984, The Mandalorian, Mank, Ralph Breaks the Internet, IT Chapter Two, and Hillbilly Elegy. He has been recognised by The Recording Academy, in recognition of his participation on the Grammy award-nominated recordings for Dune and The Lion King.
SAE Creative Media Institute is the place for creatives and innovators. Since 1976 we’ve been the leaders in creative media education across animation, audio, creative industries, creative technologies, design, film, games, and music. Every year, we support students globally to develop the skills and experience needed to carve successful careers. Students enjoy access to the latest technology and are taught by industry-experienced faculty, while putting their skills to the test in small class environments. Our graduates become part of a highly-respected global community of creatives that’s been around for over 40 years. We pride ourselves on being technically explorative, transformative and brave through our range of creative media programs, from short courses and professional training through to bachelor and postgraduate degrees. In Australia, our programs are delivered at campuses in Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. SAE is a part of Navitas Pty Ltd. More information about SAE is available at sae.edu.au.