My name is Al Funk, I am a Musician, Composer, Sound Engineer and Music Producer. I enrolled for the Diploma course at The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) in 2008. During my time at ASE, I was fortunate enough to have had many opportunities to gain working experience with an upcoming local Progressive Rock band Isochronous (now ISO), who are close friends of mine.
Although my focus was Music Production, I toured the country with the band as their FOH Engineer, mixing notable major music festivals such as OppiKoppi, InniBos and Ramfest.
The best advice I can give to current and future ASE students is to really make the most of your time at ASE. Try to create as many opportunities as possible for yourself to gain hands on experience. If you are booking studio time only to complete projects, you are wasting precious opportunities and under utilising the phenomenal facilities at your disposal.
Wiaan van der Westhuizen
I completed my Diploma in Sound Engineering at The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) at the end of 2013 specialising in Broadcasting. I then went on to complete my Masters in Music Production through Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
My time at ASE will always be treasured, between my fellow students and the lecturers, the impact it had on my career was massive. I remember George 1v1 as if we learnt it yesterday sitting in V1A and I apply it almost on a daily basis. To be lectured by some of South Africa’s top engineers I regarded as a priceless experience and tried to soak up as much knowledge as humanly possible, before moving onto my own ventures.
Fast forward a couple of years, I now run own successful audio post production recording studio based in Northcliff, Johannesburg, Back Beat Productions. I’ve done work for ABSA, Chicken Licken, Vodacom, TED Talks, Standard Bank, USN, and VW to name but a few. All thanks to ASE!
Michael John Botha
After leaving The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) in 2007, I started my career in the dubbing bay, digitizing and archiving audio from various mediums including vinyl, ADAT tape, etc. I then moved to recording Foleys on feature films and that is where my Pro Tools skills really came in handy.
I then tried my hand at recording automated dialogue replacement (ADR) which became a passion of mine. That led to me becoming a dialogue editor, and now I am a final mix engineer on both features and commercials. I still focus heavily on the dialogue side of the edit process and have recorded ADR for productions such as Game Of Thrones, Tomb Raider, West World, Alien, Black Sails and Hannibal, to name but a few.
I have won 2 Emmys for my work on Black Sails and have recently been nominated for a CAS award for West World. In 2015 I was invited to do the final mix for a feature called Momentum at Technicolor at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles. ASE taught me all the skills I needed to get to where I am today, and with the addition of my Pro Tools qualification, I was a step ahead of the rest.
“Never in my life did I think I would turn a bedroom hobby into one of my deepest passions and eventually into a prosperous career. It’s all because of these simple words that I heard in 2014 on my first day at The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) – “It’s not about being at the right place at the right time. It’s about being at the right place all the time.”
ASE is the perfect place to achieve exactly that. There’s no two ways about it. Without ASE I would never have met the people who helped boost my journey as a sound engineer. I’m still having a difficult time believing how far I’ve come in such a short time.
From mixing garden parties for friend’s bands to manning the monitor console for some of the biggest international acts to come to South Africa. Yeah… It all started with a casual stroll through the doors of the SABC towards The Academy Of Sound Engineering.”
Diandra van Staden
“I studied at The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) and achieved Diploma’s in Live Reinforcement and Broadcast in 2008.
As my interest is in Broadcast and Live events, ASE gave me the both practical and theoretical expertise to navigate this niche industry. I have freelanced for many businesses, international festivals, World Cups and now work for the National Broadcaster (SABC).”
“I started at The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) in 2007 as a hopeful and aspiring student hungry for knowledge and a passion for all things Audio. During my time at ASE, I met many amazing people, many who are my closest friends still today.
After graduating, I started my career as an assistant final mixer at ‘Binnelanders’, I then worked on ‘The Wild’ where was given the opportunity to step into the final mix position. After that I did a lot of freelance work developing my skill set on different formats; short-form, radio as well as different long-form TV shows. I was then offered a position at ‘SCANDAL!’ where I’m currently still doing the final mixing as well as laying mood music.
I do some projects on the side like the documentary on the life of Johann Botha called ‘Ons Botha’ for which I was nominated for a SAFTA award in ‘Best Achievement in Sound Design – Documentary Feature’ on 8 February 2019.
I’m proud to be ASE Alumni, if it wasn’t for the skills I learnt and the connections made there, I doubt I would be where I am today. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been worth it!”
“In 2007, The Academy of Sound Engineering‘s (ASE) part-time course gave me a solid foundation for my journey as a multi-award winning audio professional. It covered the essential core fundamentals of audio and enabled me to elevate my studio career to new heights.
I made life-long connections and friendships with fellow professionals who attended the course with me. If you are serious about a career in audio I would highly recommend signing up without delay!”
“I’ve had the privilege of working on a lot of projects which involved me mixing for the likes of South Africa’s greatest musicians; Amanda Black, Kelly Khumalo, Lady Zamar and the late Oliver Mutukudzi.
All this happened after enrolling at The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) in 2014 and getting the foundation and guidance to make it to where I am now. Being around lecturers like Anderson ‘Mickey’ Mabitsela and Cristo Hattingh has helped me to operate with confidence and start my own company – iZwelakhe Productions.”
In 2011 I started my career at The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) and only finished in 2015, because of various course changes. I spent 5 years at the Academy and it was some of the best times of my life. In this time I did live sound reinforcement, music production, and broadcasting.
While I was working I did quite a bit of work for Word of Life church in Boksburg. I mixed FOH and monitors, and sometimes did broadcast mixes for their live feeds to social media platforms.
I now work at Aluglass Bautech, where we do acoustic mobile partitions, acoustic doors and many other products. While studying at ASE I developed a passion for acoustics, and the design thereof. ASE has really been a big stepping stone in my career and I would like to thank them for providing a world class education system for sound engineers.
“I am an aspiring editor from Mafikeng with an interest in photography and cinematography. I am generally open-minded and enjoy learning new things while exploring my interests and growing in whichever avenues I pursue. I’m a 2nd year in the Film and Television course at the moment (2019).”
ASE – Congratulations to Masego on being accepted into the Cannes Filmmaking program on merit, we are very proud of you!
“I’m really thankful to Mr Hattingh and the The Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) staff for the amount of support and assistance they have given me throughout this; my lecturers for backing me up and the excitement they displayed. And I would also like to thank Elsa Glenn for the enthusiasm she carried before this even started; her unwavering support and dedication to helping me through everything this journey has thrown my way; for always believing in me and being on my side. Her contribution was enormous!”