Spotlight: Daniel Abrusci, Audio Instructor at SAE Institute Miami

Meet Daniel Abrusci, multi-awarded studio engineer, SAE Institute Nashville and Madrid alumnus, and Audio Instructor for both our English and Spanish language programs at SAE Institute Miami.

About his passion for Audio and choosing the right education

I started playing drums at a very early age. When I began buying records, I would always be fascinated by the whole art form, and once I started reading the credits of the albums, I realized that someone behind the scenes was recording and mixing the music I loved. So I thought: That’s what I want to do with my life!

I wanted to be an audio engineer since High School and didn’t really envision myself doing anything else.

To get the education I needed I decided to study at SAE Institute. I really wanted a hands-on experience. And as I didn’t want to be in a classroom for four years I liked how intense the program was.

About teaching at SAE Institute

I am an SAE Institute alumnus. I studied at SAE Institute Nashville and finished my bachelor’s at SAE Institute Madrid, so I have a lot of passion for this audio program. I love the team here in Miami! We are like a big family, there’s a lot of support.

I like the fact that we always try to put students in professional real life situations and do our best to prepare for what will be waiting for them once they graduate.

I really wish we would have more students interested in sound design or students who are passionate about audio for film. Given the fact that this is an industry that is currently booming, I could see more of that happening in the future.

His favorite part of the curriculum

I really enjoy teaching the final module of the curriculum because it is what I specialize in professionally: everything related to audio post production.

I love the fact that when we finish the module, students look at films and TV shows from a whole new perspective. Once you learn how to work in post production, it is hard to envision a film the same way, given the fact that you know how much work gets put into it.

The key to success in the audio industry? Professionalism

The most important thing I took from my classroom was professionalism. Professors always talked to us about crucial things like arriving early to sessions and I find that this helped me a lot in my career.

This industry is hard but very gratifying at the same time. You are your own brand and therefore your most important representation, so if you take care of the small details and you do a good job, you’ll always stay busy.

His new passion? Sound Effects (SFX)

As a sound designer I spend hours trying to make something from scratch, working on a specific project, trying to bring it to life with sound and supporting the emotion of whatever is happening visually.

I find that through the years I’ve mastered the editing process and I’ve also invested a lot in Sound Effects (sfx) libraries, which I’ve been collecting for over 13 years. I really got used to sound designing from libraries instead of recording my own sounds, mostly because of a timing limitation.

Something I want to do more is record my own sfx, for example ambiences.

Recently I invested in an ambisonic microphone and that is opening a lot of new opportunities for me. Original and exclusive sfx take any project to a whole new level.

5 tips for an aspiring audio student

1 – ALWAYS get there early (Be present at least one hour before your session) because believe it or not.. Things happen!

2 – Always be one step ahead.

3 – Nobody cares about excuses (Make it happen).

4 – Due dates are sacred (respect them).

5 – Practice, practice, practice!

Time, hard work, and discipline: a real-life career in audio

When I first graduated, I got the opportunity to meet Cesar Sogbe, an eight-time Grammy winner engineer at the time. He told me that it was going to be at least eight years before I would develop my own sound and people would come up to me because they wanted to sound like that.

I think he was 100% right. It takes a lot of time, hard work and discipline to become good at something.

Some people are really talented and the journey might be faster for them, but there’s nothing that beats hard work. If you put in the hours, your work will improve exponentially and eventually all those hours will translate into really great projects.

I believe that practice makes the master, and there’s no way around that.

This is an industry that is constantly changing and evolving in very short periods of time. We always have to keep learning and adapting to new technologies.

His biggest inspirations

As cliche as it might sound, my parents are my biggest inspiration.

I grew up with parents who worked very hard and were always professional and disciplined, while at the same time raising a family with a lot of love and dedication.

They supported me in my professional career from day one and encouraged me to become the best professional I could be. That in itself to me is a blessing!

On the professional side, from the day I graduated and starting doing internships, up until now, I’ve also been blessed by the fact that I’ve been able to surround myself and learn from extremely talented engineers.

Ricardo Tinoco, Jaime Cardona, el Loco Bedoya and Carlos Paucar are some of the talented minds I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from.

I think that being surrounded by passionate minded professionals is not only a great learning experience but also a very powerful source of inspiration and motivation.

His favorite quote

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ― Michael Jordan

About Daniel Abrusci

Daniel Abrusci is a multi-awarded audio engineer with over 12 years of experience. He has worked in recognized studios such as Quad Studios (Nashville, USA), 10K Islands (Los Angeles, USA) and Red Squid Studios (Miami, USA). Daniel started learning pro tools in 2007 right after graduating High School and he was working in post-production by 2008. He graduated from SAE Institute Nashville in 2010 and got a Bachelor’s degree at SAE Institute Madrid in 2012. He has a master’s degree in sound design and mixing for film.

He enjoys recording and mixing music, doing sound design and mixing a variety of projects like feature films and documentaries. Daniel has been teaching sound to film students at the New York Film Academy since 2016. Some of his credits include: MUSIC – Enrique Iglesias ft Wisin, Conrad Sewell, Marta Sanchez, Todd Morse (The Offspring, H2O), Major Lazer.

Photos courtesy of Yenis Martin