In studio mixing it up with Peter Khanda

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Being the first one to get to the studio and being the last one to leave is all in day’s work for Sound Engineer Peter Khanda, from the beginning of a recording to the post–production stages.

The mode of business for Peter has been projects and having to actively look for opportunities out there, which is the very nature of being a freelancer and entrepreneur. Peter’s young career already has him doing gigs for corporates and legendary artists in the game. From mixing, recording and mastering, to setting up, recording and mixing live shows.

In this interview Peter fills us in on the responsibilities in his profession.

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LR: Who is Peter Khanda?

Peter: I am a qualified Sound Engineer through the Academy of Sound Engineering. I am a certified Protools HD user with a wide spectrum of recording and mixing disciplines. I’m also very hard working, driven and passionate about what I do. My passion is the entertainment industry where I’m always willing to learn more.

LR: For the masses who aren’t familiar with what Audio Engineering entails, can you talk us through the day-to-day activities of someone in your profession?

Peter: On a day-to-day basis when I’m recording songs, I go into studio early before the artists come in and start with setting up microphones. This is just to make sure everything is up and ready to use. When the artist comes in, I make sure they’re comfortable before sending them into the recording booth to record. Once they are relaxed, we start with the recording. When the recording is done, I edit the content and get into the mixing stage. At this stage, I balance out the levels of everything then I start adding compressors and equalizers to enhance the sound and have it ready for commercial release.

LR: How did you get into Audio/Sound Engineering?

Peter: I was driven by my passion for music. That is when I started composing (beat making) at home off of my laptop. I felt I needed to learn more about audio and other aspects behind the scenes.

LR: Who are/ have been your musical influences?

Peter: Dr Dre has always been my musical influence. I like the simplicity in his beats and I love his catchy melody lines, they keep you hooked. I also like how Jay Z remained relevant throughout the years. I see myself creating a fusion of these two traits in my career.

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LR: Do you feel that there is a need for more people in your profession in the industry?

Peter: There are not many jobs out there, so I would not say we need more audio engineers.

LR: What projects have you worked on previously and with which artists have you had the pleasure of working with?  

Peter: One of the major projects I have worked on was the AFCON CUP, where I recorded and setup for artists such as Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, Ringo Madlingozi, Sibongile Khumalo, Lira, Micasa and many others.

I have worked on a project for MTN fight against Ebola, where I got the pleasure to work with our local power houses such as PJ Powers, Mahotela Queens, Thandiswa Mazwai, Mafikizolo, MXO and many other South African artists. I also got some interaction from other African artists such as Banky W, Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Diamond and many others.

Gospel Alive was another project that I came into contact with, where I got the pleasure to record Khaya Mthetwa (Host), Rebecca Malope, Solly Mahlangu, Keke Phoofolo, S’fiso Ncwane, Ntokozo Mbambo and many more. The show is aired on the Mzansi Wethu Channel on DSTV.

I final-mixed the audio for movies on the Mzansi Magic Channel on DSTV. Some of the movies were Mama Stole My Hunk, Mashayashaya, Love Specialist, Mamoruti, Peace Order and many more.

Recording the Soweto Gospel Choir’s feature for international band Bastille’s song called Durban Sky, was an honour.

My interaction with Nedbank also allowed me the opportunity to work with Zahara and Soweto Gospel Choir.

I also had the pleasure to record the overdubs for The Soil’s DVD and the Joyous Celebration 19 DVD.

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LR: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Peter: The highlight of my career thus far was that I worked as an assistant Engineer on the Nelson Mandela Movie; Long Walk to Freedom. I got an opportunity to see the great Baba Caiphus Semenya at work; I also got to understand what it took to make music for film by paying close attention to Alex Heffes. Recording the music for this film was mind blowing and an experience I will never forget.

LR: Are there any changes you’d like to see in your profession, particularly within the local industry?

Peter: In the local industry, I would like to see more people being given recognition for the work they do. Also more work opportunities and chances being given to new-comers that do not have experience.

LR: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into your profession?

Peter: Hard work and passion pays well! If you are not passionate and hard-working, then this industry is not for you. You need to be patient and persistent in this industry.

LR: Away from your professional engagements what do you do to relax?

Peter: In my free time, I would normally play PlayStation or compose music.

LR: Do you have any special mentions you want to shout out?

Peter: I would like to send my shout out to Richard Mitchell and Darryl Torr for everything they have taught me. I would not have gathered so much knowledge within a short space of time if it was not for these two gentlemen. I am very grateful!

Also a shout out to the public at large. I’m running my own live sound hiring company,where I supply sound for events such as concerts, weddings, parties and cooperate events. Get in touch with me if you are in need of sound hiring services.

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We thank Peter for handing us this exclusive interview to premiere here on the Lavatory Records site. We wish him luck on his future endeavours. Get in touch with Peter on Twitter: @peterkhanda, Facebook, LinkedIn and Soundcloud .

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