Meet Miguel Matarazzo, a current student in The Complete Producer Program. Hailing from Brazil, Miguel has already found some early success working with clients doing sound for picture, and enrolled in Pyramind to help take his career to the next level.
Already during his first few months at Pyramind, Miguel got the opportunity to work on a video for MC Kauan, a notable Brazilian funk artist. Matarazzo did all of the music, dialogue recording, foley, sound design, and audio post-production for the 4-and-a-half-minute cinematic introduction. The video went on to attract over 8 million viewers in the first week that it went live. We sat down with him to chat about what it's like to go to school here at Pyramind and hear some details about his work on the project with MC Kauan and director Miguel Rodrigues.
Getting Started as a Producer
Jeff: So introduce yourself, my friend.
Miguel: I'm Miguel Matarazzo, I'm from Brazil. I started this thing with drums. But when my parents and I moved to an apartment, I couldn’t play anymore. That’s when I started messing around with GarageBand.
Jeff: How old were you?
Miguel: When I started drums, I was 12. And when I started messing around with GarageBand I was probably 16. Music was always there but I didn't really think I was going to work with this, you know? And I graduated in Social Science. But there's not much work outside of the academic environment with that.
So I was using GarageBand a lot and my brother hooked me up with two internships at top-level producing companies in Brazil, in São Paulo. And I saw the guys using Logic, so I upgraded to that and started learning. Just seeing them, you know, the composers and the mixers and how the production companies worked.
Jeff: Were they actively mentoring you to any degree or were you just taking in as much as you could when you happened to be in the studio?
Miguel: No. I was ... some guys would be nicer, you know? Some guys would not. I would learn everything I could from the nice guys. Most of what I did is just, I would just get there early in the morning. Just sit next to the guy, the composer or the mixer, whatever part of the job they were doing. And I would just say something funny so they would like me. And just look and learn, you know? And come back home and work.
Both of the places I worked were already fully staffed and I didn't have as much knowledge as I do today, so they wouldn't hire me at that point. But I learned a lot and I started freelancing
Jeff: Nice. What type of freelance work are you mostly doing? Music, post?
Miguel: I did score music for advertising. I did post-production, like this movie here. This movie was actually a mix of everything because I did the score, I did the sound design, I did foley, you know I did pretty much everything that you hear.
Jeff: And the voice acting, recording, and syncing, right?
Miguel: And yeah, I recorded the actors, the dubbing and everything. And I applied it, synced it. It was a little bit hard.
Jeff: And just to clarify, you said “this movie,” and that's kind of why we're here today - to talk about this music video that has this huge 4-and-a-half minute movie in front of it by MC Kauan called…
Miguel: O Terror Tem Nome.
Miguel: And this is not the first time that a funk artist made this kind music video. A few guys were doing this before him. But this level of production, I don't think any of them got to this point. The film director of this project is real good. His name is Miguel Rodrigues. My same name. Maybe that's why he liked me.
And a lot of guys are doing this so this isn't, this is not really a new thing in Brazil but it was a very big project. A lot of people working in this. It was really high budget production.
Jeff: Yeah it's a full-fledged production. Talk to me about your role. I know that you did everything relating to audio for this entire... we'll just call it “the movie,” that comes in front of the video. What was the biggest challenge, and where did you have the most fun with the project?
Miguel: I didn't have much experience in post-production so the whole project was very challenging. That's why I felt the necessity to come here to Pyramind.
Especially when the actors came to my house and I had to explain to them what they needed to overdub. I had to figure that out in the moment and tell the actors "Yeah, you need to say this and this."
And I also had to score the music, which was a lot more work. And the foley was very hard because I didn't have much experience with that either, you know? I had done like maybe 2 or 3 gigs where I needed to do sound effects like a metal bar falling on the ground and putting the right amount of reverb on it so it matched the ambience in the scene. I used to just record bands and I really wasn't in this movie environment before.
Jeff: Right. Music post is very different than film post.
Miguel: It's very different. Yeah.
Jeff: And, I think you touched on something really important. The notion of your effects and your signal processing matching what you're seeing onscreen, and how important that can be to make it believable and consistent. If you're not doing the same foley recording in the same environment, for you to treat the sounds in post the same way so that onscreen it's seamless and very believable - I think you did a great job.
Miguel: Thanks. Yeah, that was very hard to do. Steve Heithecker and Eric Kuehnl, two of the teachers here, helped me a lot. Because Steve said exactly what you just said. He said it must be believable. The main thing is to be believable.
Miguel: If a sound does not match that scene or the ambience in that scene, the listener will notice something is wrong. Even if he doesn't work with audio production. He will notice something.
Jeff: If it's right they never notice.
Jeff: Talk to me about the old man laugh with the GPS thing.
Miguel: Oh, the old man laugh. So this was one of the actors that came to my house to dub. He actually only had one line and one laugh. So he did the laugh like two times. It was wonderful. His laugh was wonderful. And I needed a sound. Like we needed the GPS to go crazy. So I used that laugh, I used elastic audio properties to bend, to warp the laugh and then did some processing and put it in the GPS.
Jeff: And you said you recorded the actors at your house so this was back in Brazil?
Miguel: Back in São Paulo, yeah.
Jeff: Okay that's what I thought. Because this was all shot down there.
Miguel: Yeah I did most of the recording back at my studio in São Paulo. And I started doing the post-production part, like the actual work after the recording here at Pyramind in January. And I finished it, I did a lot of revisions on this.
Life at Pyramind & Beyond
Jeff: Cool. You've had now a little bit of experience in the real world working with this. You've gotten some guidance from some of our teachers here. What do you hope to gather here from the rest of our curriculum? Because you started here in January. Which program are you taking?
Miguel: I'm in the Complete Producer program. I'm staying here until the end of the year, through December. Now that I chose to work with this I'm looking to absorb as much as I can from every possible Pyramind subject that you guys offer.
Jeff: Nice. What's been your biggest eye-opening class, or the biggest learning moment maybe you've had since you've been here in the first four months?
Miguel: First thing that came to mind now is the Audio Fundamentals class with Steve. He helped me a lot in office hours. I showed him my project.
Jeff: So you got one-on-one time with him?
Miguel: Yeah. This is really great here at Pyramind. You can have the time to book an office hour with any teacher and show your project. My project didn't really have to do with the subject we were talking about it in class, but I had the opportunity to show it to him and he helped me a lot.
Jeff: That's great. We sponsored a student Visa for you to come here from Brazil, yeah?
Jeff: Right. So was that a big factor in your decision in coming here versus maybe a different school here in the states?
Miguel: Yeah I looked for a few other schools. But here seemed to me that the relationship with the teachers would be closer, you know? And now that I'm here I know that's true. And I saw a few other schools, even here in the United States and in Europe but I didn't feel like going to the other schools because it seems most of what I saw seemed to be too many students and not much time for the teachers to spend with each student. I'm making a lot of use of the teachers here.
Jeff: Good, man. That's what we're here for. Talk about your music. Because obviously, you've done some film scoring. Do you see yourself as an artist as well? Are you just planning to work on production and film score and things like that or what's your vision for yourself currently?
Miguel: I don't want to limit myself. I am taking all the classes here, even the DJ classes, and the game audio classes, I'm taking everything I can because I don't want to limit myself. If it happens that I perform, I will. Actually, before even getting to GarageBand, I did perform as a drummer. So I see myself as a performer, too. I can do that. But currently, I see myself staying behind the computer and just doing post-production and scoring for advertising and movies.
Jeff: I mean it's a huge career path, right? So it's a good choice. I mean it's a lot... none of it's easy. We stress the importance of the fact that working in this world is not easy. But I do think that there's a lot of great opportunities between here and LA and back home for you, especially in this world. I can't wait to see whatever you do when you first finish school. Like your project coming back home, the gigs that you start getting after being here for a year. I'm excited to see what you can do.
Miguel: Yeah, I am improving. I hope I can always improve and do better and better projects. So you know, the more you improve, the more you can charge, right? So this is the path I'm in.
Because currently, I'm doing a lot of work. I didn't really feel confident before coming here. But now I am, as the time goes by, and I'm learning here, I feel more confident to face the client and say "I can do this. I will deliver you great stuff. But I will charge." That's my main focus now. Make a living out of this, you know. Because this is what I love and this is what I chose. I don't have any doubts now.