The rising Sound Engineer from Kolkata ~ Abhibroto Mitra
“There’s not much scope for emotions for a freelancer, but my work is completely emotionally driven”
-says Abhibroto Mitra,one of the rising sound engineers of the city. Abhibroto has worked with Cactus, Lakkhichhara, The Bodhisattwa Trio, Underground Authority to name a few and has been a part of the Friday Night Originals since its inception. Currently working as a free lancer, he is also the in- house audio engineer for BlooperHouse Studios. Here’s a glimpse of him opening up to us about himself.
Interviewer- What is Music to you, what is that which drew you towards it ?
Interviewee - Music is the only language that works for me, in fact it’s the only form of communication that very fluently translates a sentence which might not have been able to express itself by the same . However, where it’s difficult to frame the emotion or convey a message through words, it might as well be able to express itself through a song written from the heart.
Interviewer- Knowing your willingness to work into the scene, why did you choose audio engineering as a profession and are working behind it?
Interviewee - Enrolling yourself as a musician is not that smooth or easy in Calcutta as it seems. Also, I had very less time to convince my parents into believing that there can be something more different than a regular 9-5 job that would keep me satisfied. So when I looked at audio engineering, I found stability and thought of considering it as my profession as it would help me work as a technical professional meanwhile keeping me engaged with the thing I love, MUSIC! It’s also a bonus when my clients consult me while recording i.e., they take into consideration my creative inputs and additions that might enhance their product. So audio engineering seemed to be a very sweet middle ground for me.
Interviewer-Another sound engineer you admire or a favourite contemporary?
Interviewee- If you ask about the latter then it would be Sayan Ghosh, any day. If you ask about someone I admire it would be Sylvia Massy,, whose master class I attended in Studio La Fabrique in Southern France, last year. Sylvia’s specialty and the reason I admire her is not only because she has produced a few of the most influential bands in my life(System of a Down, Johnny Cash, Prince to name a few) but also the fact that she is very persistent and doesn’t readily give into convention. She’s more about experimenting or rather shifting from the set rule pursuing to make something unique, while forgetting the entire concept of making something different yet relevant which is a constant constraint for every person working in this field.
Interviewer- Have there been times that you have been undermined?
Interviewee- Yes, obviously otherwise how would I point out a difference between the day I have been undermined and the day I haven’t. (Smirks)
Interviewer- And, what keeps you going?
Interviewee- All the love that I receive keeps me going. Despite times where my work has been rejected or scorned at, there have been times I’ve received constructive criticism and lot of admiration and I believe that positivity uplifts my motivation every time.
Interviewer- Since you’re from Siliguri and now are based in Calcutta, do you miss home?
Interviewee- Not really, because I am a work oriented guy, I would rather freak out if I was home having nothing to do; but I definitely do miss a few elements of home like my school life.
Interviewer- What does Abhibroto do in his leisure time?
Interviewee- He listens to music, plays games, hangs out with a few friends, but basically he’s the best example of a lazy ass when it comes to consuming a day off (laughs) other than doing a few household chores or paying the bills. But I make sure I am influenced and listen to music every day and I choose very carefully what I listen to as it reflects on my work.
Interviewer- Has Abhibroto been in love apart from loving music and is he emotional?
Interviewee- Yes, I love a lot of people in my life. But I also feel the need of not getting distracted by emotions while working as I try to give my 100% when someone has hired me for a production. Definitely, I am emotional and that is why I always have a shield around me , not something of the sort that I might burst crying and still I’m keeping a straight face ,if I am pissed, I am pissed. I cannot let someone’s comment dishearten me to the extent of questioning my own credibility. But yes, I try to maintain as much poise during work. For a freelancer, there’ s not much scope for emotion, but my work is completely emotionally driven! (Smiles)
Interviewer- Are you single?
Interviewer- Why do you emphasize on recording independent music rather than commercial?
Interviewee- My motive is to record good music. However, the good stuff that the city produces is mostly or usually independent. Something is good when it’s not a packet of lays, it’s just good old potato crisps fried in oil , so every song mustn’t be a pack of lays, it might contain a few bent imperfect chip in there that keeps it more authentic and natural. Hence I feel, independent music has more of that rawness and organic freshness on stage and also on the record and gives me the right creative space to work in.
Interviewer- Whom do you owe your success to, as of now?
Interviewee- My father, Anup Mitra! I was very lucky in a way to not have undergone much trouble about intimating him regarding my career, whether or not he backs it. My father helping me out with gears when I started out when I wasn’t acquainted about its working, had a huge impact, because many don’t have the privilege of that. Another person whom I would include here would be Durjoy Choudhury who was a huge support and all kudos to him for being my benefactor in this regard. Gaboo da(Gaurab Chatterjee) is one person I admire a lot and recently after having worked with Ritam Sen, it feels that music is being treated right.
Interviewer- Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
Interviewee- In top of some mountain, recording good music, not caring about funds or money. I would also want to make some of my own music with a few people I vibe well, where there would be multiple investment and I wouldn’t really need to worry about it all. The dream is to attain financial freedom! (Sighs)
We did a small experiment and spoke to few people Abhibroto has worked with and here’s what they had to say.
“Working with Abhibroto is like working in perfect sync. He knows what I want and vice versa,which makes us a perfect team”- Durjoy Chowdhury(Singer/Song-Writer.
Founder/Director at Friday Night Originals)
“It has been a joy, working with Abhibroto as he keeps getting better with every passing day. I am really looking forward to do a lot of projects with him in the future”- Gaurab Chatterjee( Dummer, Lakkhichhara)
“Abhibroto is one of the most talented recordists. I’ve worked with. He’s always open to new ideas and that’s why I prefer working with him for my productions”- Ritam Sen(lyricist)
If there is anyone who is bound to rule the music industry, it is AbhibrotoMitra. He is poised for success with creative ideas oozing from every pore. He has a beautiful series of music films, so inspirational, they brought me to tears. And his recording skills are unmatched. He is eternally positive in his attitude and masterful in his craft. Bravo to the new king of the studio, AbhibrotoMitra. - Sylvia Massy(American record producer, mixer and engineer. Produced the Grammy award winning album “Unchained” by Johnny Cash”)
Interviewed and Edited by