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A life as a Sound Designer | The Story of Walder

Walder is a sound designer, senior music producer, video editor, and sound engineer born in Argentina 47 years ago. He has been working for 32 years continuously as a composer, songwriter, music producer, recording, mixing, and mastering engineer. In this interview, he shared his background, how he manages his life as a freelancer and his future plans.

Walder, what is your area of expertise?

I am a music and sound veteran. I started composing when I was 7 years old and recording and producing music when I set up my first recording studio at the age of 15. Since then, I have been working as a musician for several artists of many different genres (as a keyboardist). I have produced over a hundred albums for bands and solo artists. I became a multi-instrumentalist and recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered several thousand hours of music and audio. And I have also performed on famous stages as a solo singer for over 20 years. Music and sound have been in my life since that first song I wrote in 1982. And I am sure they will remain so until the day I die.

Walder in his studio.

How did you become a freelance Sound Designer, Composer, and Mixing Engineer / Video editor?

It is hard to find a single title that compiles everything I have learned in these 32 years of uninterrupted work. Suppose I had to detail it in a list. In that case, I could say that I am a composer, writer, singer, instrumentalist, producer, recording technician, mixing, and mastering engineer, film composer, film sound post producer, 5.1 mixing engineer, graphic designer, content creator, and video producer/editor. I tried to group everything as “Creative Multimedia”. But sometimes, it is necessary to talk about each speciality in detail because each project requires a specific area of expertise. For example, if someone is looking for a Dolby 5.1 Mixing Engineer for his film, he will most likely use this title instead of looking at a “Multimedia Creative” profile. So, I have chosen to make it clear that I have extensive experience in what I do and highlight the main titles of each activity: music, audio, and video. As for what led me to become a freelancer in this area, the answer is simple: pandemic. Until 2017 I worked receiving artists and clients in my studio in Buenos Aires and alternating some remote work for clients from other provinces and countries. At the end of that year, my wife and I moved to the province of Córdoba. Then, 90% of my work became remote. When the pandemic was declared in 2020, 90% became 100% as I created my profile on several remote/freelance work platforms. Today, I am uncertain whether work again like I used to. I always valued being able to manage my time and having the freedom to decide what to do and when. And freelancing allows me to do just that.

What do you enjoy the most about being a freelancer?

Several things. To be able to choose which jobs to apply for, to handle my timetable freely, and, above all, to be independent to work from anywhere in the world with Internet access. I never felt comfortable with a formal job, with fixed and strict schedules, following rules, and wearing uniforms. It’s not my style. We artists are freedom lovers, we question all structures, and we tend to challenge the ways and habits in what we do. Freelance work is perfect for us. If one day we don’t feel like working, or we need to take care of another important matter, we can do it without consequences. That freedom is priceless.

What would you be doing instead of freelancing?

Probably, working as I did before, in my studio, or in a larger studio in a major city. But always in what I love to do, which is to create. And definitely creating music and sounds.

What are your goals? (Also not professionally speaking)

At this moment, my biggest goal is to be able to move with my wife to Europe, possibly Spain or Portugal, to access a better quality of life and new and better opportunities for work and projects. In fact, I am currently working on the scoring and sound postproduction of two short films written, directed, and produced by three Spanish talents whom I already consider my friends, which tempts me to pack my bags and take the trip to get more directly involved in new projects with them and, of course, to know and enjoy Spain, the land of my grandparents, and the rest of Europe. Professionally, Europe offers many possibilities in my field, both in terms of projects and access to better equipment. In short, opportunities to grow, both professionally and personally.

What makes you feel you’re contributing to a better world?

For many years, I tried to do it through my music. Many of my songs have a great emotional charge and social content. I always wanted my music to leave a message of hope, recognition, and peace. But I believe that every single thing we do every day can make a difference. What we say, our actions, the people we influence with it, the friends we choose, the projects we get involved in, our attitude in the face of adversity and also in the face of success, everything we do and say has an impact and it is up to us to make it positive.

Favourite organization, and why?

I don’t have a favourite organization. I don’t even have a favourite song or movie. There are lots of things I like and lots of things I don’t like. What I love is learning, discovering, acquiring new knowledge every day, meeting wonderful and talented people (and life has given me the satisfaction of surrounding myself with many of them), travelling, starting new projects, and enjoying a peaceful life. I do not believe in stereotypes or labels, nor do I consider that it is necessary to be grouped in either way to achieve a goal. Our individual actions are more than enough. We have the power to transform the world simply by being ourselves. Even if many still don’t know it.

Do you want to learn more about Walder?

Do you want to learn more and need support from a sound designer and an all-around expert in the world of sound? Connect with Walder at Work for Impact. If you want to share your story as a freelancer, you can reach us at community@workforimpact.com.

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