Daniele Turi – From Punk Rock Drummer to Sound Mixer

Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you first become interested in sound?

RI: I am Daniele Turi, Co-founder of Soundfish and CEO of Viviana Straps; like many other sound people, I made my first step in the sound business while playing in a band. I have been a punk rock drummer for almost two decades.

When I was just 16, I was watching a documentary titled “A year and a half in the life of Metallica,” and I when I saw technicians building up the stage, fixing instruments, pushing big black flight cases and I thought: “that’s what I want to do.”

I started to work in the warehouse of the largest sound rental equipment business in my hometown, Turin. I made my way up from fixing equipment and building flight cases to joining bands in European tours as a Foldback mixing first and then FOH and PA manager. Touring with bands was fun, but it meant I could not play with mine!

So in 2008, I started working as a boom operator for TV series to be able to dedicate more time to my music projects, and that’s how my passion for sound recording has sparked.

In 2010 I gradually started to work more often with Giacomo and Matteo (my business partners in Soundfish). They were the owner of a super cool location sound service in Milan called Suite Sound Design. I immediately realized that these guys were different; they had a sort of special recipe.

In 2014 I moved to London for a year to broaden my experience, working as 1st AS on five features films. When I came back, I felt I was ready to take the next step, and with Matteo and Giacomo, we started exploring the idea of launching a brand new Location Sound Service together.

In 2017 we eventually launched Soundfish.

Soundfish is now the location sound service in Italy with the largest range of professional sound equipment for features film and television industry. Our credits are: TopGear, MasterChef, Italia’s Got Talent, X-Factor, Master of Photography, Bake Off, Top Chef, The Apprentice, The Comedians, Lucky Ladies and To Rome for Love, AON amazon, “Somebody feed Phil” Netflix. 

Our team includes 3 FTE and 12 top class freelancers. Some of these freelancers already had a long experience in the industry before joining us, and this allowed us to share and formalize best in class practices and processes. For the younger ones, we took charge of their training internally, investing in them and making them part of our culture.

Our key strength is that our team is busy working on different productions every single day. We developed a unique methodology to share knowledge, challenges and solutions, and this allows us to create a company culture of technical excellence and operational smoothness for any situation.

Our sound recordists are extremely technically skilled, gentle, but tough when needed. They know how to deal with a crew of 20/100 professionals, and they are at ease with the pressure of a shooting day. In order to do this, there is a key quality that we look for in each of our team members: they love their job. Being a Sound Recordist is a passion for life. This was the secret recipe Matteo, Giacomo, and I had in common since the first day we met and constituted Soundfish’s DNA.

How would you describe your job to someone who has no idea what a sound engineer does and why it is important to the final product (feature film/documentary/TV show, etc.)?

Audio is emotions!

The audio quality represents the content and the emotion of the script, and this works for Television format and Feature film. If you have a clean sound, even if the image has got a bad quality, people will carry on watching the video.

If you have a bad sound with a super high-quality image, you will stop the video after 20 seconds. We ensure high-quality audio through the largest range of professional sound equipment for feature film and television industry, top-class professionals and passion for our job.

A sound recordist has to guarantee the best sound quality respecting the performance of the actors.

How do you prepare for your work on the set? Do you read the script before a shooting day, or do you go prepared with all your tools and adapt according to the needs?

I am trying to anticipate all the events, understanding what is going next, and always being prepared for any situation. Of course, I read the script many times, not only to memorize the lines but also to enter into the story and guarantee the best sound respecting the actors’ performance.

Tolls are never the same. It all depends on what you have to do.

What tools do you use?

We use many tools, but the main brand is Sound Devices, Wisycom, Dpa, Viviana straps, Betso TC, Schoeps and Sennheiser.

Do you think that a good sound is made just by good quality equipment?

Not at all! Gear is just a part of the job! Of course, having good gears will let you not think too many problems, but the quality of the sound is made by the experience of the Production Sound Mixer. As I said before, it is all about respecting actors’ performance. Passion and skills make the difference, not only good gears.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

To be always patient, propositive, respectful and listen!

What was the biggest impediment you went through?

There isn’t a big impediment; everything is fixable.

What distinguishes good sound design from bad sound design? And how does it affect someone’s enjoyment of a film?

Respecting the mood of the story and keep coordinating with the production sound mixer 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Working on AON amazon, Top Gear, X-Factor and to be able to build two worldwide companies like Soundfish and Viviana Straps

What would your advice be to someone who wanted a career in the film industry, both generally and in sound recording?

To be proactive and never give up! If working into your sound is your dream, determination and constancy will realize your dream, and if you need some advice, don’t hesitate to contact Soundfish. On our web site soundfish.it there is the section Academy where there are webinars about production sound with Oscar winner like Mark Ulano “Titanic,” Stuart Wilson “1917”, Ben Osmo “Mad Max fury road,” and many more that you can watch and start understanding how this job is! 

Be propositive and never give up!

Daniele Turi – Soundfish