Tribute to Bollywood’s sound wizard Mangesh Desai.(1923 -1985)

Seen here in this picture are Mohammed Rafi, Naushad and Hindi film industry’s legendary re-recordist Mangesh Desai.

Do you know that Sholay was the first Indian film with 22 recorded soundtracks remixed in complete stereophonic sound at a time when 6 or 8 audio tracks were usually used in Hindi films. It was actually challenging for the Sound Recordist to record it in 22 tracks and make who made it is the legendary Mangesh Desai. The recording style and the chanllenges undertaken by the recordist is still a huge achievement among sound recordists during a time when the facilities are very much limited.

Ramesh Sippy, the director of Sholay has said in many interviews about the man who made it possible and moreover Director Satyajith Ray has been a huge fan of this legendary recordist and he once said that ““I can think of very few people I have worked with whom I could describe as ‘indispensable’. If anyone fully deserves that epithet, it is he, a perfectionist and a practical one. And he is as much an artiste as he is a craftsman. It is a pity that l came into contact with him so late in my career with Pratidwandi (’70).”

At one point of time especially during the late 70’s Mangesh Desai has ruled the Bollywood with no competitors. He was then described by the critics as Mentor to the young, terror to the veteran in the bollywood. His theory of organic sound influenced several directors, from Subhash Ghai to Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Born in Kolhapur, Mangesh was a nephew of music director Vasant Desai. A science graduate of Rajaram College in Kolhapur, with his imprisonment during the Quit India movement, he was unable to secure his degree. His uncle Vasant, permanent staff on Rajkamal Studio payroll was owner V Shantaram’s favoured music director. Helping his nephew, he got him apprenticed under chief recordist Parmar in the technical department headed by Mr. B M Tata. The year was 1947.

Getting involved in all the departments of film-making, the zealous lad owing to his keen interest in electronics and its allied sphere of sound engineering soon became a full-fledged sound recordist.

For more details about the legendary sound recordist visit the link

(Courtesy: Shri.Rahul Sahgal)

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    Sound Engineering Academy
    C.S. Road, Jagathy, Thycaud (PO)
    Kerala - 695014 India
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