Working Festivals

posted on 19th June 2015 in FestivalsGetting A Sound Engineering Job
The summer festival season is almost upon us and actually for some it has already started! This is a great time of year to get a foot in the door work-wise.

Mixing with Earplugs

posted on 26th May 2015 in Mixing Live Sound
One of the questions I seemed to get asked regularly when I lecture is what kind of hearing protection I use when I mix. It’s a question that worries me deeply. If I needed to wear hearing protection then surely it would be too loud for everybody, not just me? This is not to say that I don’t use hearing protection. It is a subject I take very seriously although one I wish I had been educated about earlier in my career.

Working Together

posted on 8th May 2015 in Being a Sound Engineer
At the studio we are preparing for a bit of an exodus. I am looking at tours and festivals with The Prodigy and Dave is off with, amongst others, our other studio colleague Thomas with his band Frogbelly & Symphony. Exciting times with lots of releases coming out this month.

Getting Paid

posted on 24th April 2015 in Being a Sound Engineer
One of the thorniest problems you will ever have to deal with as a sound engineer is nothing to do with sound. It is also a subject that I hate to deal with and yet is one of the most important in our careers - wages.

Asking for Work Experience

posted on 7th April 2015 in Getting A Sound Engineering Job
As yet another request for work experience comes tumbling into the studio mailbox I am once again forced to let another hopeful engineer down. As a studio, we are too small a concern to support regular engineers besides myself and my business partner, Dave. And to be honest there isn’t even enough work around for just one of us to take a wage without lots of hard work.

Restricted Choice

posted on 7th April 2015 in Being a Sound Engineer
As a sound engineer I am supposed to know how things work. Part of my job is to understand how equipment works and how to get the best out of it to produce the desired result- a great sound.

Just Because It Looks Big

posted on 10th March 2015 in Microphones
Teaching last month at Backstage Academy near Wakefield, I have to admit I did something I always warn others about. I made an assumption about something without actually investigating it properly.

Improving Your Gig

posted on 6th February 2015 in Keeping Up to Date
Well, it’s a new month and for me festival season is just round the corner. In the world of global touring this means Australia. I can’t think of a better place to start work for the year than somewhere sunny! Having said that I have witnessed torrential rain, flooding and sleet while over there, so much like our summers then...

What is Sound System Tuning? Tuning vs. Toning a Sound System

posted on 6th February 2015 in Keeping Up to Date
"Toning a system is the setting of a bank of global equalisation filters at the output of the mix console that drives the sound system. If you want to set it by ear fine. If you want to set it by 10,000 hours of acoustical analysis containing mean/spline/root squared/Boolean averaging then go for it. There is nothing at stake here. Nothing to argue about. The global equaliser is just an extension of the mix console EQ." - Bob McCarthy

Things To Do In January

posted on 21st January 2015 in Keeping Up to Date
I am spending the long winter evenings in reading. It is not, however, the couple of bestsellers I received for Christmas that are keeping me enthralled, but the latest papers from the 137th AES convention in Los Angeles.

My First Tour (Part 3)

posted on 4th January 2015 in Touring
This was an awesome, awesome gig for me. I loved it! Everything was fabulous (except for the lack of anything remotely resembling a house sound person) and I got to do some real engineering – Kevin (The Bug)’s set-up includes four vocals – and Alexei brought me a beer and a shot of whiskey at the PERFECT moment.

New Year’s Resolution

posted on 4th January 2015 in Keeping Up to Date
New years resolutions tend to be very much drugs based. I will give up/cut down smoking, alcohol, late night chocolate binges, red bull etc. Having reached an age where I have pretty much given up all I can, or am willing to, this years resolution will be of a different nature.

Back Up Your New Year Plan

posted on 31st December 2014 in Keeping Up to Date
As the end of 2014 approaches I have the strange experience of not working the last night of the year! December 31st is often seen as a 'nice little earner’ as it usually involves a substantial pay hike. I have spent previous New Years Eves all round the world including Australia, with Pendulum in Perth (very nice) to Transylvania with The Prodigy (very cold.)

My First Tour (Part 2)

posted on 15th December 2014 in Touring
I must confess at this point I only found out last year some time that Richard and Grant had been taking the piss in Edinburgh... Read on.

Effects Obsession

posted on 15th December 2014 in Outboard & Effects
As my undying love of vintage effects units continues, I had the pleasure of trying out an extremely shoddily-built reverb I had bought the other day.

Echo Again

posted on 2nd December 2014 in Outboard & EffectsStudio Sound
Our recent video on the Space Echo has been surprisingly, especially to me, popular! I am not sure why. Is it the ever-increasing interest in vintage gear or do many people share my love of dub effects?

My First Tour (Part 1)

posted on 2nd December 2014 in Touring
I wrote this in November 2003, after my very first tour ever! It was a wonderful experience, even thought I was wet behind the ears, and had a lasting impact on my life.

Preparing to Speak at PLASA

posted on 18th November 2014 in Being a Sound Engineer
Preparing my talk for PLASA in Glasgow, it has struck me how once again I have managed to pluck out of the air what I thought would be a simple subject. I was approached a month or so ago to speak, and as I have now spoken at PLASA a few times, a new subject was again needed.

Looking Forward to Work

posted on 18th November 2014 in Being a Sound Engineer
An engineers’ forum posed the question on how many extra hours we all put in on recording sessions. This is a good question and one that needs considering. Wouldn’t it be great to clock on, take a regulated lunch break and finish after our statutory eight hours?

International Mixing

posted on 3rd November 2014 in Being a Sound Engineer
It was a great idea and involved international cooperation and the internet. Friends in Serbia were recording an album, would I be involved with recording and mixing? The answer was of course yes, if I could make time. This was 12 months ago. Today I hopefully sent off the last minor mix changes and the album will be mastered and due for release. So why so long you say? Well, life never goes quite as planned.

Getting a Foot in the Door

Getting a Foot in the Door

How to Make Your Way in the Live Sound Industry
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