The hinge for my entire life as I know it can be traced back to a sunny mid afternoon in early spring going home on the school bus at the age of twelve. The headphones pulverising the eardrums of the boy sitting next to me were spewing out tinny ghostly breaths of a sound that I had never heard before; Nirvana.
My passion for this Seattle-based band turned into an obsession with the grunge scene of the mid nineties, and as I grew older this obsession slowly turned into a deep love of music. I use to desperately try to play the bass guitar and joined various bands throughout my teens, but never found the same passion and enthusiasm as most musicians do for their instruments; I liked the technical bit.
I thought the coolest guy in the room was standing at the back shrouded in darkness, except for the faint glow of the desk lights making him look like he was in the Bohemian Rhapsody video. Positioned behind one of the biggest desk I’d ever seen, with what looked like thousands of tiny knobs and buttons, and apparently knew what all of them did. I had finally found my calling; I too was going to discover the secrets of which these knobs and buttons held. I wanted to explore the possibilities of making that band on stage sound loud, quiet, hard, soft, happy or sad. The guy with absolutely no qualifications except for a CV as long as his arm filled with some of my favourite bands of all time. This guy, was the sound guy.
With the path ahead firmly imprinted on my young impressionable mind, I set out on road to rock ‘n’ roll. Over the past decade I found my self mixing for my of the most influential acts in the UK including Amy Winehouse, Seasick Steve, Corinne Bailey Rae, and many others on some of the biggest festivals, TV shows, and venues all over the world. Most recently I have been exclusively working with La Roux, and during my time with them I used the downtime wisely and wrote a book. ‘Live Audio: the art of mixing a show’ was released worldwide at the beginning of January 2011. I write a monthly column in Audio Pro International that has a very healthy international readership.
Most recently I have put together some workshops and seminars exploring the creative side of mixing. Mixing live sound can be like painting a sonic picture, and as the equipment we use becomes more refined, it is even more important to appreciate the art behind live audio. ‘The Art of Mixing a Show’ is specifically design to talk about the fundamental ideas behind mixing and how to be creative with them in the otherwise very uncompromising world of live audio.*Picture taken from Revolution Come and Gone