Once again i’m out in Doha avoiding the terrible British weather. This time i have a meeting room all of my own so i’m in charge of video & Powerpoint as well as sound this time! She’s a great little room with, as always in Doha, a top spec setup. Hmmmmm BSS graphics are just lovely aren’t they! We’ve just finished the Global Innovators 2013 conference and now we are heading into the first day of the meeting of the Supreme Education Council. All this and i’ll be back in the UK by the weekend! Shame I’ve had no time to make it up to the Moto GP!
The fruits of my labours have ripened and for the last few days I’ve been constantly playing with a bunch of 90′s midi gear (For the technical folk – Electribe es-1 + Ea-1 + Yamaha RX21 + BOSS DD-3 + internal feedback loops & various rack multi fx units = fun!). It’s nice to get away from the box and finally play something “live”. Even if I do just end up creating 20 minute cacophony i am am certainly having some fun. Many thanks to the Royal Mail and all those wonderful people putting old gear on ebay. I’ve got a few bits to ebay myself – perhaps I should start showing the love and giving some of my gear a new lease of life in another home. I’m just another sampler and a decent singing voice away from a live show now….perhaps I’ll spare you and keep it to the spare time
Having just returned from a job in London i’m starting to think about the 2013-2014 financial year and what it will bring. Will we have another busy summer? I sure hope so. It sure looks that way thus far. Armed with experience & a driving license i’m hoping I can get round to even more jobs this year! Only time will tell but as the sun starts to rear it’s head and us techy types come around from hibernation I think there is air of confidence in me and my colleagues for the year ahead. Be it pointing projectors at the Intercontinental Westminster, editing from home or doing audio in exotic far away lands I know that my heart will always be running 110% for the project.
So today i’m on the hunt. Makes you appreciate that this last year I’ve had work thrown at me from left right & centre. Well the cold of January has set in now so it’s time to edit those CV’s, dial those numbers & type those emails! Hopefully I can muster up a plan to get out of this snow! Until then I say……”Anyone got any jobs for me?”
Not only is Burnin’ a wonderful, harmonious, synth driven classic by Daft Punk but it’s also what i’ve been doing with a hell of a lot of CD’s as of late. All part of my New Years resolution to pay more attention to that wonderful art of simultaneous playback, of bandwidth fusion of the mix and the blend. I guess in a way I fell away from my love for the turntable, neglecting mixing & delving into deeper into sound and tech. Well now It’s time to pay some more attention to that mass of gear I live with, even if it is only to put a smile on my face.
Another Year has drawn to a close. It’s been our biggest so far. I’ve had chance to work with people from all over the planet. My Arabic has improved as has my Spanish, unfortunately my French is still lacking despite the efforts from my two favourite French sound techs! My international English is fantastic, my german weak!
The best thing I’ve bought this year? A flight pillow – the thing has made my life heaven – even beats the Arduino I bought myself for X-mas!
The best thing I’ve learnt this year? Stick your neck out.
The best thing I’ve done this year? Wondered round the middle east alone.
The best place I’ve worked this year? The Shard was pretty tall!
The best gear I’ve used this year? Has to be anything by BrikWorm (these guys have literally made my year heaven with their toys! ( http://www.brikworm.co.uk/ )
The best song i’ve heard this year? Don’t be silly…..
The best piece of software I’ve come across this year? Meyers Prediction Software – hours of fun this one!
The things i’d change about last year? Be more vigilant, clients aren’t always 100% now are they!
The wisest words I heard in 2012? “ye cool, one second, i’ll just pull a projector out of my ass” (anonymous Canadian fellow)
Funniest technical issue of the year? Chasing stray cats out from under stages before they soil the place!
Biggest change of the year? Loving my almost instantaneous defeat of Vertigo. Now found clambering round grids, climbing ladders & working in cherry pickers around the globe!
Hopes for next year? Do more sound Op work & work on my basic DMX skills…….Not to mention A nice new car
There’s probably a world of questions about the last year I could whine on about here. I think the most important thing I’ve taken away from the year is the experience, friendship & encouragement of all the people I have worked with over the year. For every nugget of advice, for every golden token of tech trick & for every job that has come my way – thanks
See you all in 2013
Hi all. Sorry that the website has frozen over. I’m working on yet another UN gig out in Qatar. The air-con is on far too high. But i’ve been having fun setting up a few rooms of audio and looking after a few of the local guys. I’ll write soon I promise. But getting some sun is the first thing i’ll do when I get a second – blogging can wait sorry. The UK is going to be cold this winter!
Just added a few more snaps to the “look” page of my portfolio. Just a few things i’ve been up to recently
So i’m entering into my 6th month of this financial year 2012-2013 of our/your or everyone/ no one’s Lord. Time to look back and start on the wondrous task that is getting my accounts in order. What a joy. Time to flex excels auto summing muscles. I received a call from the wonderful people HM revenue & customs today. To my surprise rather than a grilling over my first years tax band, or demands for down payments I was met by piles of good advice on how to avoid paying any taxes at all! It seems that the wonderful lady on the other side of the phone thought i’d be best making investments in myself rather that pay any taxes in this the early stages of my career – “an remember if you don’t need to use up your capital investments this year don’t and save them for next year.”
I guess us self employed folk, that can’t afford to waste precious pennies on accountants. Are sympathised with & just perhaps regarded as valuable in society. I mean how much money have you brought into the UK from overseas lately? Perhaps, just perhaps the ‘man’ has realised that little old me is struggling by and he’s giving me a pat on the back for saying no to the dull, low paid 9-5 that people with an upbringing like mine are destined to serve in. A chance that the benefit & education system in this fine land has given me.
Never mistake humbleness for a lack of aspiration, that would be a grand mistake to make. For now I’m positive, the work is coming in and the tax man in my friend. I’m sure this will all change by the time i’ve done my accounts & received my first National Insurance bill. Maybe I missed out on Monte Carlo this time, maybe offers like that only come once in a lifetime. C’est la vie – one thing I know is I don’t dream of tax havens & off shore accounts. I dream of giving back to this wondrous society that we call Great Britain. These two islands on the western stream of okeanos – this elysium
So as one fashion project closes another begins. The Mailbox Birmingham was my host for the weekend for some fleeting lampy work. Working with a lighting tech from PSP we provided plenty of bright lighty goodness onto the mailboxes temporary public catwalk. Now were onto another fashion event with an old favourite client. Details coming soon – hard work beginning soon – pity I don’t have a private orchestra!
I’m still here.Just about. This has been one hell of a summer. Just been very busy. I’ll be updating the CV and photo section soon. Though a spot of tennis does call to interrupt today. We’ve had spills, thrills,all night shifts, 9-5′s, up high and down low. We’ve made new acquaintances & left behind some of the old ones. We’ve been messed about, we’ve grown. We’ve learnt, we’ve studied & we yearn for more! I’ll be catching up on the website now I have some time we’ll also be doing some more training over the next month or so! And by we I mean me – but the third person always rings better! Now off to a world where there is no cable & I can just work on my serve!
Hey all, Sorry for the lack of posts at the moment busy busy busy here. From erecting Tannoy systems to loading lorries I’ve been all over the shop the last few weeks and things are set to get even busier. I’ll try to get a real update post done soon and add some more photos when I get chance!
I’ve been busy lately but I’ve decided to add a few snaps to the portfolio section over the next few days
A recent upgrade finally brings Dual Screen capability to the studio. A long time coming, perhaps this is the start of reaping the benefits of my hard work – or perhaps I shouldn’t go that far! All i know is that this is a lovely luxury that will be improving my workflow from now on! Editing audio to visuals on a separate screen & mixing with my analysis plugins in place, with room to breath and a comfy place to live – yes please! All this and my first little delve into the world of video/AV, something i’m fairly new too. I’ve got a variety of Display port & DVI adapters for Apple laptops now. Like gold dust these things. I’m now prepared for yet another type life saving adapter deployment. Powerpoint on a Macbook anyone? no problem. But surely a nice ThinkPad would do you nicer for your corporate doings?
I’m back in the UK after another stint with the wonderful QNCC crowd. Showforce are really becoming part of the woodwork over in Doha – churning out seemless event after seemless event in this often challenging venue. This time saw me take the role of SIS (simultaneous interpretation system) technician & general pair of hands about the place. From a spot of amateur lampy action to sound tech assistance I could be found mucking in all over the building – I’m now taking some time to rest my feet!
So now the hunt for more work begins. And you never know this little patch of downtime could result in some more updates to this rather ropey looking website! Oh well, i’m sure that all of you out there would much rather I added my second official UN notch to my conference bedpost. UNCTAD 2012 was a great experience and I’ve yet again met some great industry sages. I’ve also had some more time with Digico boards and delved into the world of people management. It’s good to be back – shame about the weather mind!
Hi all. I’m back in Doha again for a few weeks working as a technician at QNCC. Despite being a little sleepy after a long flight last night I look forward to what is set to be a busy UN event. The sun is shining and I have a decent 29th floor view to keep me company for the while. I’ll post again while i’m over here. Apologies for the still under development site. Busy times here!
Just been finishing up work on another fashion collection soundtrack. An experimental composition for another fashionista this time from a knitwear back ground. I’m really enjoying helping artists explore their idea in sound at the moment. Busy times here.
I recently took a trip to rochdale for another round of Digico training. The guys at Wigwam audio provided the scene for a full day of tinkering and learning on the SD series consoles. Having only used the D series before the session brought an insight to all the great new features on the SD series and on the new firmware update – which finally includes a limiter on each channel! I can’t wait to get my hands on another Digico console now. After a few more practice sessions, or sessions as a tech on these desks I’ll be able to confidently put together my own shows on these consoles. Something i’m really looking forward to as these desks, to me, seem to have a huge amount of creative potential in terms of automation, macro control and scene function. I must admit i am becoming rather a Digico snob, but it seems to me that these desks are so openly programmable and versatile that i’d be foolish not to work on becoming an advanced user of such systems.
Big thanks to everyone at Digico/Wigwam for the lunch and great advice on their products! Keep your eyes peeled for the MAdiface – a highly compact, simple and cost effective way to run protools alongside your Digico in order to host authentic sound checks with dry audio recorded from the system without the need for a band, DJ or speaker etc. This is not something i’m familiar with but it’s something i’m keen to learn about and purchase at a later date.
The only downfall really is that I need a copy of bootcamp to run the offline editors for Digico hardware, would a port have been so hard, given the amount of OSX users in the audio world? Oh well, not everything can be as bespoke as an SD7 – I suppose us noise boys have to do some work at some point!
The site is currently undergoing a few changes here and there. I apologise for any inconvenience this causes. I’m embarking on another little exploration in self education into basic web design. Keep your eyes out for new features and audio material coming to the site soon.
While on some downtime I thought it was a good idea to do a nice bit of file arrangement and backing up. This was a good idea. Yet it seems to me to be something somewhat lacking in the entertainment department. Oh well, this rigmarole is perhaps the best example of something that is good for you not tasting great ever. Yes putting sounds into categories, backing up invoices and generally making your data feel tidy, happy and fresh is very important. But can’t there be a better way – I think Time machine will have to go on the shopping list. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so pedantic about it – but I do like my files to be nice and organised. Thus the fun continues!
Line Array – Heavy components – and thats before we unbox the subs!
It was nice to really get up close and personal with some Meyer gear – but I could do with a nice protein packed meal and a sleep after that! Who needs the gym when you have to build four arrays!
Oh and a nice leatherman is definatley on my shopping list now
In 1954 Alan Turing left this earth at the bite of an apple. The following year Steve Jobs was born in liberal San Francisco and he went on to become one of the most highly respected geeks on the planet. He and Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful computer systems. In doing so they revolutionised the world we live in and did me a huge amount of favours as an audio practitioner.
You may think I am here to celebrate the leaps and bounds in technological advancement that Jobs spearheaded or having a bash at stealing the mass amount of web traffic that Job’s untimely demise is sure to be generating. But I am not here for either of those purposes. You see we all understand the impact and the great work of this man and i’m sure if we were looking for a read on this topic we could ourselves provide the traffic to the cold hearted advertisement and e-commerce driven websites that owe so much to men like Jobs, Wozniak and Gates.
What I am here to discuss is a man of great power. But great modesty, objectivity and ethos. A true geek, a true hacker. Jobs and Wozniak started off at homebrew computing clubs and illegally selling off boxes that could connect to the early versions of the internet connecting between U.S universities. These monstrosities and experiments began to form into the Apple I and Apple II the latter of which became the first truly mass produced home computing solution. You see while the guys at IBM where gearing there experiments towards military and bureaucratic means Apple were determined to bring computers into the homes and into the hands of the public. The company grew and grew. Until in May 1985, in what is know as the “palace coup”, when Jobs was forced by the board to leave Apple indefinitely. This is what I call the dark ages. Where apple slowly re-churned out it’s OS on vaguely evolving systems and faded from its pedestal into the computing undergrowth. Not ten years ago was using Apple products regarded as witchcraft! It was similar to using Linux or another obscure operating system. You would certainly have to have a very specific purpose for using such a product – or be very very rich.
Then, after helping to create some of the greatest animated movies of our time for a while @ Pixar, Jobs was back on the scene. Only then did the innovation and true spirit of Apple shine again. A testament to the great Alan Turing was first on the list and a blazing rainbow of colours swept the computer market. Now everyone had a powerful, compact computer in their house. Now everyone had a tribute to gay rights sat in their office – you see Jobs and Apple have always made an aware and ethical partnership. I mean, where do you think that logo comes from?
Since 1997 when Jobs was re-instated as interim CEO of the company we have seen a huge amount of innovative products come onto the market. The iPod, The Imac, The iPad and the iPhone, in all of their different guises have changed the world we live in and also given the competition a high standard to compete with. They have also, consistently, updated their world famous media software packages (Aperture, Final Cut, Logic studio). So one might ask – whats the future for Apple now?
Since the release of such products as the Iphone and the Ipad I have personally noticed a push towards these more commercially profitable products. Since the last update of Logic Studio, which I use for all my audio needs, there have been several Iphones released – the 3G – 3Gs – Iphone4 etc etc. Yet the last release of Logic 9 only included a few small updates over Logic 8 which was released over four years ago.
Yes the idea behind Apple is a good one – equality, technology for all, Vorsprung Durch Technik (no that is not an Audi slogan it’s a german phrase). yet there is something inside me that fears for the worst. Shareholders, board members and generally greedy fat cat type characters scare me. You see the Iphone may well be the best phone in the world – but I have never had an apple product that broke, or needed re-releasing with better software or hardware before. At the end of the day it is but a phone, yes a very hi-tech and useful one but I get the feeling that money is being pumped into these more commercially valuable projects as opposed to the development of Pro-apps and the like. This of course could go full circle. The current popularity and success of Apple products may well mean that the funding for the core computer systems and programmes used by creatives is eventually increased to match the levels being spent on portable devices.
Only time will tell what will become of Apple Inc. and it is my hope that they will sway from the capitalist route they have shown to be so fond of in the last few years. Perhaps without Jobs there is no chance, but I know as an Apple user that the fire of Alan Turing and Steve Jobs still burns in my heart, perhaps I should consider becoming a shareholder one day. I’d preach Hardware/Software integration, great customer service, ultimate reliability and a great, peaceful and liberal ethos to boot! Shame share prices are on the up and up.
To the memory of a great man. All the business acumen – Less of the greed.
Written on my spare 2007, bottom of the range, Macbook – which still runs faster than most new Windows Laptops!
One has always considered sound in interactive media as a highly interesting topic. Gaming in particular interests me, it’s endless, un-listable, sonic potential – which my peers are pushing every day – draw me to it. I can not boast (yet) of proficiency in audio middleware packages and unfortunately I am no script-fu fighter. But these are things I intend to discover either on my own or in further academic study over some years (If I can find anywhere to learn Wwise at postgrad level). Until then I will use my time to; look into the basics of UDK’s browsers and events; Build sounds and imaginary events in Wwise and hope for enlightenment on how to mate the two programmes to hit me………..
Tall ladders contain many steps, and the boots of AAA game audio designers come very very big! Thats why , humbly, yet outrageously egotistically, announce my first small step in the field of games. Our latest commercial project, with a new Dutch client, was the entire sound design for a small Java App game. I had a great time working on the game and look forward to seeing future devs from the team. After spending hours researching and putting focus on the theoretical side of interactive audiovisual media it was really great to put some things I’ve learnt into practice as well as getting a first real taste of hands on game sound design. More of this please.
This years birthday celebrations involved filming a dark short film with the guys at Pufferfish productions. As Runner, Maggot tamer, light blocking specialist and makeup artist I’ve had quite a lot of fun with this short before I even think of creating the gut rattling panic inducing soundtrack I have in mind. Shot in a single lovely location, this short is set to be a minimalists dream gone bad. With the guys at Pufferfish pulling out the stocks in after FX for this one I’m extremely excited to be handed the coloured cut for composition. Watch this space. While you still can……….