Guest Lecture – Danny Roberts (A&R Decca Records)

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This week’s guest lecture for level 2 and 3 Music Production students was by Danny Roberts – A&R at Decca Records.

Danny did a brilliant job of unravelling the mysterious world of A&R and gave the students a great insight into the role of A&R in these challenging times for the recorded music industry.

Decca sits within the structure of Universal Music Group – one of the ‘big three’ major labels and Danny explained his day-to-day duties, including liaison with managers, agents, lawyers, producers and publishers. He travels a lot and he stressed the importance of networking, communication skills, and making decisions – sometimes risky ones. Studying statistics, nurturing and developing artists, and keeping up morale, also feature heavily in his role. Surprisingly, going to gigs was not particularly high on the list.

The stakes and budgets are high in the world of the major labels and I could sense that Danny’s job comes with a lot of pressure. He looks like he can handle it though 🙂 and he gave us a fascinating talk, which particularly highlighted to me how many roles there are in the music industries, and how many people are involved to support the career of a successful artist.

HEADSPACE

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Blog post by Senior Lecturer Zara Healy.

Over 100 Audio and Media Production students gathered for HEADSPACE, a unique industry social event at Lincoln University on Weds 30th April. The gathering was organised by Senior Lecturer in Radio, Zara Healy.

16 industry professionals, including 6 graduates from the radio, audio and music industries attended the event. They included Tim Johns, who produces Jeremy Vine’s show on BBC Radio 2, Chris North, a Talent Manager who has represented Greg James and Scott Mills, Sound Artist Amie Slavin, and presenters from the BBC and Commercial Radio.

Four Q and A sessions allowed students to set the agenda and ask any question about careers, getting a foot in the door or setting up their own companies. The aim of the day was to get students mixing with industry contacts and gain honest, helpful advice. The result was a packed and really useful day, which ended in the Shed Pub for a drink and more discussion.

Zara Healy said “We have great contacts with the industry and HEADSPACE was a chance for people to get together, socialise and celebrate this. I hope this event is the start of more social gatherings in the future”.

Thank you to Brayford Radio for helping host the guests and Dr Sarah Barrow, Head of the School of Media for funding it.

Career Update – Matt North – 2012 Alumnus

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Blog post by Matt North who will be joining us for the Headspace event on April 30th.

After graduating from Audio Production in 2012, I started work as a Technical Operator for Ideal Shopping Direct, across their range of shopping TV channels including Ideal World and Create & Craft. I was then promoted to Audio Operator, where I mixed over 500 hours of broadcast audio across the company’s network until last June when I was fortunate enough to land a job as a Location Sound Recordist for a small kit & crew company called Videoheads, based in White City in London.

Since then, I have been recording location sound for a wide range of TV programming, commercials, corporate and legal films with credits including Crimewatch, iTunes Festival 2013, The Gadget Show and have recently come back from shooting in the Philippines in conjunction with BBC’s The One Show & Sport Relief. I also work on audio post-production at home in whatever spare time I have for both short and feature films.

‘Dubbing Doctors’ – with BBC’s Richard Hastings-Hall

Richard Hastings-Hall visited Audio Production level 2 students today to talk about ‘dubbing mixing’, in particular mixing for medium budget daytime drama and the technical and creative constraints that working on shows like this can have. They are often handled very differently to other dramas, documentaries and television series etc.

For example the directors of these daytime dramas are not paid to be present at the final mixing session – it’s only the Exec Producer who signs off the mix.
Richard Hastings-HallRichard brought his Pyramix set-up (made by Emerging Technologies) with him which sadly did have some technical issues – but this was a good example of how ‘anything that can go wrong – will go wrong’. A thankyou must go to Luke Johnston who showed his skill in drive re-mapping!.

Some students found it reassuring that it wasn’t ‘just them’

Richard mentioned metering and loudness, and the need for good adherence to technical standards.
To find out more about the BBC delivery requirements look here

Richard revealed that often with quick turn around drama shows like Doctors – the sync sound recordings are not always perfect. the crew often doesn’t have time to go again. So very often

The dubbing team are left to ‘fix it in post’. Alternative lines of dialogue are hunted down from the rushes, smoothing techniques are used and generally the pressures are such that all this must be done in one 12 hour session. No foley ar ADR sessions are possible.

“In Doctors we don’t have time for foley sessions, so we have to be very resourceful when it comes to our use of time. Much of what we do is fixing problems”

Louise Wilcox, another dubbing mixer was featured in an article in the Institute of Professional Sound Website which may be of interest

 

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On another occasion during a Jane Austin themed episode he went overboard on a fight scene and had to remix it due to a topical news event which happened close to transmission.

Richard also talked about Brinkburn Street for BBC, which presented some unusual sound dillemas, as it was set in both the present day and the 1930’s so sometimes there were horses and carts outside the houses and sometimes jet engines and traffic. See iPLayer

Richard has been a dubbing mixer for over 20 years and has mixed 717 episodes of Doctors. He is currently freelance, based in Nottingham.

His IMdB page is here 

pyramixFind out more about Pyramix here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

win an online mixing session at Abbey Road

AVID/PRO Tools COMPETITION

Win an Abbey Road mix/mastering session and Pro Tools® system
The Beatles. Adele. U2. Lady Gaga. Ready to add your name to that list?
Avid have partnered with Abbey Road—one of the world’s most famous recording studios—to help artists and musicians make music history.
they’re looking for one great song, chosen by a panel of industry heavyweights, to win an online mixing and mastering session at Abbey Road and a Pro Tools|HD Native system.

Enter now for your chance to win the industry’s respect, fan exposure, plus free gear from Avid and a mix/mastering session from Abbey Road, adding up to a value of over $7,000.

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Get heard, get discovered, and break through.
Judge’s Choice
Three winners, as chosen by the judges, will receive:
Their song/track mixed and mastered by Abbey Road’s online services (worth $1,300)
A Pro Tools|HD Native system with Pro Tools HD 10 software and an HD OMNI interface (worth $5,999) each
Exposure across Avid’s website and social online channels

People’s Choice
The highest voted artist will receive:
An Mbox Pro audio interface with Pro Tools 10 software (worth $999)
Exposure across Avid’s website and social online channels

Get Involved
Submit by: March 13, 2013, 10 am PDT
Vote: March 14, 2013, – March 21, 2013,
Winners Announced: April 10, 2013

Meeting Daniel Adair

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Blog post by L3 Audio Production student Ryan Davis.

Last year on the 7th of October 2012, I was given one of the best opportunities that I have had – I was able to personally interview Daniel Adair, who is most famously known for being the drummer of Nickelback. I obtained this interview for part of my dissertation, which is based on how drum technology has changed and how it has impacted drummers’ performance.

Gaining this interview was a great privilege. As a drummer, I was very happy to meet one of my idols and gained not only a great reliable source to use in my dissertation, but also a professional drummer’s view on my chosen subject.

Obtaining this interview was never an easy task as it involved many phone calls and a lot sweet-talking, including speaking to Nickelback’s Personal Manger. However, in doing so I managed to secure an incredible interview from Daniel Adair and also made contacts throughout the lengthy process, which will help me further my career once I have left university.

It just goes to show how persistence and being well mannered and polite can get you a long way. When I first started at University, I never thought it would have been possible to to interview not only one of my idols, but also to gain a great insight for use in my dissertation.

First Career Steps – Matt North

Blog Post by Audio Production alumnus Matt North:

Having finished my degree in Audio Production, I am currently working for Ideal Shopping Direct as a Technical Operator. The company broadcasts over four channels and its main channel, Ideal World, is live 17 hours a day. My main responsibilities within my role are varied and alongside operating audio for the shows, I am learning new skills in different roles such as Floor Technician, Video Controller and Camera Operation. The Floor Technician role is especially interesting as I am learning new skills in lighting television sets, testing audio and visual feeds and dealing first-hand with presenters and guests alike.

The audio role within the company is very enjoyable, consisting of running the desk and ensuring all audio is to a suitable level for broadcast, as well as playing out sound effects and VT.

Whilst I am very much enjoying my work, I intend to gain as many skills and as much experience as possible within this role and then potentially move to a full-time Audio Operator role. Although I am doing some audio operation as a Technical Operator, I feel it would be beneficial for my CV and career to possess the official title of Audio Operator for future endeavours.

Ultimately, I intend to pursue my passion for film & TV sound that I developed whilst studying Audio Production. Since finishing my degree, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work as a Sound Recordist, as well as complete audio post-production on a short film with a former graduate from Lincoln, Michael Beddoes. I spoke to him after his guest lecture for R&D and he invited me to assist him on his project entitled ‘Breaking’, which has been entered into the Virgin Media Shorts competition and has received great attention. It was an invaluable experience, teaching me more about the location recording process and I am extremely proud of the finished product.

Through working on ‘Breaking’, I was asked by the film’s producer (Adam Spinks) to be in charge of sound on his upcoming feature film ‘Survivors’, which is being shot over 11 days in September in Surrey. The film has been crowd-funded and is being produced on a budget of around £4000. This was a fantastic opportunity that I could not turn down and since accepting the role, Adam has also asked me to complete post-production work on another short film he has done – and this was my first official paid freelance role. Although it was only a small amount, it is definitely a milestone in my career.

I am currently using my wages from working at Ideal World to buy my first personal location recording kit for the ‘Survivors’ shoot. I have upgraded to Pro Tools 10 and I am also currently enhancing the knowledge I gained from my degree in audio production for film through reading and testing the equipment I have purchased.

After the ‘Survivors’ shoot, I intend to apply for more freelance roles within the industry to enhance my audio portfolio, whilst continuing to gain experience in live TV sound at Ideal World. Afterwards, I hope to move to Manchester or London and apply for work in Audio Post-Production facilities whilst continuing with freelance audio work.

Links here: Breaking, Survivors

DEGREE SHOW 2012 – 1st Audio Production Students Graduate


AUDIO PRODUCTION STUDENTS GRADUATE – the class of 2012 is the first to graduate.

We’re nearing the end of the academic year and with it comes the Lincoln School of Media degree show. This will be the first cohort of Audio Production students to graduate and the degree show highlights the varied and exciting work the students have produced including; radio drama and documentary, music production, sound design for film, experimental film, soundscapes, game sound design and binaural film sound!

The DEGREE SHOW IS ON FRIDAY 1st JUNE – spread the word – watch the video here.

 

 

Into the Music Library

It’s the music which has surrounded us our whole lives, but which most of us have never quite heard let alone listened to… and nearly all of it made in the UK.

Sometimes called ‘Source music’, ‘Mood Music’ or as it’s best known, ‘Library music’: a hugely important part of British sonic history. Its use and purpose is simple: it’s well produced, economic music for film, TV, advertising and radio. Never commercially available to the general public, this music was pressed onto vinyl from the 1950s onwards in short, limited quantities and then sent directly to TV production houses and radio stations for use when necessary.

From the mid 1960s onwards, as TV and radio productions expanded, so did library music usage. As a result the golden age of TV (and our memories of it) is not only punctuated but dominated by classic library music.

Sports themes, situation comedies, game shows, cartoons, talk shows, classic children’s tv, the testcards and even Farmhouse Kitchen was brought to us all with the help of library music. Themes for Terry And June, Grange Hill, Mastermind, Match Of The Day and of course that gallery tune from Vision On are all well placed library cues. But there are reels (and reels) of gorgeously crafted, equally great stuff that never made it past the elevator door! We have been surrounded by it forever, but we know so little about it…. Where does it comes from? Who actually makes it? And how do you actually set about making music for the inside of a waiting area, a lift or for a plane before it takes off?

In this first ever documentary about library music we’ll look into its history (starting in 1909), speak with the dynastic library owners (de Wolfe, KPM, John Gale), We find out what’s it’s like to make music to imaginary pictures by speaking to the library music makers (which could include Jimmy Page and Brian Eno), and even have a word with the Musicians Union who banned UK recording of library music throughout the late 60s.

We also talk to the modern day enthusiasts, the collectors (Jerry Dammers) and explore the contemporary influences of this extraordinary musical genre. And of course re-acquaint ourselves with some of the most familiar music we’ve never listened to!

Presented by collector and archivist Jonny Trunk.

Producer: Simon Hollis
A Brook Lapping production for BBC Radio 4.

Listen Here