Radio, Sound & Music Symposium II

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Top names in the world of radio, sound and music will be in Lincoln for an unmissable event next week. Wednesday 1st May sees our second Radio, Sound & Music Symposium, hosted by our Visiting Professor and radio supremo Trevor Dann.
The exciting panel of guest speakers and alumni will provide lively debate and insider knowledge around all things audio.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

1000 Welcome and Introduction from Trevor Dann

1020 Ruth Barnes (The Other Woman, Amazing Radio, ex BBC 6-Music)

1100 Adam Bowie (Head of Strategy & Planning, Absolute Radio)

1145 John Williams (Music producer, ex Head of A&R at Chrysalis and Polydor)

1230 Lunch and meet and chat with our guests

1400 Ashley Byrne (Creative Director, Made In Manchester)

1445 Andrew Wilkie (Director of Radio, Prison Radio Association)

1530 Alumni Panel: –
Laura Mather (Brand Manager, Smooth & Real Radio)
Liam Juniper (Studio Manager, BBC WS & 5Live)
Matt North (TV Sound Supervisor and film sound recordist)
Laurence Whitaker (BBC Leeds/York)

1615 Finish

Venue: Lecture Theatre 2: ARM201 (Architecture building)

Guest speaker biographies:

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Ruth Barnes is a new music expert, blogger, podcaster and broadcaster, currently presenting the mid morning show and The Other Woman on Amazing Radio – the new music network dedicated to emerging and independent artists. Ruth kicked off her career in radio with a six month stint on the BBC London overnight show presenting 4 hours of phone-in radio through the night, which is one way to ensure she’s never short of anything to say once the mic is open!

Ruth was a music reporter for the BBC broadcasting live from the likes of the Glastonbury festival for BBC Radio 5 Live to the WOMAD music festival as far afield as Abu Dhabi for the BBC World Service. Years spent as part of the BBC 6 Music news team meant reporting from music festivals around the country, as well as interviewing musicians – both famous and emerging. Ruth has also been a regular feature maker for the Claudia Winkleman Arts Show on BBC Radio 2, presenting and producing ten minute features on all aspects of the arts world.

A weekly radio show on London’s arts network Resonance FM, The Other Woman, led to a weekly spot on Tom Robinson’s Introducing show on BBC 6 Music. Ruth played her top tips for Tom every week as his Girl Music Guru.

Ruth runs The Other Woman new music blog and podcast, which promotes emerging female talent. Ruth has deputised for Tom on his 6M Introducing show and has presented an all-female 6 Mix for 6 Music.

She also has a voiceover career and is one of the voices of BBC 1 and BBC 2 continuity.

http://www.ruthbarnes.co.uk

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John Williams is an English A&R executive, record producer, photographer, manager, recording artist, and songwriter. In a career that has spanned over 35 years at major record labels, he has guided, A&R’d, mentored, and produced many artist careers including The Housemartins and The Proclaimers,[1] as well as producing and signing Alison Moyet, Simple Minds,[2] The Waterboys, Robert Plant, The Blue Nile, Status Quo,[3] Cathy Dennis, Petula Clark, Ocean Colour Scene, JJ Cale, Blancmange, Shriekback, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Jethro Tull,Beth Nielsen Chapman, Debbie Harry and Luciana Caporaso.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Owen_Williams_(record_producer)

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Adam Bowie has worked for Absolute Radio, and in its previous incarnation as Virgin Radio, since 1996. During that time he’s worked in a variety of roles within the company. Currently he looks after the commercial research interests of the station including RAJAR analysis and conducting bespoke research for clients. He also looks after the interests of the group’s digital radio services including Absolute 80s and Absolute Classic Rock, with a particular emphasis on platform carriage.

He also works with the regulatory bodies such as Ofcom and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, representing Absolute Radio’s interests. He sits on the RAJAR technical management group representing commercial radio, and looks after the interests of Absolute Radio’s digital metrics.

Privately he blogs at adambowie.com

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Andrew Wilkie joined the PRA in 2007 to lead the development of the PRA’s Electric Radio Brixton. Following a successful launch, he guided his staff of prisoners to four Sony Radio Academy Awards, including two Sony Golds, as well as a coveted IVCA Clarion Award. He then led on transforming this local service into National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station specifically for prisoners. In 2011 he received a Butler Trust Award and an award from the Greater London High Sheriff for his work.

Andrew has worked extensively as a programme maker for both BBC Network Radio and the commercial sector. He started his broadcasting career as a journalist for BBC Radio Five Live and built a strong freelance portfolio across BBC Network Radio, working with presenters such as Steve Wright, Johnny Walker and Dermot O’Leary on BBC Radio 2.

He was also a reporter for the BBC World Service and a studio producer for BBC Radio 1. In 2004 Andrew produced a documentary on Kurt Cobain called After Nirvana for BBC Radio 2, which was nominated for a Sony Award. He also produced a breakfast show for the country’s largest independent radio group, GCap Media.

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Laura Mather is an award winning and passionate radio producer with extensive industry experience across some of the UK’s largest and most prominent radio brands.
Graduating in 2006 with a BA Honours in Media Production, Laura immediately started refining her craft with a 12 month contract as Station Producer at Viking FM. To further develop her skillset and broaden her industry knowledge she moved to Trent FM in Nottingham as an Imaging Producer, where her exposure to show production sparked an interest that would lead her to GMG’s Real Radio North West. She took on Ditchy and Salty at Breakfast and within three years had gathered numerous awards including Sony Gold for Station of the Year and Sony Bronze for Best Entertainment programme. In May 2011, Laura made the jump from regional to national as she joined Smooth Radio as Brand Producer – leading the station sound for one of the UK’s biggest easy listening radio stations.

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Matt North. Since graduating in 2012, I have since worked as part of the audio team for Ideal Shopping Direct, the company responsible for the popular range of TV shopping channels Ideal World, Create & Craft and The Deal Channel. I have also worked and am still working freelance on an array of projects from short films, including a micro-budget fan-funded feature (shot in only 14 days) in a range of audio roles from location recording all the way through to audio post-production.

http://www.mattnorthaudio.co.uk

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Liam Juniper graduated from the Media Production course with a 2:1 in September 2011. Shortly after graduation he managed to get a temporary contract as a Trainee Studio Manager with the BBC working across all World Service English news programmes at Bush House in London. He is now a fully fledged Studio Manager permanently based in Salford working on output for Radio 5 live, 5 live Sports Extra and World Service Sport.”

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.

Students’ audio series is quality material for BBC Radio 4

University of Lincoln students who created an audio series about one of the world’s greatest scientists have had their work featured on Radio 4’s Material World.

Students and a recent graduate from the University’s Audio Production course were originally asked to produce an audio tour for The Gravity Fields Festival, which aims to celebrate the legacy of Grantham’s most famous son Sir Isaac Newton.

But the quality of the work is such the science programme Material World used extracts from it to introduce a 15-minute segment on the eight-day festival which took place at the end of September.

The audio, which was also serialised on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, features amateur actors and local schoolchildren and was all recorded on location – including Newton’s birth in the very same room at Woolsthorpe Manor.

Bryan Peter Rudd, the University’s Audio Production programme leader, put the team together following a request from the festival organisers and the BBC.

Bryan said: “This was a fantastic partnership for the University to be involved with. The quality of work produced by the students is absolutely tremendous and they achieved this while working under enormous pressure to very tight deadlines. I am extremely proud of them as they have shown the amazing quality of work our students are capable of.”

Luke Pickering, who recently graduated from the University with a first-class honours degree in audio production, led the student team which consisted of Jake Walker, James Drake and Stephen Bernard.

Luke, 22, who also spent the summer recording live bands, said: “Recording on location was something I hadn’t had much experience in so that aspect was really interesting. Between the four of us it worked smoothly and I’m really pleased with the finished product.”

Jake, 20, added: “It was a fantastic experience. When I told my mum the audio had been played on Radio 4 she was delighted, if I ever got to work on The Archers she’d probably cry. I was a bit scared as we only had a week to put it together but I learned so much which I can apply to future projects.”

Charlie Partridge, Managing Editor of BBC Radio Lincolnshire, involved the University after he was initially approached to produce an audio tour for the festival.

He said: “It soon became clear that it would also be suitable for radio drama. The University has amazing facilities and a great bunch of talented people, which is why I immediately contacted the media department. The students worked fantastically well from our point of view and it was great they had the opportunity to have their work broadcast, not only on local radio but also on Radio 4. I applied a real quality test to the finished product, so it was a real challenge for them. That kind of site specific drama is really difficult to get right but they did. It is in every way a professional recording and is testament to the very talented people both studying and working at the University of Lincoln.”

To listen to the episode of Material World which features excerpts from the radio drama go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mwzwj from 16 minutes in.

Story by Marie Daniels – PR Officer

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

Work Experience At British Grove

Blog post by level 1 Audio Production student Alistair Pritchard (3rd from left).

I was invited to spend a day at British Grove Studios in London by Dave Harries when our course gained JAMES accreditation. I helped set up the new tweeters in both studios and was introduced to the various employees of the studio and was then invited to spend a whole week at the studio later on in the year.

The building has a lovely, warm and homely atmosphere with real character, made more so by the staff that work there. Owned by Mark Knopfler and managed by David Stewart, British Grove is one of the very few studios left in London who cater for orchestral recordings as well as bands. Its amazing acoustics and flexibility of live rooms and booths allow it to adapt to each client’s needs.

During my first day I worked as Assistant Engineer with Joe (Engineer) and Steve McLaughlin who’s produced various compositions for films such as Die Hard and X-Men. This involved setting up for recording piano and classical guitar (see picture below) to add to a previous orchestral recording done at Abbey Road Studios. This was to be used for an art exhibition and possibly for a film in the future. Microphone positioning/choice was a key factor during this session to get the best sound but also to piece the music together as it was a complicated composition.

On my second day, after getting to grips with my role as an Assistant Engineer and familiar with the new environment, I was to work with Rich and Jason – setting up to record an album. Later that day I was introduced to Guy Fletcher (keyboard player in Mark’s band). The recording would take place for the rest of the week in studio 1 and, during this time, Glyn Johns was mixing an album for a client with Martin (British Grove Engineer) in Studio 2. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to him and Don Was, which was really nice. I then found myself discussing work with them and made coffee throughout the week which lead to having lunch followed by some sound advice from Glyn himself.

For the recording session in studio 1 we had to use all of the booths and the live room. This consisted of many instruments being recorded all at the same time. To name a few:

Fiddle and Whistle/Flute – Neumann 67 (valve).
Drums – AKG C12s were used as overheads (also valve and very rare these days).
Vocals – A modern copy of a Telefunken 251.

Danny Cummings (percussionist) then turned up with all of his gear and by God, did he bring some drums?! We set them up and got levels with various microphones to find out which ones gave the best sound, in particular for the bass drum. The project was for a Spanish flamenco artist (cannot be named for private reasons) and was to be produced by Guy Fletcher. The musicians were part of Mark Knopfler’s folk band and friends, who I have to thank for making me very welcome and are such nice people. In total we had nine songs to record in full and straight away from hearing the first song you could see why the client had come to British Grove Studios, he was absolutely incredible as a composer of music and guitarist.

Throughout the week I learnt a lot about the hierarchy within a studio and how each level communicates with each other. Specifically to production techniques I learnt about microphone placement and some useful tips on Pro Tools. As the week came to an end working at British Grove started to feel like a norm, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and was always eager to learn but I felt like part of the team – in all honesty I was sad to go.

However, my week was still yet to be completed as David gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse and I stayed for the weekend too. I was then fortunate enough to meet Paul Crockford who is Mark’s manager and has a wealth of experience in the role. The following morning we were set to finish the previous day’s song which would determine whether or not we would finish on time. Later that day I was pleasantly surprised to meet Mark Knopfler himself and that was a great end to the week with the final pieces being tracked and edited.

Overall I had a brilliant time and couldn’t have asked for a better week. Thank you to all involved.

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.

 

 

Ethan at Maida Vale Studios

Blog post by level 3 Audio Production student Ethan Ejdowski:

On Februrary 15th, I travelled down to Maida Vale Studios in London to do some primary research for my Research and Development module. I’m researching into live music at the BBC and targeting specifically the Maida Vale studios.

I started the day with a tour of the studios, learning how the buildings work towards different sessions which are broadcast directly from the studios. Sessions such as Radio 1 Live Lounge, Zane Lowe sessions, the BBC Symphonic Orchestra.

I was then given the opportunity to observe the setup and broadcast of Radio 1’s Live Lounge with the guest being Ed Sheeran. I then observed a second session, this was the set-up and 40 minute live broadcast of The Black Keys (shown in the picture below).

It was a great experience and helped me gain an understanding of how the Maida Vale sessions work and also how I can attempt to gain a job in a similar field.