Student Spotlight – Josh Lane
Tell us about yourself- what has been your relationship to music? Do you have any current projects
Growing up in a music-orientated family, I picked up the piano when I was eleven years old and soon found a growing interest in music. I was inspired by my dad as well as both of my uncles to pick up the guitar at the age of fourteen, my uncle taught me the basic chord shapes and soon we started our own family band with my gramps on the drum kit. We would call ourselves “Blinded Lies” and have a jam from time to time. I would soon find my passion for the bass guitar and practise four hours a day in my bedroom to bands such as; Metallica, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Chuck Berry.
Throughout these years I started to question more and more what other layers to music could be discovered. When I was fifteen, my mum took me to see the Bon Jovi Experience, which was signed by Jon Bon Jovi himself, it was there I would discover my drive for live sound. After finishing my higher education with an A in music I set out to become a production engineer because I wanted to understand the technology behind a song that can make people feel emotion. How does it achieve this?
I volunteered throughout school, setting up PA systems for various charity events that my head music tutor would organise. We toured Austria in 2018 as well as Madrid in 2019, raising money for the elderly homes, homelessness, and school funding. I would take to the stage as a bass player and assist with live sound. My first front of house gig was at my local town’s yearly festival show in 2018 (which was a result of pestering my head music tutor, he accepted and didn’t regret that he did!).
I am currently engineering for the band Cloaks (with thanks to RMC Tutor Shaun Neethling who recruited me for this assignment last year) and have since formed a professional relationship with. I have provided a sneak peak (see end of article) to their last show at Room2 where, with help from my friend and colleague Stefan Livingston, we multitrack recorded their live set which was then mixed by myself.
I have recently engineered for Gyro Mordicub, a new band branching out from Riverside who headlined at Nice’N’Sleazy (20th April 2023) and Sneaky Pete’s (21st April 2023). They were very pleased with the live sound I provided and hope to recruit me for future gigs.
Why did you want to study at Riverside Music College?
Riverside Music College ensures that each student generates a working portfolio and throughout your journey on campus you will receive work experience as well as an expanding client list (working alongside Performance students). The college opens many doors for their students to step through and explore the various industry opportunities. I have had inductions to other colleges that will overcharge you and leave you with no clients or experience to show for it whereas Riverside Music College works as a commercial studio offering top quality equipment to learn with and a high level of support from professional, experienced lectures.
How do you feel the HND Sound Production course has helped with making you “industry ready”?
My journey at Riverside Music College has assisted me in becoming more capable of; using client communication, operating high tech equipment, working in teams or independently, as well as implementing creative ideas in production scenarios. The HND Sound Production course grants each student hands-on experience working with new artists whilst expanding their skillset or building it from scratch. Riverside Music College does not discriminate between the high and low experienced folk.
What do you think are some of the personal attributes to being a good sound engineer?
I believe the best attributes to being a good sound engineer is having a sense of time management, listening to your clients material on a regular basis, compromising with your clients, and being friendly. It is your responsibility to plan ahead of a gig, learn the travel timetable beforehand, when the load in is scheduled for. It is essential to listen to the client’s material to understand when to alter the live mix or add any effects, from my experience this grants me positive reactions from the people I work with as they feel their performance is safe in my hands as well as “hey, this guy cares about his job”. Be approachable, understand that sometimes you make a mix for a client and they aren’t one hundred percent happy with it. Be friendly, ask why they don’t like it and consider methods of making alterations.
If you could do live sound for any band/artist, who would it be?
I often think about what it would be like to do live sound for Pink Floyd, preferably around the 1994 era, at King Tuts consisting of the standard five piece lineup (drums, bass, keys, x2 guitars). In many times of uncertainty, I have walked for miles listening to Pink Floyd where the notes and phrases fought against any stress that life threw at me and because of this to hear the performance live and engineer for it would be a dream come true.
What advice would you give to other students looking for more work experience in music?
Plan ahead! Any course will only carry you so far. It is YOUR journey, no one else’s. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve or expand your skill set! Talk to the bands! Even the ones you aren’t engineering for. 7/10 will likely say no but they will often consider that you branched out to them offering assistance which creates endless possibilities. Record as many tracks as you can inside or outside the course, the more evidence you create to show your skill set, the smoother the journey will set off!
Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
I aim to start increasing the quantity of recordings and, with consent, upload them to my social media and advertise mixing and live engineering services! I also aim to help produce Cloaks’ next lineup of singles they are currently crafting and continue with that journey in good time! I am currently helping the musicians on the performance course on the bass guitar for their graded performance and as a result further expand my client list of names!
“I used spillage in the mix to allow the cymbals to be audible due to not having any overheads at the gig. The vocals are high pass filtered to remove any bass guitar bleed and also featured an automated delay and reverb. Thomas (vocalist, songwriter) and I discussed using time domain effects for Alone especially for the highest note “cold” which features a long feedback delay.”
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Extracurricular Project Development Programme
Employers and Universities already view our students in the highest regard in terms of their skills, knowledge and professional attitude – RMCplus+, our extracurricular project development programme, aims to take this to the next level and gives our students an even greater advantage in this competitive industry.
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