Can you tell us about yourself, what has been your relationship to music? What is your current job role/position? 

My current role is a freelance live sound engineer working in various music venues in Glasgow. Like most people, I’ve always had an obsession with music and was never without a pair of headphones growing up then began to expand that interest by learning guitar and buying pedals. 

Why did you want to study at Riverside Music College? What benefits do you feel there are to studying at RMC? 

Leaving school I really struggled with what I wanted to go on to do. I knew that I wanted to be involved with music in some way or another but wasn’t sure where I’d fit exactly. I came across Riverside Music College courses and was very drawn to HND Sound Production as it would offer me a direction for pursuing live music. The huge benefit of RMC is having access to, and being educated on how to use, industry standard equipment – most of which I still use today – by lecturers with years of real life experience in a professional environment. I’ve since had the opportunity to mix front of house for my previous lecturers in their own bands outwith college. 

How well has the HND Sound Production course prepared you for working in the industry?

The HND course has been essential in preparing a foundation for me to build on while working in the industry. When I first started the course I was genuinely a blank canvas with no prior knowledge or experience in anything to do with sound engineering other than a passion for music and technology. I’d never used a Digital Audio Workstation or even touched a mixing desk before. However, with the help of many dedicated lecturers at RMC who were extremely patient and more than happy to answer all questions I was able to learn in depth how to do all of these things at my own comfortable pace; whether that be expanding in great detail or staying behind to give practical demonstrations. 

What is your favourite part of working in live sound engineering? 

My favourite part of working in live sound engineering is being able to facilitate the creative pursuits of artists’ passions through your own passion. Whether that be touring bands on their first visit to Glasgow or new artists finding their feet in the industry. It’s always a ‘coming together’ moment when the band, the audience and even you are all enjoying the experience, and knowing you were able to facilitate that for them is a huge rewarding feeling. 

What would be the dream live music event that you would want to do sound for? 

My dream live event to do sound for would be Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits. The depth and scale of sound that came from his 10+ piece ensemble when I saw him live blew me away with how perfectly the range of instruments blended together, so I think that would be amazing fun to mix.

What advice would you give to other students looking to transfer their skills in their future careers?

One of the first and best pieces of advice I’ve been given by an engineer which still helps me today when things go south is simply to ‘be calm, because if you’re calm then everyone’s calm’. No one tends to put their trust in an engineer who doesn’t appear to be in control of the situation despite inevitable obstacles and you’re far more likely to find logical solutions with a level head. That being said, no matter how much prior planning there’s been, you can never know what will happen, change or go wrong on the night so always be willing to roll with the punches and improvise where you can to keep the show moving. 

What are your future plans? 

My plans now are to continue practicing and perfecting the craft. I’d like to move towards touring with bands, mixing in different venues and countries seeing where it takes me whilst enjoying it along the way. 

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