The live/touring sound category for this year's Pro Sound Awards comprises, as in 2014, awards for engineer of the year, best touring/production sound and best theatre sound.
Last year's engineer of the year gong was scooped by Reay Grant (pictured, right, with Allen & Heath MD Glenn Rogers), who has mixed sound for Stereophonics, The Fall, The Blockheads, The Crimea and Snow Patrol. Grant, who also designs handmade loudspeaker boxes for Noise Control Audio, was described in one nomination as an “absolute joy to work with” and “completely unflappable”.
“There’s never a sweeter sound than what has been made by the mighty Reay Grant," said another. "Thirty years’ experience helps, but he’s like a musician with perfect pitch – he just always gets it right. In a age when 15-minute festival changeovers are looked at impossible by so many youngbloods, I’ve seen this guy change a 17-piece band in 10 minutes with two feet of mud lapping at the stage door. There is really no better.”
Capital Sound took home the award for best tour sound production for its Martin Audio MLA set-up at the 2014 British Summer Time festival (see Capital Sound and Martin Audio return for an even louder BST Hyde Park). The PA, comprising 16 MLA and one MLD Downfill per side with 12 MLA and one MLD Downfill for the sidefills, saw McBusted achieve 102dBa (with 73dBa recorded offsite) and Tom Jones and Black Sabbath nudging 103dBa. (Pictured below right is Capital's Paul Timmins collecting the award.)
“Headliners at Hyde Park are now performing at levels well in excess of 100dB, which was unthinkable only two years ago,” said AEG Live event director Jim King after the festival. “Capital and Martin [did] an excellent job, and the system data and know-how about the site is there for visiting FOH engineers to get the very best levels and sound coverage for their artists.”
Making off with the theatre sound trophy was Chris Mace, production engineer on Harry Hill and Simon Cowell's I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical, who received testimonials from what seemed like most of the industry in support of his nomination.
“[Chris] worked a 15-hour day, six days a week, leading a team of up to 10 sound engineers to install over 200 speakers, 140 microphones and 21 computers,” said one impressed nominator. “It was all completed ahead of time without interfering too much with the rest of the departments. All in all, it was a mammoth task which was accomplished in an exemplary manner.”
“Mace [pictured right] coped with an extremely demanding system, within a ludicrously tight budget and entreatingly unrealistic schedule – and a predictably curmudgeonly production manager – in his traditionally unflappable way,” said another. “[H]e managed those under (and, frankly, over) him with a deftness of touch from which those entering the industry could learn a massive amount. What he did do worked – [and] what he didn’t do didn’t need doing.”
PSNEurope’s Pro Sound Awards returns to the world-famous Ministry of Sound nightclub in London for the third time on Thursday 25 September. Tickets for the awards, which celebrate excellence in live, studio, installed and broadcast audio, are on sale now for just £49.
The lobbying period for the awards is open from 15 April to 22 May, and is, as always, open to anyone and totally free to enter. Simply read through the categories and see which one(s) you feel you want to make a pitch for, nominating yourself, your team, an associate or a project or person with which you have been impressed and want to give wider recognition. Then send a short pitch (up to a maximum of 300 words) for each award under consideration to email@example.com or complete the online form at www.prosoundawards.com/lobby.
Provide as much factual information as possible; data and evidence of notable successes are invaluable. Up to three hotlinks to relevant material online can also be provided – and, by all means, ask your colleagues or industry friends to make their feelings known.
Based on the email nominations, the Pro Sound Awards team will create a list of finalists for each category. This process involves looking at the performance of those nominated companies over the past year, plus the information provided by the lobbying emails, but we don’t base finalist positions on the number of emails we receive about a particular company. A shortlist of finalists for each category will be presented to a 50-strong panel of judges from across the spectrum of the pro-audio industry, who will ultimately choose the winners of each Pro Sound Award (with the exception of the grand prix and lifetime achievement gongs).
See all the victors from last year’s sophomore event at PRO SOUND AWARDS 2014: The winners!.
“There have been a ton of notable pro-audio productions and projects since 30 May 2014, but you need to tell us what they were and who was involved,” says PSNEurope editor Dave Robinson. “You have to be in it to win it; I can’t emphasise that enough. And anyway, this year’s party is going to be better than ever – so buy that £49 ticket now!”
Leading studio equipment manufacturer Focusrite, which sponsored February's PSNPresents event at the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho (see Rapturous reception for inaugural PSNPresents), is already confirmed as the first event partner, lending its support to the studio category. A range of other sponsorsip opportunities – from headline sponsor to category, photobooth, red-carpet and afterparty sponsorship – are also available; contact PSNEurope ad manager Ryan O’Donnell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or account manager Rian Zoll-Khan (email@example.com) for more details! For ticket information, email Jess Farnan at firstname.lastname@example.org.