There’s now just over a week to go until the 2016 Pro Sound Awards at the Ministry of Sound. In the run up to the awards, Rising Star finalist Dan Langridge tells us why he deserves to be recognised as the industry’s most promising young professional.
After receiving excellent submissions from all areas of the trade for the Rising Stars Award, our sister magazine Audio Media International recently revealed the shortlist of nominees and spoke to Colby Ramsey about their pro-audio journeys so far.
After graduating from LIPA and working a few contracts at sea on cruise ships, this 24-year-old joined ChristChurch London as head of sound in March last year, purchasing and managing equipment for the church’s three new venues.
How did you start out and initially become interested in pro audio?
I started doing live sound when I was 12 when my local Scout Group assisted running the towns’ firework nights and other local events. We would set up small PA systems for background music, which inevitably grew to larger systems when we started bringing along bands to play. That’s where my passion for sound started.
Myself and a few friends also started a community radio station, and this allowed us to run our own public events in the town for young people, giving a platform for up and coming bands and DJs in the area.
I studied GCSE Music Tech and A-Level Music Tech at school, and then went on to study at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts where I attained my degree in Sound Technology in 2013.
Can you tell us about your daily working routine?
Currently, I am working part-time for ‘ChristChurch London’ as the Head of Sound. CCL has four church services in four locations on a Sunday and my Sunday role involves assisting a huge team of fantastic volunteers to ensure a smooth set up and operation of the services. My weekday role involves equipment maintenance, running practical sound training for our volunteers and planning the logistics for the rest of the church.
I fill up the rest of my free time freelancing in London for various events and shows, including mixing FOH and Monitors at Henley Festival, building a 5.1 Surround Sound System for Samsung’s Virtual Reality Headset and the Queens 90th Birthday celebration at Windsor Castle to name a few.
What else have you been involved in recently?
It has been a very busy year for me at ChristChurch London. Last summer we upgraded our two sound consoles to DiGiCo SD9’s for FOH and Monitors and a D2 Rack stage box. When the church expanded into four services in the winter, I was lucky enough to be able to purchase a further two DiGiCo SD11’s and some D&B Y10/Y-Sub systems.
Throwing in a multitude of Sennheiser RF for band IEMs and Wireless Mics, and VEAM rack links and stageboxes, I was able to build a very neat and compact touring system that was expandable enough for the growth of the church, but simple enough for volunteers to rig and operate.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite gear? What do you find yourself relying on for projects?
I find myself using Dante on a very regular basis, which is an amazing piece of technology and is sometimes forgotten when fellow nerds are in full swing discussing gear. To be able to send 512 channels of audio over one Ethernet cable while providing direct recording into my laptop without an interface is fantastic and very underrated!
If you could work with one figure in the industry, who would it be and why?
I would love to mix FOH with the likes of Hugh Laurie, Dave Matthews Band, Earth Wind and Fire… anyone in my ‘most recently played’ on iTunes really! A great Blues/Funk band would be great! I really enjoyed Hugh Laurie’s acting growing up and his break into the music industry with his two blues albums couldn’t have come quick enough. I was lucky enough to see him play live in Oxford and it would be an honour to work with him.
In which direction do you see your pro-audio career heading?
ChristChurch London have some amazing plans for the future, including further expansion into more venues around London, so I hope to be continuing my journey with them as their sound requirements grow also.
The volunteers they have at CCL are very dedicated and I really enjoy the teaching and training part of my role with the Church, so as new equipment is brought out it’s always an enjoyable experience showing and training them up on the new toys!
In my freelance career, my thirst for knowledge of equipment and gear will hopefully lead me further into system designing roles for large scale tours and events where I can continue to get in-depth with the systems and make them work optimally for every venue and show, ideally for some loud Rock and Roll or Blues gigs!
The Pro Sound Awards will be held at London's Ministry of Sound on 22 September. Tickets are now available for just £55.