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Learning from the audio experts at Backstage Academy

Leo Crabtree, Chris Madden and Dave Swallow are among the audio pros who shared their knowledge with students of Backstage Academy’s new Foundation Degree in Live Events Production.

Students of the inaugural foundation degree in live events production at Backstage Academy have been learning from some of live music’s leading audio professionals as part of their month-long live sound module. The Prodigy’s drummer Leo Crabtree, P!nk and Sade FOH Engineer Chris Madden, and audio mixing author Dave Swallow delivered a variety of masterclasses on a range of subjects. Veteran audio engineer Chris Madden spoke about his experience on tour, how he got into the industry and the importance of building relationships for the progression of your career: “Education is obviously a key thing, there is no harm at all in being qualified and having certificates to prove that, but the key thing to me is that you need to be someone that the production manager or the lighting chief wants to have around them all day long,” said Madden. Award-winning live sound engineer Dave Swallow also dropped in on the students for a day to take them back to the basics of sound, teaching them how to listen and connect with music emotionally. “I’ve been talking to the guys here today and yesterday about how to understand your role as a sound engineer from a very creative point of view and how to understand your own connection with the music. I’ve talked about how by listening to the frequency spectrum and by adding and losing certain frequencies you can create positive and negative connotations…hopefully giving them all the ideas and the techniques that they can take away and understand how they mix the sound in a much more emotionally connected way.” Backstage Academy is seeking entertainment industry professionals to deliver masterclasses for the second foundation degree in live events production, which begins in November this year. “Our aim with the course is to bring in people from a variety of specialisms who have a wealth of experience in the live events industry in order to ensure that the content we are providing for the students reflects current trends, technology and practices,” said head of courses Robin Watkinson.