Pete Rann is a dance music composer and producer who attended our 2 day live sound engineering course in December 2010. Here is what he has to say.

I`ve been a producer and DJ for a number of years. I release music commercially and have my own recording studio. I`ve always been interested in sound engineering and like to check out the array of mixing desks and rigs being used in live venues I attend both as a DJ and paying punter. Having engineered all my own tracks, I wanted to enhance my mixing skills and knowledge of sound to a Live enviroment.

Base sound ticked all the boxes for me due to the excellent testomonials, price and location which in my case is not to far from London. On a cold icy morning I was warmly greeted by Howard who was trying frantically to clear all the snow out of the way so the others could arrive safely. After a nice cup of tea, biscuits and blast from the gas fire we preceded to cover the basics of sound and had an introduction to the studio and all the equipment within. Howard familiarised us with the mighty Allen and Heath mixer and explained in good detail the operation and architecture of the unit. We learnt about how to set up the mixer correctly to achieve optimum sound levels and had an interesting display of how to minimise feedback. The use of EQ was also explained well and we were also given a detailed insight into all the various components that make up a live PA system including amps, crossovers and different types of speakers. The next day we learnt about miking up instruments, adding FX,graphic equalisers and the use and operation of different types of microphones. We were able to gain valuable hands on experience of setting up a full band including individual microphones. This included wiring up the Mics, FX and Audio leads correctly and setting up the mixer using the knowledge passed down the day before. Howard was always keeping a constant watch on proceedings, offering advice where needed and some `tricks of the trade`. A great lunch was provided both days along with ample tea and biscuits. The course is structured very well time wise and I never felt rushed at all.

Overall, the course is very rewarding and I can recommend it to novices and seasoned pros alike. Howard is an excellent tutor. You can tell he is passionate about his trade and this filters through his personality to the students which in turn instills confidence and encouragement in them. I learnt so much and although I knew some of the course due to my experience, there was a lot that I didn`t and realised I hadn`t been using my mixer to its full potential! I`m already using the skills I have learned in my recent productions and have noticed a remarkable difference. The course is also great for hands on and Howard always made sure that everyone had a suitable amount of individual time and tuition. I feel confident enough to live sound engineer myself and am already doing the rounds, offering my services to local pubs, music venues and theatres. Howard is always there if I need help as he endevours to keep in touch with all his past students and follows their progress with great interest.

I `ll certainly be recommending base sound to anyone I meet with an interest in live sound engineering. Please check my website  for more about me.

Pete Rann- Dance Music Producer expanding into Live Sound

Mixing Sound