Scott Tancock attended the September 07 Sound engineering course and with in four weeks we had helped him find a job at one of the Uk's leading AV rental companies called Sounds Commercial. Since starting Scott has barely had time to think as his sound engineering skills have immediately been put to the test and already he is being offered major production engineering jobs. We have since managed to catch up with him and he has kindly written down for us what a typical day involves. So here goes!

Fire & Ice Show - Cotswold Water Park 26/27 January 2008

It's 4.30 on a Saturday morning when the alarm goes off after having 3 hours of sleep from the previous day of loading and collecting the equipment for the weekends show. My breakfast this morning is going to consist of 3 Red Bulls as I couldn’t get to sleep from the excitement of today’s show which is in Swindon, I get up and put my rigging gear on which is warm and very comfortable in the freezing weather. I leave the house in Swansea at 5.00am so that I can be in Bristol for 6.30 to again pick up even more gear from the ’set works’ which is located at Sounds Commercial HQ in Bristol, the drive up is tiring as there is some extremely boring radio on at that time of the morning (mental note - Remember to take ipod on future shows!) but I know that today is going to be a long day and I'm being kept awake by the sheer excitement alone.

I arrive in Bristol at 6.15, shouldn’t have really been driving as fast as I was in the company van, it may sound slow to you doing 75 - 80mph and worrying about it but the company keep checks on our speed via this pain in the arse GPS system. Never the less I arrived safely and a bit more awake after a further 2 red bulls on the journey up (That’s 5 red bulls in the space of an hour and a half, can't be good for me!) as the team slowly starts to trickle into the ‘set works’ I realise that I don’t know half of the guys that I'm working with today so I quickly remedy that so that the working day feels a little easier on the communication side of things.

We leave Bristol at 7.30 and arrive in Swindon at approx 8.15 by which the time the whole team are talking about how much they would love a bacon butty. After unloading the 4 trucks of equipment into the venue and starting to work out what is going where the venue roll in the breakfast trolley which consists of very tiny bacon rolls, so tiny that after 2 mouthfuls its ancient history, I take a second without even thinking about it and then wash it down with yet another red bull (that’s 6 gone out of the 12 that I’ve bought to get me through the day).

Today’s show is for the Four Pillars Hotel annual awards show in which they have requested it be based on a fire and ice scenery along with some very impressive presentation material backed up by a small 6 speaker and 2 sub P.A system with 2 crown amps, lectern and hand held microphones and cd system, not huge I know but at least I can have fun messing around on the 32 channel ‘Allen & Heath GL3300’ which is a great desk to use in my opinion (not as great as the ‘Midas Venice’ which is my favourite so far but still a great desk).

It's coming up to 1.00pm now and the P.A is set up and the stage is set along with the Data Projectors and screens and the room is looking sweet!! The light show for today is a little over the top for the event but never the less amazingly impressive! I get the privilege of working with some very imaginative and talented lighting technicians and it's great to see what they can do on the Avolites Pearl Desk (Something in which I would like to explore once I am comfortable working alone on big shows as a sound technician).

Lunch arrives at about 1.30 which thankfully is a little more than the midget bacon rolls we had for breakfast, its chips this time and lots of them with sandwiches and cold drinks, I decided I was going to stick with the red bulls as I knew that I still had a long way to go before I could jump back into the warm bed that I had left behind in Swansea 9 hours earlier. I have 5 red bulls left now so I'm gonna have to pace myself and I commit to that as I needed them for the long drive home).

The team all have a laugh while we eat and there’s even a few minutes spare for a sneaky "ciggie" round the back of the hotel, something that i'd been dying for since we arrived there in the morning. But as soon as we knew it, it was time to get back to it and who’s complaining, it’s a great job!

Rehearsals are at 3 o’clock today which gives us the chance to EQ the Mics and make sure the client is 110% happy with everything. Time passes so quickly when your working on a show like this, it feels like I’ve only been up for a few hours but it's coming on 12 hours and the show isn’t starting for another 5 hours, and that's quite a long time, I can't even think what we did during that time, those little jobs like tapping down leads and setting the correct Mic position on the lecterns and general clean ups are very time consuming.

We get rooms to get changed in today which is great because this is a very welcomed luxury, I had a shower and a quick watch of the T.V (Led Zeppelin were on which was great because I'd had to put up with drum n' bass whilst checking the subs earlier) at this time the guests are having there drinks in the corridors which have been made up to represent fire and ice, very impressive!.

8.30 and tea’s up, very nice tea, a good couple of sugars in there for me as waiting around can be more tiring than you think, I prefer to keep the momentum up and just keep working. Meal down in one of the syndicate rooms that have been made up for us and it is great apart from the salmon soufflé which didn’t really interest me, it’s a very nice chicken in white wine sauce for me though, went down quicker than the tiny bacon rolls did earlier. Weird desert but strangely tasty mint mousse.

9.30 and the guests are just finishing off there coffee’s and are rushing out of the room to the nearest bar to continue there binge for the evening, this is good, gives us a chance to make sure everything’s ready before the awards show starts. The shows stars at 10.00 and is fantastic, the script was a little off but that’s where you need to be quick in order the play your walk up sting on cue even if the client wants to ramble on about some in house joke that nobody in the team can understand when every guest is practically falling off there seats in laughter (We were having our own banter down the comms line anyway which the guests were probably looking at us in the same confused way). The show is flawless apart from the end, nothing big, just ‘Wiggy’ forgot to load the confetti shooters which were due to go off after the pyrotechnics, but I suppose nobody knew that was going to happen so it was un-noticeable. The clients happy, were happy and its time for a 'ciggie' while ‘DJ Darren’ takes over for the after show party.

The party finishes up at about 1.00am ish and now our work starts yet again, It's De-Rig time and I'd say we're going to be here for another 2 maybe 3 hours so I down another 2 red bulls which takes my tally up to 10 red bulls now!! (Major come down gonna hit me in the morning).

Surprisingly we got out of there in little over 2 hours and it's time for another sneaky 'ciggie' with the guys before going on the long solitary journey home with nothing apart from more boring radio to keep me company (mental note #2
iPOD!!). The shows over and its been a great day.

It's 4.00am now and im getting into the van to drive home, breakfast this morning is going to consist of 2 red bulls finishing off my bargain 12 pack and giving me that little extra push to get me home safely. I arrive home at 5.45am and jump into bed to a very moody girlfriend who isn’t happy that I’ve just come crashing into the bedroom waking her up at 6 in the morning, its been a 25 and ½ hour working day for me and I know that I’ve got to be up in 4 hours to go collect a P.A from the village hotel in Swansea, still, its been a great day.

Great fun, great company, good food, AWESOME JOB!!!

Scott Tancock
Sound Engineer
Sounds Commercial

Scott Tancock