WILM Member Sofie Hunter talks about her first few weeks at Britannia Row Productions Training
Signed up to the 3 month ‘Live Sound Technology Course’, Sofie talks about her time at BRPT so far.
“The First week of the rest of my life.
3 weeks ago I packed my bag and got ready to embark on the most important learning curve of my life.
For those of you who don’t know, Britannia Row provide sound systems internationally, but are based in London, starting back in the 70’s with Pink Floyd’s sound system. Half excited and half terrified, on the very first day I entered the famous building, our first day was an introduction into Live Sound with the Director Mike Lowe, sharing his beads of knowledge and my personal favourite being ‘Anyone can buy good equipment. It is only the people that make the difference; that progress the art and the science, that deliver excellence’.
We were then privileged with a tour of the warehouse and a sneak peak at the inner cogs of Britannia Row, with the warehouse manager and tutor for the next few days Marcel Van Limbeek.
Where do I start with Marcel? I couldn’t help but get goosebumps from the knowledge he was sharing with us, and the way he was teaching, one of the most engaging and encouraging teachers I have ever had the pleasure of being taught by. After the first day I went back to my accommodation thinking “where has this man been all my life” making in depth acoustics, inverse square law, and OHMS theory seem like simple times tables. The 4 days of mind bending physics of sound went by in a flash, making the fundamental knowledge needed to be a good sound engineer that started off seeming impossible, comfortably in my head, for now!
The second week came in a similar inspiring fashion, with 2 of our days being led by Jerry Wing ex Head of Tech at Brit Row, who now focuses on building bespoke equipment, telling us of some of the vintage amps he’s restored. His days were tech skills and also venue power, we had our first practical sessions one day of soldering, which I am pleased to say that my techniques I’ve used up till now have been correct, which is reassuring. We also had to put together our own power rig as a team, ensuring we checked the voltage of the venue, and assuming nothing, having heard a few of his horror stories from over the years, one thing we learnt ‘Just because they say they’ve got the earth connected to the ground, doesn’t mean they have, you never know it might be a plastic pipe!’. Jerry throughout enforced how important safety is, and also reiterated how important physics is in what we do, complex power circuits that previously I have shied away from, I now know what they do!
This Sunday we have our first gig visit to Camden Roundhouse, and we have the pleasure of seeing the setting up of the 360 experience, if the first 2 weeks are anything to go by, it will be the most amazing 10 weeks of my life. hope to make the most of every minute. “