Monday, February 7, 2011


It took us a 6 hour car drive Yesterday to make it back to the legendary Hei, no troubles, a nice trip.

Now home and trying to get my head around it..

Friday, February 4, 2011


Today was the last day, last exam, last drinks.

Alchemea: finished!
Will be leaving a nice institute and some lovely people. Not before tomorrow though, when we go for some fish n chips.
Many thanks to Darryn who puts unbelievable ammounts of effort into the course, it wouldn't have been the same without her!

All excuses are valid to post a Queen video.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Last few weeks we went on some fieldtrips.

To SSE Audio. Very nice company, does the big gigs as well. Have to say I was more impressed by the AED rent audio warehouse some years ago. Some nice insights on the way they go about their business though.

(some of their outboard gear in storage)

Also visited a lighting company (name escapes me) and Funktion One audio where we had a very nice afternoon chat with the two owners. Insightfull. These Funktion One guys have a whole different approach on building speakers.

All this tripping to cold warehouses resulted in flu-ish symptoms for 3 days, staying in bed whenever possible, bah. From today on things seem to be improving.

A couple of tests still coming up, a couple already taken care of. No problems there.
Had a last session on the Avid Venue. Typical Dodgydesign desk, very popular because of interfacing with pro tools though.

4.5 more days to go in London.. Tuesday a new story begins.

(incomplete class picture)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On the job


I was on the job, whilst being payed, as an audio engineer!
Contact phoned me, if I had time to work the next day? etc etc.

That's a first.

Last week went for some drinks with ex class-collegue who was visiting London. Nice to catch up. Finished the week with a classic English sunday roast (a first as well) at a friend's house.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The days

Ah, the days.

Today the guys from d&b audio came over, talking all day about point-sources, line arrays, speaker horn delay, directionality by coupling, system design.. Very, very interesting (stop rolling those eyes please).

Yesterday did work experience at Proud Camden.
Asked Miss D, our coordinator, if I could do the night on my own, she agreed. Got there, was surprisingly confident and calm, think that's what 3 months of talking about live sound does to you. 4 bands on the bill, an LS9 to get it together, nobody to keep it all running but me. He ho, get going.
I have to say, they didn't give me many opportunities to let my guard down: violas, extremely loud drums, keys, mandolins, resonator guitars, harmonicas, ukuleles, ... they all seemed to come out of nowhere. The event was taking place in the small room, so fitting everything on stage wasn't always easy. No soundchecks were allowed, all I could do before the gig was ring out 1 monitor and copy the settings across to the other wedges. You see, proud camden isn't only a venue, it's a gallery during the day and a restaurant before the bands come on. Not much room for loud system checks.
For the people wondering: the soundcheck is what normally happens before the actual gig, the band and engineer set up the sound, fix any problems (which are always present), create monitor mixes etc. None of that. 4 bands, 15 minutes in between each band, now that's how you learn. I tried to prepare the system as well as I could, as it was all show from the word go.
I'm happy to say all went very well, no real problems except for a couple of glitches. Although the moment when the mandolin player almost physically put her instrument in her wedge, thus creating the mother of all feedback loops, was a scary one.

Monday we went to Shepherds Bush empire to huddle around the MIDAS Pro 6 for a day. I won't go into boring detail but as far as I'm concerned this is the real big daddy of mixing desks out there. Sound, ergonomics, reliability, it's got it all and more. Ho-ray for MIDAS. They are currently doubling there R&D department I've read, that's what I call tempting.

Another three days gone, 2.5 weeks left. Random.



If interested (I'd say you should be), also watch:
"The story of electronics"
"The economic injustice of plastic"
One feels like something should be done, consumer pressure. We're very far from achieving anything though at the moment. If you've ever wandered a supermarket with a keen eye on plastic.. Not so many options.

Last week finally picked up on my TED translations, it's been a while. Now lets try to keep it up, too many stories waiting.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Finally got 'round to making the much needed investment with part of the money I earned this summer: custom ear plugs.

Went to 'London Hearing' in Harley street,which (I didn't knew) is one of the most posh streets around London. It's next to Oxford circus, and houses writers, musicians, politicians, soldiers and scientists. Also, more than a 1000 doctors apparently.. Didn't count them, but there were many.

Got to the adress, rang the bell and was received by the receptionist. Ah, Mr Proost, we've been expecting you..
I was kindly invited to fill out a form and wait in the waiting room which looked like this:

It's a tiny photo so here's a similar one from another doctors' waiting room in Harley street, you get the gist.
Pure old British class: leather saloon, fire place, high ceilings, all newspapers of the day arranged on the massive table, free espresso- and tea machine in the corner.. The works. This wasn't your ordinary GP's practice.

The doctor came, asked if I wanted something to drink before we went on and had me follow him to his cabinet. I have to say he did a very good job and knew more about working in the music business and hearing damage than I'd expected him to. Anyway, after some initial questions we came to the most feared bit of my visit: the free included hearing test. I was put in the isolation boot with headphones and a beeper etc.

Result: My hearing was well within the nominal range with a slight (but not very abnormal) dip around 6kHz. With most musicians and audio engineers this dip goes out of the normal range and hearing loss eventually makes your hearing response frequency chart look like a mountain side, starting the deep descend at around 4kHz. He said it was a very good decision for me to come and see me at this stage in my 'career', as custom ear plugs can prolong an audio engineers' ability to work for a very long time (if not indefinite). Ears are the only tools an audio engineer really can't do without, and they can't be replaced. Many go for custom ear plugs when it's too late.

So now, in a couple of weeks I should get my very own molded ER15's that are completely useless for anyone but me. Lovely.
Too bad they don't longer make them with a cord attached though, but hey.

Brunch a couple of weeks ago. I was bored at the time I remember, which is often the cause for creative cooking. Just like in the American movies:
'blueberry pancakes'

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Class, and stuff

We have classes at the Village Underground in Old Street.
The venue's offices are essentially old tube carriages they've put onto the roof of the venue. Nice.. As there was an event in the main venue today we had lectures in the offices. Cold miserable rainy day today, tube carriages turn out not to be very well isolated. Mind the gap.
(presonus showing of their lates live desk at the college, nice stuff)

((old) work experience at the roundhouse. Metropolis with live chamber orchestra)

(Very misleading picture)

Me posing with (part!) of the colleges' d&b audio J-series. We had a look inside some days ago, as you can tell from the photo. Arguably the best PA system 'in the world'.