I grew up in the little village of Upperlands, Co Derry, Northern Ireland. Music was a huge part of my childhood, and I was raised on Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. My Dad played bass guitar in a few bands, so there were always rehearsals going on in the house and band gear lying around. At 11 years old, my uncle went to college in England for 3 years leaving his Fender Stratocaster and Twin Reverb amp in my bedroom, and that was it, I was hooked.
At 16 I moved to England, working as an Electrician by day and a front man of a loud three-piece indie rock band by night. We recorded 2 EP’s and in 1993 at 20 years old, I landed a job as a tea boy / assistant engineer at the famed ICC Studios in Eastbourne, East Sussex. I worked at ICC until 2001, moving from Assistant Engineer to Studio Manager, and from cleaning the studios and making tea to producing and mixing albums.
I left ICC in 2001 to become a freelance engineer, still based in Eastbourne, East Sussex on the South Coast of England. Since then I’ve had the incredible privilege of traveling all over the world, working with so many talented musicians and producers, both live and in the studio.
I married Rachel in 1998, and we have 2 boys Robbie and Joe.
After years on the road, and working out of town a lot, I finally built my own studio, at the bottom of the garden. The shack is where I do a lot of tracking and pretty much all of my mixing these days.
I love working in this room. It has plenty of natural daylight and air-con for those hot Eastbourne summers.
The studio is based around an Avid Pro-Tools HD Native system with extra fire power coming from two UAD PCIe cards.
For mixing I prefer a hybrid system using all the benefits of digital but with the sound of analogue. A 36 channel Amek Big analogue desk complete with automation, dynamics on every channel and full snapshot recall, is the studio hub giving me 24 channels out of Pro-Tools via Avid D-A converters for analogue summing and allowing me to easily patch in some of my favourite analogue outboard gear, including the Roland RE201 Space Echo, Watkins Copycat and a great sounding 4 foot long Great British Spring Reverb.
Other outboard includes :
API mic pre's
Summit MPC 100A tube pre amp & compressor
Purple Audio MC77 compressor
Tubetech CL2A 2 channel tube compressor
Focusrite ISA215 2 channel Rupert Neve designed Pre amp & EQ
SSL stereo bus compressor
Trident MTA 16 channel pre amp with EQ
Warm Audio EQP-WA Pultec tube EQ
Universal Audio UA710 Twin Finity pre amps x 2
Focusrite ISA428 4 channel pre amp
Lexicon LXP-15 digital reverb
Yamaha SPX900 digital reverb
TC Electronics M300 digital reverb
Instruments include :
Fender 1987 Stratocaster
Fender 1972 Tele custom re-issue
Shaftesbury 12 string Rickenbacker copy
Hofner Bass guitar
Taylor GS mini acoustic
Roland JX3P synth
M-audio Oxygen 88 fully weighted keyboard
Korg volca sampler
Korg volca bass synth
1968 Vox AC30 amp
1974 Marshall Artiste amp
Fender 15W Vaporiser vlave amp
Line 6 HX Stomp amp modeler
Too many guitar effect pedals to list
Software includes :
Pro-Tools HD 2019
Sonic Studio Soundblade SE
Too many plug ins to list
Checking mixes with Integrity's Les Moir and Soul Survivor's Tom Smith.