As the 2016 Pro Sound Awards returns to the Ministry of Sound this week, finalist Jack Langfeld has been telling us why he deserves to be recognised as the industry’s most promising young professional and take home the Rising Stars Award.
After receiving excellent submissions from all areas of the trade, we recently revealed the shortlist of nominees and spoke to all of them about their Pro Audio journeys so far.
Langfeld left SSR in Manchester after touring extensively with The Prodigy last year, ultimately proving his worth as a full-time crew member and also stepping in as FOH engineer for Public Enemy. When not on tour he is full time warehouse technician at Wigwam.
How did you first get into the industry?
I started my life in the industry studying at SSR in Manchester when I was 19 instead of going to university, as I felt such a course suited my style of learning, with a hands on approach.
I was on my first European tour looking after backline and merch three days after I finished my course in February 2013. That then very shortly after became my first tour of Asia, this time engineering monitors and looking after backline. I felt I was fully in the industry when I was able to give up my bar job to accept a position at Wigwam Acoustics in May 2014. I’m now based in Monton, a small town just west of Manchester city centre.
Do you have any achievements that you are particularly proud of?
I’m very proud to work for Wigwam Acoustics and have worked on some huge shows for them, including two Isle of Wight Festivals, a Status Quo gig and on their Manchester City FC matchday pre and post match programme.
I am also extremely proud to have worked for The Prodigy for the past 18 months either as a PA technician, touring audio technician and Monitor tech. The fact they keep asking me back is very flattering. On their last European arena tour in autumn 2015 I engineered FOH for the support act, Public Enemy, and will always be proud to have done so.
Who are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences are the people who have been so helpful to me on my journey in to the industry. Having studied with Jay Beard (Monitor Engineer, Elbow) and Paul Ratcliffe (FOH, Los Campesinos) I really looked up to them as great professionals and generally great guys. Jon Burton (FOH, The Prodigy) has been an incredible engineer for many years and a great friend, mentor and influence on me since we started working together. The wealth of talent Wigwam Acoustics has in their ranks leaves me with many incredibly talented people to be influenced by, not least System Technicians Sid Rogerson and Andy Squibb.
What have you been working on recently?
I’m still working for The Prodigy, having toured with their core crew as their audio tech on a very busy festival season whilst working for Wigwam in between, possibly the busiest four months of my life.
I’m also working on a recording studio setup with my good friend Colin Briggs at Big City Jacks Recording Studio in Tottington, Bury. I’ve never been busier and hope things carry on in the same direction with many more gigs to work on.
What sort of gear do you find yourself relying on for touring?
I have a great fondness for the Midas Pro2c mixing console, mainly due to using it a lot. It’s small, flexible, sounds great and I find it very intuitive. On the last Prodigy tour it was great to rig PA new and old by combining the ever present L’Acoustics Vdosc main hangs alongside the d&b J series side hangs. Underneath all that sat a great d&b B2 and J Infra combined sub array that was amazing to hear and feel in each venue. I also never travel anywhere without my Pro Tools setup on my laptop, there's always something that needs editing or mixes that need tweaking.
Where do you want to be in ten years?
In ten years I hope to be stood at FOH behind my choice of mixing desk and in front of an incredible PA system, engineering for a band I love listening to and enjoying the company of a great crew. I know it’s a lot to ask for, but I’m willing to work extremely hard for it.
The Pro Sound Awards will be held at London's Ministry of Sound on 22 September. Tickets are now available for just £55 at http://www.prosoundawards.com/buy-tickets/