As the countdown to the 2017 Pro Sound Awards continues this week, Rising Star finalist Louis Morgan tells us why he deserves to be recognised as the industry’s most promising young professional.
After receiving excellent submissions from all areas of the trade for the Rising Stars Award, we recently revealed the shortlist of nominees and spoke to all of them about their pro audio journeys so far.
Since joining Jungle Studios as a runner in 2014, Louis Morgan quickly earned his place there as an assistant engineer. He has built up a strong body of work and has sound designed and mixed a number of short films and online commercials, including Double Cross, which is currently available on Amazon Prime and Rogues Shoes’ online commercial.
Where did you study and how did you get your break into the pro-audio industry?
I have always had a passion for audio engineering and this developed when I started college and got some hands-on experience recording bands. After studying music technology at the University of Hertfordshire, I had a few different jobs, but was always looking for a way into the audio industry. In 2014 a friend from university had just started at Jungle Studios in Soho and told me about a runner position. I got the job and have never looked back.
Where does your love for audio come from?
Music has been a big part of my family life and I started drumming when I was at secondary school. I have been in a band since I was 17 and over the years we’ve been lucky enough to record in some great studios. Although I love drumming, I’m always just as excited in the control room watching the engineers at work and picking up tips from them. It was at university that I developed more of an interest in sound design when working on projects with animators and creating soundscapes for picture.
What is it that inspires you?
The engineers at Jungle Studios are great and I’ve learnt a lot from them during my time here. Their knowledge and experience is invaluable and I look forward to continuing to learn from them. I’m always intrigued reading interviews with engineers and sound designers I particularly like and gaining insight into their workflows. I’m a Pixar fan and enjoyed reading and watching how Ben Burtt sound designed Wall-E.
What achievements are you particularly proud of?
It’s great getting good feedback on short films I’ve sound designed and mixed and having happy producers and directors is always rewarding. In particular it’s been fantastic to see The Driving Seat doing so well, having received multiple award nominations and winning Best Comedy Short at the Isle of Man Film Festival. Watching the audience’s reaction is enjoyable knowing you’ve played a part in the production process. Graduating from university with a first-class honours is also an achievement I’m proud of and made the hours of work in the studio worthwhile.
What are your favourite areas of pro audio?
I enjoy working on projects that require a lot of foley as these can be a lot of fun to record. Projects where I’ve built the soundscape from the ground up are really rewarding, especially when you see the scenes come to life.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite gear?
iZotope’s RX is great for post-production. I’ve used it a lot on short films to de-noise and clean-up audio, particularly when editing dialogue. Spectral Repair is very useful for removing unwanted ambient sound from location recordings and also the EQ match helps a great deal with matching ADR to location dialogue.
On a musical level, I bought the Roland JP-08 Boutique Synth last year, and I’m very impressed at how close it sounds to the original Jupiter. Days of fun!
What would you like to be doing in ten years?
I hope to be an established engineer having worked on some really exciting and creative projects. I’m looking forward to what the future holds.