It’s Monday morning, which can only mean one thing; a brand new instalment of our Rising Stars focus.
This week we catch up with FOH engineer Mick 'Beast' Phillips...
Where did you study?
The only music related course I studied was at college back in 2004, which was a BTEC National Diploma in Music Practice. I didn't actually know I wanted to be a live sound engineer at this point, it wasn't until I went to university in Doncaster I started doing a bit of live sound there. After a year of being at Uni I decided to quit and persue my career as a live sound engineer by going to JSS Audio in York and shadowing some of the best engineers up North. I was taken under the wing of an engineer called Chris Crowther, who had me engineering to a high standard in a matter of weeks, and carried on the up hill progression to where I am now.
Which band/project are you currently working on?
I am currently working with two bands. The first band being The Mask of Virtue, a new signed electronic/metal band from Sheffield. I have been working with the guys for over a year now doing various festivals and we are about to head out on a UK tour for the remainder of July. I am also working, doing FOH for Manchester-based band Aliases, formed by ex Sikth guitarist Pin. I have only done a few festivals with them up to yet as they are busy writing new material and currently not touring, which is a shame because I’ve not had chance to show my true potential of bringing out my creative side to the live mix. Unfortunately a quick touch and go on a festival doesn't really leave you enough time to play with our ‘toys’ as the set is soon over!
Where are you based/working at the moment?
I hail from the town of Doncaster. Obviously I am up and down in different towns/cities when on tour but you can find me doing a bit of in house at The Duchess/Fibbers in york, or out on jobs doing work for JSS Audio in york. Also a lovely little audio company in Sheffield Black Magic Audio as and when needed.
Which audio console are you currently using? And how many channels?
I have been currently using the Yamaha M7 and Allen & Heath ML3000, which has been supplied by venues and audio companies. With Aliases I normally use 24 channels and the same with Mask of Virtue. There not big set up's but doubling up the guitars having them both in stereo and 3 channels of kick, does pack a punch.
What decision process was behind the choice of this console?
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the pleasure of deciding on the choice of console as we haven’t had any full-scale production just yet. But If I did have a choice it would be between Allen and Heath, Midas, or Soundcraft.
Do you use any outboard effects/EQ, and if so, what are they used on and why?
If it’s digital I will just use the onboard effects and EQ's. If I’m using analogue, I like to use BSS graphics or Klark's. Analogue effects-wise I get away with using either TC, the Yamaha range or Lexicon. I tend to use a very short plate reverb on the snare drum and toms if its fast attack hits, but for the short epic hits I like to use a nice hall reverb with a nice tailed off decay. I tend not to go over board with the vocal reverb, as I like to thicken the vocals out with a bit of delay. I try not to make the vocals sound overly ‘electronically processed’ I guess, I like a raw but content sound.
What is your console of choice?
Again, I havent had the pleasure of choosing a console for a production tour. But if I did have the choice it would more than likely be one of the Midas pro series.
If you could tour with any band/artist who would it be?
This is a good question as there are many bands/artists I would love to mix live, but I guess on a personal level I would really love to engineer something daft like the BeeGees, if they were still around. Don't get me wrong, I see my self as a rock ‘n’ roll engineer, but I think it would just be great fun...especially with their cheesy songs...long live the Gibbs!
To get involved in our Rising Stars column, whether you are an engineer who is new to the industry and would like to be featured, or an experienced engineer who would like to nominate a particular student/apprentice, please contact Audio Pro International editor Daniel Gumble on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01992 535646.
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