We've found another worthy subject for the Audio Pro InternationalRising Stars section, our regular focus on the best young industry talent from around the world.
We're back In Yorkshire this week to catch up with Darren Brookes from DPS Recording and Rehearsal in Leeds, who has been keeping himself busy lately with a number of local bands and venues...
Where did you study?
I did a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Music Practice at Wakefield College and finished my degree at Sheffield Hallam University. I come from a background of performing rather than engineering oddly enough.
Which band/project are you working on/with at the moment?
I've always found that I work better when I'm doing a hundred things at once so I like to try and keep a few projects on the go at any time. I just like the idea of being able to forget what I've done on one project and come back to it fresh a little later.
At the moment I'm just waiting for the first masters back for We Like Humans' debut single, I'm at various points of the tracking stage for a few other projects and I'm just about to start tackling the mixes for Quentins Basement's next single and B side, which are to be released through MAS Records. Between that I'm doing the odd bit of live engineering at a few local venues and the occasional bit of tour work with Morain, who are signed to Indigo Records.
Where are you based?
I currently work out of the top floor of a local rehearsal room, DPS Leeds, which is where I've been for the last three years. It's a huge building converted from the old offices of the mill nearby so It's got a lot of character and being in close proximity to a lot of musicians works out quite well for me.
Which console are you currently using?
At the moment I do all of my mixing and tracking in the box, as I've never really had any problem doing it that way. It was always just a question of expense for me; everytime I've found myself with a bit of extra cash to spend on something like a desk or a control surface I've opted to buy new mics or instruments instead. That's not to say I'm ruling it out, I love the sound of Neve stuff so I'd be more than up for a Neve console if I could squeeze one in to the studio.
Do you use any outboard effects/EQ, and if so, what are they used on and why?
Im quite big on emulation software at the moment, in particular Focusrite's liquid technology. Anything like that is just perfect for someone like me with limited resources and not a lot of space.
What is your favourite ever piece of audio equipment?
I dont really know if I have a favourite. I remember reading a lot when I was first getting into production and always found that engineers and producers would have stories about taking televisions or whatever apart and putting them back together when they were kids, like they were destined to do engineering or something 'techy.' I'm nothing like that though; I just think I have a good set of ears and know what makes a good song.
If you could tour with any band/artist who would it be?
Ill probably stick with the obvious – Biffy Clyro and Incubus would be the top two. I still find the idea of touring quite novel as I've not done all that much of it so just having the opportunity to tour more would be enough. If Jedward asked me I'd probably give it a go.
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 Adam Savage on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)1992 535646.
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