SoundPro’18: so appealing in Ealing!
Posted on: Thursday 11th of October 2018
The weather was abysmal – it rained all day – but that didn’t stop nearly 200 eager audio aficionados attending SoundPro’18, the one-day event for the sound recording industry.
With around 30 exhibitors, and three cracking afternoon presentations, the storms couldn’t keep sound engineers, sound designers, sound supervisors (…lots of ‘sound’ professionals, basically) away from Ealing Town Hall on October 6th.
SoundPro, organised by Resolution magazine and the Institute of Professional Sound (IPS), has gone from strength to strength.
“What a great day! I’m thrilled that SoundPro’18 was a rip-roaring success. Watching sound practitioners – not tyre-kickers – interact with the suppliers/manufacturers, valuable conversations and information being exchanged, that’s what you want from a trade show,” said Resolution magazine’s Dave Robinson. “Especially if you’re going to turn out in such miserable conditions.”
“There was a real buzz in the Victoria Hall. Hmm, maybe that was the free coffee that was on offer all day…”
Away from the exhibition space, the afternoon sessions were keenly supported. Dennis Weinreich, former joint MD of Film and Television Post Production at Pinewood Studios, kicked off the afternoon with a look at the various roles in audio post, and concluded with a deconstruction of a scene from the film Slumdog Millionaire, proving just how important clever use of sound is to the moving image.
In a far-reaching troubleshooting session, Rodney Wilkins of Reinhardt revealed, among other things, some startingly facts about battery life: all alkalines are not created equal, it appears!
Sound artist Jez riley French kept the audience spellbound, as he did at the Bluedot Festival earlier this year, with his tales of spending hours recording the most unlikely of sound sources. (His tale of creating a soundtrack of snowy polar wastelands, rather than traditional carols, for the turning on of the Christmas lights in Hull during its tenure as City of Culture, is a killer…)
The afternoon sessions ended with the Resolution publisher hosting a quirky and unconventional quiz, with prizes… While freelance sound mixer Ludovic Lasserre bagged a pair of Sennheiser IE 40 Pro ‘in ears’, the main prize – an RME Babyface Pro 24-channel 192kHz interface, donated by Synthax Audio UK – was awarded to location sound recordist Robert Booth of Noise Four in Manchester.
This year’s SoundPro saw pre-registrant numbers up by around 7%, with an overall attendance of around 200 people, as per the previous year. Around 15% of visitors described themselves as ‘sound recordists’.
“A fabulous way to spend a Saturday!” said Raycom’s commercial director Andy Clements after the event. “We were talking to knowledgeable, genuinely interested, existing and potential customers all day. Well organised, commercially successful, fun, see you in 2019!”
“A great event – to us it felt almost exclusively working professionals in the room, with a continuous flow of questions and a positively healthy murmur throughout the day,” said David Atkinson, trade marketing manager, Pro Audio Solutions, Sennheiser UK. “There are times when we could have done with a third member of staff to talk to people.”
“This year we took a gamble and brought along the Brio from Calrec, distribution of which we picked up in April. It’s a live-to-air console, so you might have thought there’d be no interest at SoundPro, but quite the opposite was true,” revealed Synthax Audio (UK)’s Martin Warr. “I met relevant people from several major broadcasters and had a couple of really productive conversations.”
SoundPro will return in 2019, with dates and venue TBC at the time of writing.