Hackenbacker assists voice of The X Factor on the road

Soho-based audio facility Hackenbacker has been assisting voice-over star Peter Dickson, one of the UK’s most recognisable voices while he is ‘on the road.’

Through his voice-overs on such shows as Family Fortunes, Britain’s Got Talent and, most famously, The X Factor, Dickson’s voice is in constant demand from TV producers looking for a memorable voice. However, one of the drawbacks of being in such demand is the amount of time spent travelling, and having to record ‘on the hoof.’

Dickson explains: “I have always been pretty successful at delivering a good vocal sound when on the road. I have recorded on cruise ships, hotel bedrooms, wardrobes and cars. However, because of the lack of decent monitoring while out of the studio, I have never been able to fully know whether the ‘sound’ I was delivering was consistent with my signature vocal print.”

In order to solve this issue, Dickson turned to Hackenbacker’s founder Nigel Heath for some help with audio processing and sweetening. Using a combination of Hackenbacker Studio One’s Neve fully digital console and Heath’s personal mobile recording rig, including microphone, pre-amp and audio interfaces, Heath was able to achieve what he calls “The Full Dickson.”

To do this, Neve’s settings and processing were modified, translated and transferred to Dickson’s software by Studio One engineer Alex Fielding. Acoustical and software techniques were undertaken to make sure that Dickson’s voice reaches the same results, regardless of where he is recording.

Heath added: “This was a particularly interesting technical exercise for us and the end results are really very good. I suspect that only a really tweaky sound head could tell the difference between the ‘big desk’ sound and Peter’s portable version.”