Rising Stars: Andrew William Spence

Audio Pro International’s focus on the best of the industry’s young audio engineers continues this week with the latest addition to our Rising Stars section.

This week we catch up with touring studio engineer Andrew William Spence…

Where did you study?

I decided at the grand old age of 33(ish) to return to education to gain a formal qualification in music production. Initially, an ND in music technology at Mid Cheshire college, then a foundation degree, and the final year of my degree at Futureworks in Manchester. Before I opened my own place, I was fortunate (and worked hard enough) to get myself into Moolah Rouge studios in Stockport, whilst I was at the ND level of my studies. This allowed me to go on to work with The Happy Mondays, The Doves, Graham Massey (808 State) and a load of other bands who were/are active in and around the North West.

Which band/artist are you currently working with?

I’m currently working in the studio with a promising Nottingham-based band called Some Skeletons – Mountains of Records; a Shrewsbury-based band called The Taste – Kittiwake Records; and I’ve just recently completed demos and produced a debut release for Deadbeat Echoes – Louder Than War/Southern Records. I am also constantly mixing work from around the country, as well as recording bands from the North West.

Where are you based/working at the moment?

I’m based in Cheshire, roughly half way between Manchester and Liverpool, and I have my own recording/mix/rehearsal facility (Project 9 Studio).

Which audio console are you currently using? And how many channels?

I am currently working on an Allen & Heath ZedR console with 16 channels plus ADAT

What decision process was behind the choice of this console?

I wanted to get something that offered good quality preamps and EQ section with the ease of use of firewire. When I was initially setting up the studio, like anyone, you have a wish list, then a realistic list, then an affordable realistic list! I can’t fault the ZedR, for its price. The 24 channel one is a logical step, but if we had a bit more money I think we’d be along the SSL AWS route. How could I not buy a console that has my initials already on it!

Do you use any outboard effects/EQ, and if so, what are they used on and why?

We’ve got some lovely bits in the studio. My assistant Ian French is a bit of an all round genius and electronics whizz, so we’re lucky enough to have a load of boutique guitar pedals, a couple of unique guitar heads, a maag style EQ and a 1176 Rev A Bluestripe that he’s built. We’ve also got a Drawmer 1968 Mercenary edition and a couple of strange FX things. Plans are afoot for some Trident style EQs and maybe something DBX160ish for the racks, as well as at least one more 1176….

What is your console of choice?

Realistically I’d go for the SSL AWS. If money were no object, I think it’d have to be a coin flip between a big SSL or a Neve.

If you could work with any band/artist who would it be?

If I could spend time in studios watching and learning from the top guys it’d have to be CLA, Brauer and very probably Dave Pensado, I’ve been watching his shows since day one!

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 daniel.gumble@intentmedia.co.uk or 01992 535646.

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