Angus 'Digital' Jones

Sound Engineer

Profiles

"...four years, and have toured all over the world".


"Finally.  Just remember me . . . I'm the one you rarely see at the back of the venue". Peace
Angus

Angus 'Digital' Jones : Sound Engineer

I have been working with the Reggae Revolution for nearly four years, and have toured all over the world with them. My interest in the music business started in 1983, when a friend asked me if I wanted to buy a synthesizer from him. So after scraping the money together I bought it. I have been fascinated with the recording process ever since I was a small boy and I immediately set about recording and experimenting with my new synthesizer.

That was it, I was hooked. I was pleased with the results but little did I know how much I had to learn. A week later I bought a drum machine, they were very expensive in those days and I got into an awful lot of trouble with my mother after failing to pay the house-keeping because of all the hardware I was buying.

A couple of months later another friend of mine asked if I wanted to join their band, of course I said "Yes". But what I failed to tell them was that I couldn't play  well...........not really. Only what I had taught myself.  I would often play along with the adverts that came on the television. But it was along with these ads that I was able to work out the relationship between notes, melody and the construction of musical passages, I couldn't afford keyboard lessons and this was the only way that I could see to gain playing experience.

The Keyboard that I owned then, could only play one note at a time, so I found that I was able to bluff my way through the audition. Miraculously after the audition I got the job. I couldn't believe it. For the next few weeks I hardly saw the rest of my family. I locked myself in my bedroom and just tried to get myself to a reasonable standard of playing because my first gig was only four weeks away.

My first show came round far too quickly for me, but come it did. I didn't feel at all nervous..........until I stepped onto the stage When I arrived on the stage I was absolutely petrified. I didn't actually expect to perform in front of 'real' people. It was from then that I decided that I didn't like playing in front of an audience. But I stayed with the band for a further three years where I gained an interest in the production side of the music business.

"My first show came round far too quickly for me..."

As the years passed I was asked to work with many different bands but started working with  Pato Banton and The Reggae Revolution in early 1997. To me as a sound engineer the most important thing about working with any band, is to get a good sound under a variety of different conditions.  The musicians use the same instruments every time they play, but  I sometimes could be working with forty or fifty different P.A. systems on any one tour, and every night I have the responsibility of getting the best sound out of the available equipment.

If the show doesn't sound good then the whole band will be looking at me. You never get a second chance with a live show; there's no room for error. Things can and do go wrong but a good engineer needs the resolve to deal with the problem quickly and calmly. One of my golden rules when taking control of any live show is not to try and blow the audience away with high volume levels, but to deliver power with clarity.

I've seen it more than once where sound engineers have the volume way too high and then spoil the enjoyment of the show because most of the audience have their ears covered with their hands.   It gives me the greatest satisfaction when people come up to me after a show and say that they enjoyed the show and that the sound was awesome.  Mission accomplished in my opinion.  Complacency is something that I don't subscribe to and there's always room for improvement.

The equipment has changed so much, even over the last five years; I am constantly having to keep pace with the latest technology.  It's a constant learning process for me, but along with the experience that I already have I manage to keep ahead of it.For the present, I continue to work in my recording studio in Birmingham, England along with Pato Banton , The Reggae Revolution and many other artists. I love what I'm involved in with Pato and the Band. They make it so easy for me. They're a great bunch of guys.

As for the future I hope to continue doing what I'm doing now. I also have a few projects that I am working on.

 
   
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