Here at dBs Insider we often hear from former students who like to get in touch and share news about their careers in the audio industry. It’s inspiring to see how their careers develop over time. One great example is that of alumnus Tom Edwards now post-production manager at Denhams, Plymouth.
Last time we spoke to Tom he was working as a dubbing mixer for the same company and since then his role has developed. With the growth in the creative industries currently outperforming the rest of the UK economy, we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Tom and talk about his role at Denhams.
When we saw you last you were working as a dubbing mixer, how has your role developed since then?
Sound will always be my passion and I do a lot of audio work in my role. Since we last spoke I have worked on some exciting new projects and have got out of my comfort zone a little. I have also taken on a greater focus overseeing the post-production department at Denhams which has recently involved some investment in our range of edit suites and post production equipment along with designing workflows to make sure our editors are able deliver our broadcast shows and digital media to the clients effectively and to deadline.
In previous projects, you were providing post-production for some high profile TV shows. What have you been working on recently?
2018 was a busy year which lead me to work with new talent and clients. I really enjoyed recording voice overs with Dawn French for Channel 4. I also worked on ADR for dramas aired on ITV and Netflix. The shows included recording Emlia Fox for ITV's ‘Strangers’ and recording some dialogue for Netflix's ‘Sex Education’. More recently I worked on a primetime ITV1 show produced by Denhams called ‘Britain’s Greatest National Treasures’ with Sir Trevor McDonald & Julia Bradbury. I’m also currently focused on another big Denhams series due to be broadcast later this year.
With the current boom in streaming and digital video how has that affected business at Denhams Audio?
Online streaming and video has come to the point of maturity and has set new standards for broadcast and digital media. Similar to how the music industry has been shaken up with new platforms such as Spotify and Apple music. For me, the technology has been the defining factor. Rather than pay for the talent to travel hundreds of miles to the client, we can now record remotely. There are a range of apps that allow the voice over artist to record from our location. The client at the other end is able to monitor the audio in real time to picture and communicate back.
This working method combined with our reputation as a leading TV production company has allowed us to work with some great talent based in the region. I hope that as new platforms and investment persists that even the most remote regions will be able to be competitive in the industry.
Are there any other new things you have worked on and do you have anything exciting in the pipeline?
I have also found myself working in some other dubbing suites for another production company, working on some very high end equipment for a big TV series and another one off show.
Back at Denhams we also do a lot of digital video for corporate clients including mixing audio for clients such as BBC Food, Ellas Kitchen and Princess Yachts. Recently we were also commissioned to create some guided meditation podcasts for AXA. I have also worked on a few podcasts with external clients for Denhams. This is something that I am starting to take a great interest in and looking to expand upon in the future.
It’s been some time since you studied with us, how often do you still use what you learnt in the course at dBs Music in your role today?
I use what I have learnt at dBs Music every day in one form or another. I first touched Pro Tools at dBs Music when I was a student and I have stuck with it ever since. I would say that knowing Pro Tools is a must if you want to go into this field. Other examples include microphone techniques, sound fx design, critical listening and of course working with a range of different people.
What would you say to anyone considering a career in the audio industry who might be uncertain or apprehensive about getting started?
I would say give it a go and have an open mind. You might start your journey with one interest in a particular area and come out the other end learning a whole new bunch of things. For me, when I started at dBs Music I wanted to produce Hip Hop and record Rock bands. I learnt to do both these things but it also lead me to get into audio post production and everything that came with it. Sadly, I don't get much time to record music right now, but all the skills I've encompassed at dBs Music have set me up for the work I do now, and I wouldn't change it for the world.