Part 4 Sennheiser PRO TALK with Colin Pink and Gareth Fry
Colin and Gareth talk about finding ones individuality and specialization within the sound design industry.
Gareth: “What do you think makes you unique as a designer?”
Colin: “I think my background in theatre coupled with doing more of the big music shows now is a really good progression. I think what makes me unique in the music world at least, is how I think theatricality or theatrically in that I tend to do lots of multi band music shows and if you think about the structure of those, rather than thinking there’s a band, then another band, then another band. If you think in theatrical terms of scene change, music, scene change, music, scene change, then you think about the global flow of things more than specific items being put together and I think on those shows what makes them work very well is when they’re planned as a whole and not as a bunch of individuals put together. In a theatre situation if an actor forgets their lines or something goes wrong technically everyone else gathers round to help out and it’s the same in the music world with these big shows. I always think and this is just how I plan things. that no person and no piece of equipment is going to do better than 80 percent, so I’ll actually spend very little time on plan A and everything on plan B C D and F and I love the process when we’re putting a show together when all the engineers come in because that’s when effectively they’re checking my work to find the 20 percent that I’ve messed up and I think if you do that, what happens is everyone takes more ownership of what they’re doing and has a more global understanding of the project as a whole.’
Gareth: “ I think for myself one of the things that sort of has made me unique as a designer is quite similar actually, as it’s taking that sort of audience perspective into consideration and like I do a lot of creating sound effects for my work and but I’m really not interested in naturalism in creating this very detailed recreation of the world. I much prefer to create something very simple and course that has the emotional core of the story in it and that gives the audience the right feel rather than it being correct and it’s exactly that same thing, it’s better to give the audience the right feeling than it is to be technically correct or technically anything. I think the emotional impact of sound is by far the most important aspect of it then whether it’s technically at the right level or the EQ is right or the mix is this or it’s a naturalistic rendition of that. That’s what sound and music is, it’s an emotional thing we have an emotional connection to it as listeners, so that’s the bit you’ve got to get right before anything else. I’ve got this big background in devised theatre which is you know quite often where we’re starting rehearsals without a script or anything like that and everything’s being generated in the rehearse room for improvisation, so you have to work very very fast in that and really find the essence of something and I think that’s become my speciality, finding the essence of things creating something very quickly that will generate that emotional impact and not you know create something very crudely and then refine it later rather than spend a lot of time coming up with a concept and executing that concept. I much prefer to respond and then refine it later if there’s time. I think you know getting that emotional core is the super important thing.”
Colin: “Absolutely if you over-think things you can just create something that is a technical exercise which I think comes across as boring.”
Gareth: “I think like you, I do very little work in the studio in terms of creating material. Everything I do is created either in the theatre or in the rs reherse room and it’s all about creating it in connection to that performance about making it work with that performance and create something that’s bespoke to that. It’s so easy to do stuff in the studio and you take it into rehearsals wherever and it just sounds wrong because you’ve created it in isolation from the performance. It’s so critical I think to create the things together so that they work together.”
Colin: “ Yes absolutely.”