Challenges of Live Music for Television

Challenges of Live Music for Television

Monday, 4 March, 2024


Department of Music and Media Performing Arts Technology Studios (PATS) Stag Hill Campus
United Kingdom
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Join us for an afternoon & evening of lively discussion about the challenges of delivering live music for television at the University of Surrey, 4th March 2024.

From Glastonbury to Glyndebourne putting live music on television is challenging. TV doesn’t lend itself naturally to music events – it always looks great but getting the audio right, for everyone, can be very hard work.

Microphones get in the way of the cameras or lights. Cables can be a mess and get in the way of camera operators and artists. Live audiences are wonderful on camera and the director usually always wants more cheering, clapping and buzz from the audience while the audio team are tearing their hair out to manage the sound levels, amplification for the audience, foldback for the musicians, clean feeds for external use and, of course, an amazing sound for us all to see on television.

Surrey University is home to the famous Tonmeister audio recording degree course and has, over the years, produced some of the world’s top Emmy & Oscar winning recording engineers in all areas of the audio world.

Our speakers are bringing their gear in the form of not one, but two Outside Broadcast audio recording units which will be available for guests to experience and learn how live music for television is made real.

About the event: 

17:00 – 19:00  Experience the dedicated audio outside broadcast trucks:

  • Mixbus OB truck – Conrad Fletcher, SounDesign Limited.
  • Floating Earth OB truck – Mike Hatch, Floating Earth Limited.

19:00 – 19:30  Refreshments will be available immediately prior to the event at 19:30
Venue TBA

19:30 – 20:30  Meet live sound engineers :

Chaired by Rupert Flindt, lecturer at University of Surrey

  • Mike Felton (Later with Jools, many location concerts and festivals)
  • Tudor Davies (Top of the Pops, Glastonbury for the BBC, TFI Friday, Later with Jools)
  • Conrad Fletcher (Eurovision Song Contest Liverpool, The Choir, CHIC & Nile Rogers)
  • Mike Hatch (Brit Awards, Young Musician of the Year, Simple Minds, BBC Proms in the Park).

Rupert Flindt is a lecturer in Sound Recording on the Tonmeister degree course at the University of Surrey. Before joining the University he worked as a Senior Studio Manager with BBC Audio and Music for many years specialising in music mixing and training.

As well as teaching recording techniques for the Tonmeister degree course he is also a visiting lecturer to the BBC Academy, regularly working at the BBC Wood Norton training centre in Evesham. As a Studio Manager and freelance Sound Supervisor, Rupert mixed all genres of music (with a particular interest in combining live orchestras with rock and jazz bands) both for the BBC and Independent broadcasters.

Mike Felton joined the BBC in 1962 and spent the following four decades working in sound for television beginning as a boom operator for the Benjamin Britten operas recorded at Snape Maltings through Light Entertainment, Sit-coms and resident mixer for Television music. Naturally during a long career like this Mike has introduced a wide range of new technologies to operational sound mixing at Television Centre but is probably best known for his work mixing all “Later with Jools” from its inception in 1992 through to 2020, introducing 5.1 surround and gaining numerous industry awards including a BAFTA on the way. As if this wasn’t enough, Mike also worked on many location music concerts and for many years on television coverage of Glastonbury.

Tudor Davies first joined the BBC in 1991 and enjoyed many happy years at TV Centre, Shepherds Bush. During this time he worked as a Sound Assistant and Gram Op, working on a wide variety of shows, from sit-coms, light entertainment and drama. Music always being his first love Tudor left the BBC in 1999  and gravitated to working on programs such as Top of the Pops, Glastonbury and Later with Jools Holland. His work is now split between studio acquisition and post production in his own North London facility.

Conrad Fletcher originally trained with the BBC and is an exceptionally experienced Sound Supervisor with over 30 years and 2500 productions experience. Now running his own company, Soundesign, Conrad specialises in audio for live television, especially immersive audio production including live 5.1 direct-to-Cinema transmissions.

Mike Hatch graduated from the University of Surrey Tonmeister course in 1985 and quickly developed a career in the world of classical music recording. In 1987 alongside Mike Clements he founded Floating Earth Ltd and between them they grew the company into a specialist “one stop shop” for music recording, with a particular focus on live projects for TV and radio. 

Mike has made over 2000 commercial CDs, and recorded more than 100 operas, many of them live. Using the company’s custom designed sound truck, Mike has been involved in some very large scale productions such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace, Adele at the Albert Hall, Children in Need Rocks, One Love Manchester, The Royal Wedding, The Brit Awards (20 years in 2024!) and many more.

Recent projects include Leeds Piano Competition, Garth Brooks in Dublin, Mahler 8 at the Royal Albert Hall, La Voix Humaine filmed opera, Studio Ghibli recordings with Joe Hisashi, Royal Opera House live to Cinema, and The Coronation Dolby Atmos / CD recording.

Mike has received numerous awards for his work including three BAFTAs and a Grammy.

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Join us for an afternoon & evening of lively discussion about the challenges of delivering live music for television at the University of Surrey, 4th March 2024.