Two students from Media Technology drove to Chepstow earlier in the month to provide noise monitoring services with Vanguardia Consulting at Balter Festival. The festival ran between 2nd and 4th June and describes itself as a “travelling convoy of misfits and weirdos, wacked-out racers and disco divas”. According to their website to Balter is “to dance artlessly, without particular skill or grace, but always with great contented enjoyment”. There were 14 stages featuring over 60 artists of a reggae-electronic ilk.
Marco and Rianna were on hand to ensure that the merriments could be as intense as possible without adversely affecting local residents. They were monitoring sound pressure levels off site and liaising with front of house to subtly control levels. Marco commented how the knowledge from his Audio Engineering course helped him to understand how to apply targeted frequency equalisation and multiband compression to get the best possible experience within the space.
Media Technology students usually get involved with noise monitoring at a number of festivals over the Summer thanks to our links with Vanguardia and Solent Acoustics.
Students from across the Media Technology programme got together on Wednesday 8th March for a talk by Warren King from Vanguardia Consulting. Vanguardia provide a range of electroacoustic and acoustic services to a wide range of industries but Warren came to talk specifically about environmental monitoring and assessment for music festivals. There were plenty of entertaining anecdotes from Warren’s decade of experience and undergraduates and graduates were also able to contribute their experiences of working with Warren and other companies. The students benefited from their insights into some of the technical and political considerations that are vital to running successful events. Students were also introduced to some of the innovations within the industry such correlation detectors to automatically locate and eliminate problematic sources of noise.
The talk was organised to further Solent’s long-standing and symbiotic relationship with Vanguardia. Warren largely came to recruit more students to work in noise monitoring at festivals over the Summer; he commented “Solent has been a great source for engineers as they have acquired many of the skills we are looking for. Media Technology students have 100 times more experience than several other courses.” There are a number of graduates currently employed at Vanguardia, whom Warren describes as ‘invaluable’. Graduate Mike Ledbetter also came to the talk. Mike works for another company but firmly believes his experience with Vanguardia during his time at Solent directly led to his current employment. It was also a pleasure to be joined by former Media Technology lecturer Jonty Stewart who now runs Wight Noise and attended as a consultant for Vanguardia.
It was great to see all three year groups so well represented and showing such interest in this large yet often understated sub-sector of the live sound scene. We’re sure they’ll have plenty of fun over the Summer and learn a lot whilst doing so.
Southampton Solent University students have been working with event sound specialists Vanguardia Consulting to manage noise levels at the Isle of Wight Festival.
As well as taking off-site sound measurements at various locations, the group of four students worked with engineers to actively manage the on-site sound levels at the various stages during the four-day event.