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SOME PERSONAL STUFF

I was born at a very early age in 1955 at Lister Hospital. My parents lived in Stevenage, but the hospital, in those days, was still in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. We spent nine years in Stevenage during which time the New Town saw the filming of Here We go Round The Mulberry Bush and a visit from the Queen.

In 1964 we moved to Langford - a small village near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire - and I went on to Stratton Grammar and Technical School, where I learnt to spell most words properly. All wasted of course now that we've got word processors, but then, has anything you learnt at school since the age of ten been of any use? Probably not. Anyway I got a few 'O' levels and 'A' levels and because the BBC wouldn't give me the job I so richly deserved I decided to go to university instead. This turned out to be an even bigger waste of time, there being no free Internet access in those days. In fact, there was no Internet at all.

So in 1974 I started a paragraph with a preposition and a job at Pye Studios, Marble Arch as a trainee coffee maker. I've not touched coffee since. But I wouldn't mind a cup of tea if there's one in the pot. Thank you.

At Pye I learnt to press the record button at the right time, not to erase the master take of exquisite violin solos too often and eventually became a fully qualified recording engineer (i.e. one with a few 'O' levels and 'A' levels). I then became interested in what happened next to the tapes I was recording... how did they become a disc? When no-one was looking I furtively followed one of my tapes into the Cutting Room and started asking awkward questions like "What happens in here?" It was therefore fairly inevitable that when one of the Disc Cutting engineers left Pye in 1977 for a professional career earning money elsewhere the Management turned to me and asked if I would like to be a Cutting Engineer. I said "No, not really"; and so, of course I've been doing that, or something like it, ever since. These days LPs have been almost entirely replaced by CDs - thank goodness.

I have worked at Pye, Tape One and Wave Studios and CTS Studios in Wembley, all four of which closed some time after I left them. (I'm still trying to work out exactly what significance this trend may have...) CTS was one the largest independent recording studios in Europe and during its 30-year history it played a major part in the music and soundtracks of a great many feature films and television series. But sadly CTS also closed in June 2000 under threat of the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium, and naturally, since it was the most enjoyable place I've ever worked at naturally some half-crazed visigoths have now demolished it to make way for yet another bloody football stadium.

More recently I also worked at Lansdowne Recording Studios in Holland Park, London W11, where I assumed the joint mantles of Mastering Engineer and IT Manager, but in 2003 I left to run my own business in SE Cornwall. I now have a mastering studio in my house called Original Sound (the room, that is, not the house) which probably means I'm the only person in Cornwall to have a hi-fi system mounted in a 19" rack. I am also co-founder of web hosting and design company Astrohosts.

I have been interested in broadcasting and recording since at least the age of seven. My favourite 1960s pirate radio station was Radio London 'Big L' on 266m MW and my favourite DJ was, of course, the incomparable Kenny Everett. Other wonderful radio programs of which I am a great fan include The Goon Show, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, The Burkiss Way, Cliché, Radio Active, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earthsearch, Earthsearch II and, er, The Archers.

In the past I have worked as a volunteer for Luton and Stevenage Hospital Radio and I also did a stint on RSL station Pilgrim FM in Canterbury.

I now live in Redruth, West Cornwall, work as the manager of a small sub-post office (remember those?) and do voluntary work as a recording engineer for the Cornish Talking Newspaper and a presenter for CHBN, the Cornwall Hospital Broadcasting Network where I present a show most Friday afternoons.

During the long, dry summer (remember those?) of 1996 someone - thanks Rob! - made the mistake of getting me a cheap 14400 modem. I discovered the Internet and BT profits soared to staggering new heights.

Other interests include reading, particularly science-fiction, photography and being very PC, as opposed to very Mac.

mb21 by Mike Brown
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