Freelance sound engineer

I provide stage, PA, sound and lighting packages for hire for festivals and live music events

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Music First stage, PA, sound and lighting package hire

Welcome to Music First

I am a professional freelance sound engineer. I provide festival hire for stage hire, sound and PA hire, stage lighting packages and everything you need to run your festival or live music event. Live music is my passion!

I live for live music

As a musician, live music is in my blood. I grew up in a musical family, with a boudoir grand piano to learn on. I play a bit of bass, rhythm guitar and even drums, but piano is probably still my main instrument. However, after years of being an average musician, I discovered that I actually make a pretty good sound engineer!

Live on stage musician
Live on stage musician

From making sound to producing sound

I spend most of my days now behind the mixing desk, rather than behind the piano keys, as I get as big a kick out of making a band sound (and look) good on stage as I ever did performing myself. That’s one reason I get so involved in micro-festivals and grass-roots music events. I take pride in my mix because I want every musician on my stages to sound amazing. I hand-pick all my gear from the last 15-20 year’s experience producing live sound. By making sure the artists can hear themselves and be heard, they perform and sound their very best.

Midas M32 digital live sound mixing desk
Midas M32 digital live sound mixing desk

Festivals and live gigs

Whether at small gigs and events, grass-roots festivals, or big fundraisers and charity shows, I have all the kit you need to put on your show and make great music. I do everything from micro, back-garden festivals for around 100 people up to big annual events for a couple of thousand. My stage is modular made up of 4 foot panels that can build up to around 640 square feet of stage (that’s around 60 square metres)!

Digital PA and sound

The purists will still tell you analogue audio is best and that may be true in a studio. In the wild, I love my Midas digital desk and stage boxes. They give me all the channels I need. I’ve had a 12-piece ska band on stage with full drums and brass section. I have everything I need on board – EQ, compressors, gates, limiters. Also I gives me a range of effects from reverb to stereo chorus, and slap-back delay. Less gear to carry than a full outboard analogue rig means I can do a whole festival in one large van. I rig quicker but still have everything available to mix any genre of music.

Lots of gear to do live sound!
Lots of gear to do live sound

Stage lighting

As well as sounding good, a festival should look good. My lighting rig has wash, moving heads, spots, lasers and smoke to really highlight the stage. The rig complements the stage, lighting the inside of the dome and turning it into a centrepiece, although it can be used in any location. Bands rise to the occasion when they feel they look good. I control the lighting from a touch screen computer and midi pad at the front of house. DMX512 links everything together so I can react to the music even for a band and song I never heard before. It is just as important that the light show fits the act and lighting can change the mood and energy of a performance in an instant.

Festival lighting in the stage dome
Using lighting to reflect and bounce of surfaces

Hire from Music First

Book me for your festival stage hire, with full sound, PA, and lighting package for very much less than you might think. I am happy to work with you to make your event a success. If you can provide crew to help hump and dump I am happy to cut even more off the cost. I also will always give a generous discount for charity events. Let me know what you are fundraising for and I will do my very best.

As a professional freelance sound engineer, I am fully insured. You get an account on my planning system where you can manage your event. I am happy to organise your bands and singers with stage plots and sort out their requirements. I can provide all the backline as well – from my Nord Stage 2 stage piano to a Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage Nouveau 5 or 7 piece kit.

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