Audio Pro International’s focus on the best of the industry’s emerging audio engineers continues with the latest addition to our Rising Stars section.
Originally based in Middlesbrough, England, James Waterson recently emigrated to Dubai to work for Gearhouse Staging Connections, a successful production company. Here, he tells us what he's been up to since moving to the UAE, and reveals how he takes inspiration from Red Hot Chili Peppers' engineer Dave Rat...
Where did you study?
I studied a BTEC in Music Technology at Middlesbrough College, and then moved on to study at SSR Manchester (School Of Sound Recording), where I got my Live Sound Engineering Certificate.
Where are you currently based?
I am currently based at Gearhouse Staging Connections in Dubai, which is a large AV company dealing in major concerts to conferences.
Tell us a bit about Gearhouse Staging Connections. What services does the company offer?
Gearhouse is one of the largest and most respected AV companies in the UAE. We offer a wide variety of services in audio, visual, lighting, and set design, giving our clients a complete package. From small conferences to large launch events and international arena shows we can do anything a client requires.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I am working on a week-long launch event for Toyota, which are bringing out a new car, involving months of planning and preperation – everything technical has to be hidden from the public eye so we have had to be specific with our drawings.
After this job it's back into concert season. Lined up so far we have The Killers, Of Monsters and Men and reggae legends The Wailers, so it's going to be a great November.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement would have to be getting the opportunity to move out here and have this job out of the hundreds who applied for this position. To join this audio team was quite an honour.
What is your favourite ever piece of audio equipment?
It would have to be the Digi Profile. It's such a compact desk with so many options, and is one of the main desks we have here at Gearhouse, along with the (Midas) Pro9.
From mixing monitors on large events, such as Sandance, to mixing a conference with racks of RF mics you can make any project fit round the Profile, and it has an easy-to-work surface and amazing-sounding plugins.
You've worked with some big bands in the past, such as Alkaline Trio and Reel Big Fish, but if you could work with any band/artist who would it be, and why?
At the moment I'm a Red Hot Chili Peppers kinda guy – I love the way their engineer Dave Rat (Rat Sound) approaches a mix. Their sound is so original and LOUD; I would love to have a go at mixing such a great-sounding band.
Where do you hope to be in ten years?
Not coiling cables and pushing flight cases i hope, as they hurt in this heat! On a serious note, I would either like to be on a steady contract with a range of bands on a large touring circuit or have the opportunity to help run or own my own audio company.
To get involved in our Rising Stars column, whether you are an engineer who is new to the industry and would like to be featured, or an experienced engineer who would like to nominate a particular student/apprentice, please contact Audio Pro International editor Adam Savage on email@example.com or +44 (0)1992 535646.