POSTED ON – 01.04.15

SSR Manchester - Sound Designer
Sound Designer
Alex Day studied on our Audio Engineering Techniques & Technology course, leaving SSR back in 2013, and has just received his first professional production credit as a Sound Designer for an in-house production of Dracula at the New Vic Theatre in Staffordshire.

The show was recently reviewed by The Guardian who praised the production for it's "electrifying sound design", which includes Alex and a team of audio artists performing live foley sound effects as well as the more traditional sound design elements. 

Alex Day:
"I got involved with Dracula because I am the in-house sound and lighting engineer at the New Vic Theatre where the show was designed and produced. We did an r&d week last year to see if the project would be feasible in terms of scale and it was concluded that due to the size of the project it would require more than one sound designer, and I expressed an interest in this position.

Our auditorium is 'in the round' and there were 3 foley positions which were nestled within the audience, accessible only via loft ladder. As all of the diegetic and non-diegetic sound was being performed by the actors the variety of sounds being produced throughout the show was enormous. This ranged from more traditional foley such as celery sticks being snapped, door slams and wooden clogs for footsteps to the bizarre, including oranges being eaten, popping candy, water poured onto a hot griddle and an Aztec Death Whistle!

My role as sound designer was to design a system which enabled the actors to perform this foley live, as well as to program our digital console and integrate our Q-lab playback system into our rig. On top of this I was also the engineer and the show operator for the project and so had my hands full at times.

This is were the training which i received at SSR pays off, it provides you with the tools and the knowledge necessary to get the job done quickly. This is always a benefit in theatre sound, as in the case of this project, it is a mix of both studio and live discipline. My knowledge of large format consoles, digital architecture and professional workflow were undoubtedly assets which helped me get this job. And of course, we use Pro Tools!

Future projects at the New Vic include taking our new production Lady Killers on tour, and work on our large summer festival based upon the Staffordshire Hoard."

Alex's role in the production and the great reviews the show and in particular the sound design have received are a great example of how SSR's training prepares our students for a variety of careers in the field of sound and media production.

We would like to congratulate Alex on the show's success and look forward to seeing what he and the theatre come up with next!
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