Simon Ryder knew very early on that he was going to be a sound engineer. From about the age of 14 in fact. There were a few obstacles, such as at that stage he didn't really know what one was and a school careers department who seemed desperate to enrol him with the Royal Navy as a weapons engineer. With much perseverance and many wrong turnings, he found himself mixing his first band in a pub at the age of 17 (fortunately nobody asked him his age) around 20 years ago. Some tuition seemed like a good idea and Simon enrolled at SAE (still the School of Audio Engineering in those days) London and did a six month course in Sound Engineering.
From having gained a basic understanding and much practical experience both recording and mixing live bands (Simon carried on mixing bands in pubs throughout his early formative career) he then took a slight meander into London’s rave scene, formed a production company and designed light shows, culminating in such peaks as designing light shows for Paul Daniels. After a couple of years of this, Simon decided that lighting was not really what he wanted, so he got a job with Systems ETC and worked his way up from being the most junior to one of the most senior of their engineers. Simon then became the head sound engineer at the Coronet Theatre London, working with acts such as Oasis, Blur, Justin Timberlake, Aphex Twin, Christina Aguilera and erm… Liberty X. During this time, he went back to SAE to study again as technology had moved on greatly and Pro Tools was now in use everywhere (rather than the tape machines and razor blades that he had first learned on and used). This was a two year (part-time) diploma course that Simon then found himself in the strange position of teaching the same course that he was studying on when it came to the live sound sections. Simon stayed lecturing at SAE as live sound lecturer when students got to that part of their course for the next year or so.
Directly on leaving SAE, Simon formed a partnership with one of the other lecturers there to do venue installations. That partnership became Audio Engineer LTD. Sadly not all things last and they moved in separate directions, with Simon keeping the company and his partner disappearing off into the world of corporate IT. Over the years that have followed, Simon has worked with numerous PA firms, countless artists, toured the world as monitor engineer for Soul II Soul, production managed all audio for a 180,000 capacity festival. An estimate of the most people Simon has mixed to live is around 80,000 in front of a single stage – monitors for Soul II Soul in Liverpool (on a Monday bank holiday on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year at a free music festival)
Simon’s keen interest in the technical as well as theoretical side of all things audio have led him through product design, speaker design and acoustics. He has also had a long association with Noise Control Audio and has won numerous accolades and awards over the years using their equipment, including European Drum & Bass Arena of the year 2013 for The Moat stage at Outlook Festival (for a festival stage that played D&B for only one night) and the Ministry of Sound Glastonbury Awards – Best Sounding Stage for the Temple in the Common, Glastonbury 2015.
Simon currently lives on the Sussex side of the Kent / Sussex border with his lovely partner, their 4 children, two cats and a Labrador. He likes good stories, such as George RR Martin's Game of Thrones, Frank Herbert's Dune, Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose and John Le Carre's spy novels. He also likes cooking, walks in the country and fireworks.
As well as still freelancing and specifying and tuning Noise Control Audio and D&B Audiotechnik he now currently is as technical support for Vortice AV, looking after DAS Audio in the UK. Simon is responsible for teaching, training, trouble shooting and designing the most complex DAS systems in use in the UK. In addition he still mixes FOH and monitors, as well as systems engineering and is available for hire for consultation, events, weddings, barmitvzahs and coming out parties world-wide.
National Symphony Orchestra (NSO)
Soul II Soul
Fat Boy Slim
Extreme Noise Terror
Right Said Fred
To name but a few......
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