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Getting to Know Sound Engineer Tom Lane


Creative Outpost speaks to Tom about what it’s like recording with the stars and his journey from the ground up

Getting to Know Sound Engineer Tom Lane

Creative Outpost chats with Tom Lane, sound engineer extraordinaire. We’ll be finding out about what makes him tick, what it’s like recording with the stars and his journey from the ground up. 

Testing, testing, 1-2, 1-2…

Q> Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get into sound engineering?

Tom> Like most people in the post production industry I started my career as a runner. I had a couple of years running around the streets of Soho at Angell Sound before I transitioned to transfer engineer. I wasn’t in the transfer bay for long before I was bumped up to junior engineer. As they say the rest is history 

Q> It must be pretty exciting having face time with the stars. Is there anyone you have been especially star-struck by during a session?

Tom> I was completely star struck when meeting Michael Gambon. He has such a large body of work and plays a huge part in one of the biggest film franchises ever so I’m not afraid to say I was slightly nervous before the session. He was so easy to work with and at the end of our session one of the creative team asked him to record a birthday message as Dumbledore to his son. In the end I think he read about three- four messages. He seemed to really enjoy it which made me appreciate him even more!

Q> What attracted you to Creative Outpost?

Tom> I was lucky enough to share a workspace with Creative Outpost during my time at Angell on Wardour Street. I really got on with everyone so when I became part of the team at Creative Outpost it was an easy transition.

Q> Can you name a film or TV show you wish you’d been a part of and why?

Tom> This is such an obvious answer but it would have to be anything from the Star Wars universe. To me the first 3 films set such a high bar in terms of sound design with so many instantly recognisable sound design pieces. I’d love to see how certain sounds were created and also to have a look through their sound effects library!  

Q> What key skill would you recommend people aspiring to be an engineer should brush up on?

Tom> Being organised. There are so many things to keep on top of in any session so if you keep good notes and make sure you’re well prepared it will make life so much easier

Q> What is a podcast you are listening to at the moment?

Tom> The Wolf & Owl podcast with Tom Davies and Romesh Ranganathan. There isn’t really a format to it,  it's just two friends chatting for an hour. I find them both really funny and easy to listen to, I highly recommend it. 

For those interested in sound there’s Twenty Thousand Hertz.which is made by an audio post studio in America called Defacto Sound. It deep dives into the world's most recognisable and interesting sounds. Episodes that stood out to me were Stay Tuned which looked at the work of Mel Blanc (renowned Looney Tunes voice actor) and also 20th Century Fox which explores the history behind the 20th Century Fox fanfare.  

Q> What would surprise people about your job?

Tom> Thanks to covid we’ve had to adapt to a different way of working which I didn’t think would ever be possible. Remote recordings were tricky at first but as VOs got used to the process and their home studio set ups improved the whole process became a lot more efficient.  

Although, I’m so glad it seems to be coming to an end now (famous last words…). 

Q> If you weren’t working in post, what do you think you’d be doing instead?

Tom> I found the gym and fitness in my early twenties at which point I was already on my career path. If life had turned out slightly differently I would’ve liked to have tried my hand at being a personal trainer.

Q> When you’re not producing expert mixes, how do you like to unwind?

Tom> I enjoy going to the gym and playing golf though both of these hobbies have become a lot harder to make time for since my son was born!

Q> Re the Creative Outpost Logo, are you Teal or Orange?

Tom> It’s got to be teal for me.

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Creative Outpost, Tue, 05 Apr 2022 11:55:00 GMT