SAE audio graduate, Sam Nickson, tells us about mixing and mastering his career

10 Jan 2019

Sam Nickson graduated from SAE London with an Audio Production degree in 2013. He is currently working at Redlight Studios as a Sound Engineer, and has helped to produce an audiobook of a theatrical adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles in his spare time.

What are your day to day duties in your current role?

“Compilation album mixing and mastering is the studio's bread and butter work, along with cutting soundbeds and recording voice-overs for adverts. These adverts will typically appear on anything from Spotify to any Dolby-certified cinema screening. My day to day duties will often mean being involved in these jobs in some capacity. I also get opportunities to work on sound to picture jobs, which often includes roles in dialogue editing and sound design. While I am technically an engineer at this studio and spend most of my time behind a mixing desk, I still help out with the runner duties when required. We are a small team and everyone pulls their weight.”  

How did studying at SAE help you secure your job with Redlight Studios?

“Studying at SAE gave me a solid foundation on which to build my career. In a constantly changing and evolving industry, SAE taught me the principles of these work environments, allowing me to feel confident in any studio I am placed in, to quickly understand how it operates, the signal flow of the setup, and get to work. Graduating with a degree in Audio Production from SAE also indicated to my current boss during our interview that I would at the very least be a dedicated member of staff, and that I was serious about building a career for myself at this studio. SAE helped open the doors to interviews I do not believe I would have otherwise had the opportunity to attend.”

What have you been working on in your spare time?  

“My day job keeps me pretty busy, but I really enjoyed working on an audiobook with an old school friend who now works for The National Theatre. Back when he ran his own theatre company, he ran a production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. An audiobook of the show was intended to supplement it. Having previously worked for this theatre company in a technical and creative capacity, I loved the idea of being involved again. As such, I edited the dialogue and composed original music for each of the chapters. It felt like rather indulgent work at the time, but I think it's important to undertake these kinds of projects to explore your own personal interests, in any creative field.”





Have you got any advice for SAE students who want to follow in your footsteps?

“Same advice Randy Thom gave me:

"Continue working on as many projects as you can, work hard, be easy for others to work with, and hope that one of those projects and one of those people opens the door to greater heights."”

What's next in the pipeline for you?

“There is always more to learn. I am lucky to work at a studio where I have some influence over the kind of work I do here. As such, I will continue to progress my skills in order to undertake more exciting and innovative work in the future, in an environment that nurtures my career.”

How would you describe your experience at SAE in one sentence?

“My experience was eye-opening and self-defining.”

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