The Part’s You Don’t Hear met recording engineer Nick Broome at his home in the Oxford suburbs where we chatted all things Sound Techniques. Nick was just 15 years old (Yes, this was the 1960’s and this did seem to happen a lot!) when he started working for De Lane Lea Studios at a time when they were building their legendary Studio 1 in Dean Street, Soho.
A brand new studio needs a brand new recording console and these were the days where you couldn’t just buy one ready-made, plug in and record… so who could De Lane Lea call up for the job? Geoff Frost had already built De Lane Lea’s Kingsway (Holborn) console which recorded the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, The Who, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, The Yardbirds etc. (check out this Jeff Beck clip here) so he was the natural choice to keep things ‘rocking’ as it were. So one of Nick’s first jobs was to give assistance to Geoff as he hand built and installed this unique, one of a kind Sound Techniques ‘A Range’ model.
Once installed, Nick learned the art of recording all types of music and dubbing sound to film on these desks – firstly he, like Louis Austin (previously interviewed) was a tape-op working under John C. Wood (previously interviewed), Martin Birch and Barry Ainsworth on projects as large as they come (for example, The Beatles solo projects) then moving on to becoming a fully fledged recording engineer. It was only years later Nick tells us, that he realised just how special the Sound Techniques consoles were, when moving on to other studios with other desks that just didn’t compare. Some examples of who recorded at De Lane Lea, Dean Street are Eric Clapton, Jeff Wayne, John Lennon, George Martin and films like Under Milk Wood, Deliverence and Robert Altman’s Images.