Featured Story - Jake Jackson
It's possible that you haven't even heard of Recording Engineer Jake Jackson; but you'd have to be living under a rock if you hadn't heard of the projects he's worked on. A 14-year veteran of North London's Sir George Martin-founded AIR Studios, Jackson began his career as a runner. In time he progressed to become the score recording and mix engineer on quite literally hundreds of film and television projects - projects such as 127 Hours, About a Boy, Sweeney Todd and the modern Dr Who, to name but a few. With clients such as Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore and John Williams on his CV, it is unsurprising the industry took notice.
After going freelance in 2009, Jackson received the UK’s prestigious MPG (Music Producers Guild) Breakthrough Recording Engineer Award earlier this year. Since Genelec were sponsors of this award, Jackson additionally received a pair of 8240A Bi-Amplified DSP Monitor Speakers, and the GLM™ software calibration system with AutoCal™ (to calibrate his monitors in-situ) – all courtesy of Genelec.
Jackson describes the process of evaluating the 8240s:
"I tend to do a lot of mixing in a single day. If it's for a TV show then it'll often be a whole episode in a day. This means that I've got to mix 20-30 minutes of music in one session, so I've got to trust what I'm hearing. We put the 8240s up in Studio 1 at AIR where we spend a lot of time mixing Dr Who, and I wasn't prepared for quite how good they were. I went through 10 or 12 different things that I'd recorded and mixed, looking to find something I didn't like about the speakers, and I couldn't find anything I didn't like about them. It was lovely, because it was many different mixes across different genres of film score, and they just sounded great. I almost couldn't believe my ears."
Jackson's biggest project of late has been one that all ears of the world will be tuned to, and really needs no introduction:
"I'm working for the composer and arranger Philip Sheppard, and we're recording and mixing all 201 National Anthems for the 2012 London Olympic Games. So it's a bit of a mammoth project. We were recording the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studio 2 and that required six very long days of recording."
It is Jackson's Genelec 8240s that found regular use in AIR Studio 3 as the primary mix reference monitors for the National Anthems; however during the recording process they were also calibrated and in-use at Abbey Road Studio 2. In Jackson's own words:
"I love the speakers they have down at Abbey Road, but I also wanted to have another set of monitoring speakers to use all the way through the project that I could rely on. So it was nice to have the 8240s which I knew and trusted. Due to AutoCal™ they're very quick to set-up in a new room, and because they're portable you can stick them in a cab at the end of a day, and go back to AIR and be there in the morning to set them up. Also, Abbey Road 2 has a big glass window which can produce some funny reflections – the Genelec 8240s helped temper that. With this project - 201 cues in 51 hours - you don't get much chance to have a second go. We finished with a few minutes spare throughout the entire process. If we'd had to take a minute longer on every single cue, then it would have meant three or four hours of overtime. So you have to know what you have is correct, and the Genelec 8240s were perfect for the job."