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Producer · Engineer · FOH
Samantha White
Samantha White
Samantha White
Samantha White

Samantha White

Tour Manager, Sound Engineer, Concert Production, FOH

Samantha White is a sound engineer, producer, tour manager, scuba diver, and sky diver! Having studied at the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies in Nottingham, UK, she has now built a career portfolio that includes a host of top artists.

Rick Astley, Nicole Scherzinger, Emili Sandé, Gwen Stefani, Go West, Nerina Pallot, Kirsty Bertarelli, Nadine Coyle, Mariah Carey, Lucie Silvas, Liberty X
Samantha White's kit includes
Spirit
Starlight
'Failed musician turned Engineer...'

People go to Uni to study what they’re good at - I was just always good at music! I figured out later in life that I was actually a terrible musician! You can find this out if you google, ‘Rick Astley’s crew band play Toto’… It actually started as an elaborate prank on our FOH engineer, Kev, to get him to learn to play drums… We told him that we’ll get on stage during the encore of the very last show of the tour and do it. Rick comes off stage, ready for the encore. I run up to him and say, ‘right boss man, what am I cueing up for the finale?' Rick looked straight at me and says, ‘I’m going to stand here and watch you guys play Toto!’ I turn around and to my horror, there is Kev, sitting there ready at the kit, the rest of the crew also got on stage… At this point I’m thinking, ‘has this prank been turned on to me?!’. Yep, maybe I should have practised that Toto track after all.

So… I should say 'failed musician turned engineer'! I started out in music retail, whilst building up my own rental business on the side, collecting my gear over the years. Though keeping up with the maintenance on equipment, insurance, the BIG VAN! It was all becoming such a pain. The final straw was when a lot of my gear got stolen. In the end I decided to sell that side of the business off and walk away from rental… The engineering side of it was something that just developed over time, along with tour management.

Where the F**k are my normal mic's?

“My primary console is a Digico SD10 though I’m happy to use SD5 or SD7 too. I wanted some really nice crowd ambience mic’s, normally I would spec some 418’s because you can aim them nicely for their off-axis rejection but an engineer who was working on the project had these Starlights and suggested giving them a go… I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was using the lasers to direct the mics… Of course, I was instantly interested in these space age mics!

Initially, I must admit I asked where the f*** my normal mics were, but he said, ‘no seriously you need to try these and see what you think.’ So, we gave them a go, and I was very impressed, they sounded great, none of that HF break up, just a really smooth natural sound and a really good stereo mix. I’m now using the Starlights for left and right-side crown ambience and a Spirit for centre front stage to capture clarity and the front middle. The Starlights have now replaced 418’s, and also adding the Spirit has been great. At one gig, there were some huge inflatable balls being thrown around the arena. Naturally, they all come forward towards the stage, and actually knocked one of the Starlights over, so we lost all the right side of the mix! So being able to mono the sum mix and dial in the Spirit kept things balanced.

Never Gonna Give You Up!

I’ve been working with Rick Astley now for the past 3 years which has just been non-stop. The whole production has been amazing. He and the management approach it completely differently to what I’ve been used to.

There’s no 80’s revival theme to it that a lot of production companies tend to do with 80’s artists and tours. He balances the back catalogue with the new stuff so well. The production is huge, the last tour was a 5 truck tour, no expenses spared!

Before this I was tour managing for Nicole Scherzinger for around a year and previous to that I was doing FOH for Emili Sandé. All in all, it has been really varied work! There’s some album stuff coming up next year which I’m actually not allowed to talk about yet! But I’ll also be doing the Take That and Rick Tour in Summer 2019.

 

Out-takes

Q: Who are your favourite artists?
A: OMG, hands down Zig and Zag! Those guys are some of the funniest guys I've ever worked with... But seriously I would like to go back in time and work with Natalie Cole again. She sadly isn't with us anymore, I spent some time with her and she was a really incredible human. 

Q: If you weren't working in music what would you be doing?
A: Scuba diving or sky diving. I spend a lot of time doing both between gigging. I don't have to answer phone calls or deal with anything, I can just watch the fish and swim around. It's pretty relaxing. 
Though honestly, on one sky dive, I felt my phone vibrate and as you do out of habit, I took it out of my sleeve pocket to check. Seriously, at that precise moment, I thought to myself. What the hell am I doing checking my phone at 10,000 ft?! Best put that away. 

Q: What would your fantasy mic be?
A: A mic that just does everything is always going to be the one but if you're targeting specific things, I would like a snare mic that comes with a brilliant clamp, and you can just poke the capsule over the side of the snare drum, just the best sounding mic in the world that is unobtrusive.

Q: What are the 4 words you'd choose to describe Aston, or your experience with the brand?
A: Cosmetically pleasing, sonically predictable 

Q: What was the first song that made you cry?
A: I'd have to refer to Zig and Zag... "I like to Move it"... Honestly, I don't think I've ever cried to a song! Actually, let me start again. Growing up listening to Richard Clayderman albums, I would have to say from his second album... "Moonlighting".

 

Credits
©2018 Aston Microphones Ltd, All rights reserved.
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