Student Protests, London, 10th December 2010

Today Parliament voted on whether to increase student tuition fees. Which also meant a lot of students descending on Westminster to protest this possibility, alas in vain it turned out. I’ve always struggled in the past with library SFX of riots and protests – they’re generally faked, often obviously so. Off i went with my SD744t to see if I could get something more useful.

It wasn’t the warmest days to be out trying to track dowm roving protestors, and of course the police were doing their best to prevent large groups from forming.

Police in Trafalgar Square preventing protestors from getting to Parliament Square

But I found un unblocked road down to Westminster, where the protestors had broken into Parliament Square. I got a nice walking recording of “protestors getting closer” and a bunch of static recordings of various protestors and chanting. I even managed to get a recording of crowd reaction to a mounted police charge at one point!

The police were using the recently adopted “kettling” technique, i.e. blocking all entrances and exits to Parliament Square and not letting anyone in or out. Fortunately a large Rycote covered mic and a pair of headphones seemed to convince them to let me through…

Protestors in Parliament Square

I’ve just bought a bunch of plug-ins (Waves Sound Design suite, Waves Vocal Rider, SPL Transient Designer and Relab LX480) from Tony Belmont at I emailed him for a quote and was very surprised at how competitive his prices were (cheaper than buying them direct from Waves for example). I was a bit dubious at first by being asked to send him money by PayPal, but within 2 hours of sending him the money I’d received all the serial numbers and iLok licenses to all my plug-ins, and am now happily trying them out.


Relab LX480 Lite plugin

LX480 plugin – 63 seconds of reverb!

I just bought this plugin (from Tony Belmont at

It’s a very nice Lexicon reverb emulator and reasonably priced at that. It’s only available in the Lite version at the mment which has only the Randomn Hall algorhythm. But it sounds great.

The killer feature for me is that the reverb time goes up to 63 seconds! I use long reverbs a lot in my theatre work – usuaslly a 55 second reverb on a Lexicon PCM81 – for that arty lingering reverb atmos. And it’s great to to get a plugin that can do that without a massive CPU overhead. In the past I’ve used Logic’s great Space Designer convolution reverb with a 30second Lexicon Concert Hall impulse response I got off the web – sounds nice, but it’s mono and forms a big cpu overhead – so much so, that my laptop before last couldn’t even manage one instance of it.

It’s currently only available as a Native plugin, ie VST and AU – no RTAS etc. Fine for me as I use Logic rather than PT.

Some links….

So to start things off, some sound related links:

Gareth Fry – my main website

Designing Sound – Film sound design blog

London Sound Survey -Sound around London

Music of Sound – Misc sound design blog

Sonic Terrain – field recording

Radiolab – brilliant (downloadable) radio program’s often looking at sound and music