Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Sounds of Sheffield

A little inspiration and creativeness has returned so here goes… 

Last weekend I had the pleasure of  helping to do sound for 2 live sessions run by Forge Radio (Sheffield University Radio Station) There are some people in the city with real talent. I'll keep this short and just highlight 2 but I'm sure there are many more. (Click on the links and give them a listen,  that should make this post seem a little longer.)

First though,  a little warning to anyone coming to university…  From my experience I would say that you become much more open-minded, personally I have found a new love for 'house' music which if I'm honest, I didn't think much of a few weeks ago. A second warning is that if you are behind a sound desk you are likely to see a lot of red lights.

Anyway,  the first of the two artists I want to mention is 'Growlin' Al Gordon'.

This man has one of the deepest and strongest voices that I have ever heard. His grasp of older style folk and country music is brilliant but don't think that makes him boring,  his variation of speed and style is wonderful and it will probably make you tap your foot along with him.

The second,  but by no means second in sound is 'The Half Earth'.

I think Connor may well be one of my favourite artists at the moment, I don't know how to describe the sound of his music, but it was very powerful to listen to live. I guess that one thing I could say is that I couldn't work out whether it was feedback or his voice at times but we both seemed to agree that that just adds to the amazing sound of his guitar.
I guess as a way of explaining why I like him so much is my comment on his track 'End',  if you listen to it then this will make more sense but this is what I said: "If there's 8 minutes before the world ends then I know the background music I'll put on! If there's 15 I'll listen to slow dancing in a burning room first :-)". There is a little bit of a story behind that but it's not really necessary. 

I said I'd keep it short so there it is. I highly recommend the following tracks:

Growlin' Al Gordon
- Lonesome Valley
- Friend of mine

The half earth
- End
- Fox
- Final Cheer

Another quick update

Apologies for my lack of posts recently, my workload has definitely picked up and I have been busy with other things.

I do have a post on the way that I hope to have finished soon. It will be short but a lack of sleep has meant a bit of a lack of creativity this week so I haven't been in the mood for much writing. Hopefully I'll come up with a few ideas soon and get some more writing done.

So that this isn't a complete waste of time for you I shall share a link that I tweeted earlier, it looks like a good thing for the future.


Please share and subscribe so that no-one misses a post. God Bless.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Aviation Listening

This is a post that is more focused on those interested in aviation, but even if you're not it may help you to get a little insight into the world above.

It's amazing how much goes on in and around the world of aviation, and even more amazing is the number of people that talk about it.

Mainly in this post I will be talking about aviation podcasts.

I'll start with one of the most informative and the one that I'm listening to whilst writing this post.

The Airplane Geeks

'The Geeks' give plenty of information on the airlines and General Aviation, most of their news covers the US but there are the occasional stories from the rest of the world. The different guest each week makes the podcast fairly dynamic and means that everyone learns something slightly different on every episode.

Don't think they only focus on the US though, there is the 'Australia desk' and 'Across the pond' segments as well as listener mail which brings in news and stories from every corner of the world. The air-plane (often flying object) of the week gives a very detailed and interesting view of an aircraft.

For anyone who is interested in aviation then I really do recommend listening to 'The Geeks', they've been recording for a good few years now and it is a superbly produced and very professional podcast but still with plenty of joking around.

The UAV Digest

'The UAV Digest' is a branch off from 'The Airplane Geeks', Max and David decided that there was so much to talk about in the unmanned world that it deserved it's own half hour podcast.

'The UAV Digest' is still in fairly infant days but the excellent production and style from 'the Airplane Geeks' is easy to hear. Max and David are both surprised at how much news and development there is with UAV's and it shocked me too. It's got me really interested in the future of unmanned flight as there seems to be so much happening and so much potential for further development of designs and uses.

I recommend episode #9 in particular, mainly for the last couple of minutes, but if you have the time then listen to them all!

Plane Crazy Down Under (PCDU)

PCDU is made by the guys who do the 'Australia desk' for the 'Airplane Geeks'. Although I don't listen to them very often, it is a well produced podcast and it is always interesting to hear about the way aviation works down under, both in Australia, New Zealand and the surroundings.

I would definitely say that the show was worth a listen but unfortunately or me I just can't find the time to do it, though hopefully soon I may.

Across the Pond

Across the Pond is not a podcast but a blog written by Pieter Johnson who records the 'Across the Pond' segment for the 'Airplane Geeks'. 

I can't really comment on the blog as I don't really read it but I do enjoy Pieter's section on the 'Airplane Geeks', just another reason to listen to them.


Flaps podcast is a UK based General Aviation podcast, it's lively and fun to listen to even if it is rather infrequent. Anyway, it's worth a listen when a new on comes along.

Again, not a podcast, not even a blog. It's a great website though, allowing you to listen to Air Traffic Control from all over the world, that's most of the world but not the UK due to our wonderful laws about listening to non-civilian frequencies. 

Anyway, listening to an evening at JFK or LAX is always interesting and there are many clips on YouTube of entertaining and interesting conversations between controllers and aircraft. It's great as background noise for working and it's good for trying to understand the conversations that happen at the front of an aircraft during a flight. Highly recommended if you're interested or bored.

Comment if you have any other suggestions and please like, share, subscribe etc.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Bulls Are Back!

For those who live in the dark and haven't heard, the Red Bull Air Race is Back in 2014!!!

Paul Bonhomme's 2010 Aircraft
Copyright Graham Haley

The UK stop will be at Ascot race course in mid August (Hopefully I'll be there).

That is all, a short post I know but some very exciting news.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Fresher’s and Firsts

I’m sure for a 500 word post on my first 2 weeks at Sheffield I could simply make a list of feelings and emotions and that would be it, though I get the feeling that may be a little tedious to read. Instead I’ll try to fit in everything that I’ve done, though that could be difficult.

I guess the start is packing bags and loading the car, a mixture of feelings at this point; excitement, nervousness, eagerness to get here and start making new friends. Leaving home is fairly similar, and let’s be honest, different for everyone.

Arriving in Sheffield is the same as arriving in any city I’ve been to, a maze of roads; you just have to hope you’re on the right one and not about to be hit by a tram! Arriving at Endcliffe (student village) was much nicer, if only for the lack of trams, at that point there was a sense of relief and apprehension. Relieved because we were finally there (it’s only an hour and a half from home but that feels much longer the first time), apprehensive to see what my flat was like, how many people I’d be sharing with and all those other unknowns. When I did get into the flat I was pleasantly surprised to find that my room was huge, there were only 4 of us in the flat and all seemed fairly nice.

The Matrix bouldering wall in the Goodwin Sports Centre, a good place to spend the evening with other climbers.

CU acoustic night, Upstairs at Costa in Broomhill

CU acoustic night, Upstairs at Costa in Broomhill

I’ll stop waffling on about moving in and get on with fresher’s/intro week. It was a great week to make friends and meet plenty of people, not only within the department between talks, but also from the rest of the university through the huge range of activities throughout the week. By huge range I mean that I was struggling to choose each day! It was easy to make friends as everyone was looking to make friends and you had a warm welcome from everyone. One of the places I met the most people was at the CU (Christian union) acoustic night, it was a great night to relax and talk over a coffee to people from all over the university. 

One of the highlights from fresher’s week was the model glider competition which we all took part in within the department. The challenge was to build a glider from a number of pieces of balsa wood which achieved the longest total flight time over two flights. There were plenty of designs around and plenty of failures; I would say my group was on the better side of failure though it certainly wasn’t great. Either way it was a great way to get to know a smaller group of people better which was really enjoyable and seems to have made some lasting friendships.

The Balsa Baron from Team ‘Winging It’

There were so many other events to do, and so many societies and sports teams to look in the fairs, but at the end of the day fresher’s was a busy week.

First Lecture

First lectures last Monday were a little tedious as many were introductions to topics, but things improved towards the end of the week. I’m still trying to find the best way to make notes in lectures and settling in to the new learning style takes some time.
A little student participation in lectures
A private side room and bar just for us!
I’ll finish up with the AEROSOC social from Thursday night. It was great to be with so many people doing the same course and to enjoy spending time together on a night out. It was a great way to round up my first two amazing weeks at uni.