Epic Studios Technical Manager, Matt Rabong
Our September ‘meet the team’ blog features Epic Studios’ Technical Manager and Head Sound Engineer, Matt Rabong. He has been with us since spring 2017, working on a multitude of events and productions at the studio, with notable broadcast credits gained during this time, including:
ITV World of Sport Wrestling (RF Technician, Comms Engineer & Multitrack Recording)
World Association of Wrestling (A1 floor sound)
Contenders MMA (Sound supervisor)
Ultra White Collar Boxing (Sound supervisor)
Matt studied audio production at Access creative College (formerly known as Access to Music) and gained his degree in music and technology at the University of East Anglia in 2014. Before joining us, he had worked locally in events and technical management, both as an employee and freelancer. Clearly a bit of a natural in this role, Matt has done an amazing job since he came on board – but how has he found the last 18 months with us?
Hi Matt! You were an instant hit with the team when you joined us last April. How has the role measured up to expectations since – and what has been the steepest learning curve for you so far?
The role has certainly been more varied than any other technical position I’ve held. Epic has such a wide selection of events I’m kept very busy organising the technical logistics, whether it’s hiring in PA for the larger bands, locating equipment for technical riders or setting the room up with my team for a large live-streamed event. We can go from a 1000 capacity standing live music show to a small seated acoustic show and then back into a sporting event with vastly different technical needs in the space of a week!
The steepest learning curve has been the video side of things. As an audio guy primarily, the video workflow and distribution in the facility can be tricky to get your head around at first as there’s a lot of it!
You have certainly worked on some impressive shows at Epic. What do you consider your ‘standout’ moments?
That has to be the World of Sport Wrestling tapings. With the royal wedding and large sporting events either side of the filming dates it became near-impossible to locate certain pieces of broadcast equipment that were needed. However, with some perseverance I managed to find all the kit! I was also in charge of the communications system (making sure all of the production crew could talk to one another) and RF co-ordination for all of the wireless microphones on set.
Best & worst thing about the job?
There’s nothing better than a well organised event running smoothly and with as few hiccups as possible, or a band firing on all cylinders and giving a great show. If the band sounds great already all I have to do is make it louder!
The worst thing is the antisocial hours. Our industry is built on weekend shows so my weekend is usually Monday and Tuesday!
What advice would you give to anyone hoping to make it as a technical manager in the music/media sector?
Remaining calm under pressure is a big one. You don’t want to be seen to lose it in front of a client even when some vital piece of equipment has failed twenty minutes before doors open!
When starting out, look for work everywhere. Ask venues if you can shadow on smaller events. Work for free to start with but don’t do that for too long or people will take advantage of you.
Watch YouTube tutorials and become more employable. Learn about DMX and Art-Net, Video processing and routing and IP networking (increasingly common in the industry).
What would be your dream event to work on?
I’d love to work with Metallica’s sound engineer ‘Big’ Mick Hughes on one of their shows. The level of production on those events is incredible and gets bigger every year. Same with Roger Waters or U2, I’d love to be working on events that really push the boundaries of audio visual technology.
What’s coming up?
We have a major upgrade to our PA system happening in the next few weeks so installing that will keep us busy! Keep an eye out for some videos and pictures of the progress on our social media pages.
There’s some great bands coming through the venue over the next few months- Gentlemans Dub Club, Coolio and The Bloodshake Chorus to name a few. We also have a range of large production sporting events such as Contenders MMA, Kickboxing and Jiujitsu. There’s something for everyone in there!
You can view all our upcoming events on our Epic Studios Events pages.