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Former Creative Sound Design alumni, Stuart Sibley tells us what he’s been up to since graduating from ACM as well as about his recent success, completing the arrangement and recording for Tetley Tea’s latest television advertisement.

Tell us a little bit about what you’ve been up to since ACM.
I started working for an indie label while still at uni, then moved to Universal after I had graduated from ACM in 2009 with a 2.1 in Creative Sound Design. While at Universal I started to apply for a few ads and musical bits and finally got my first break-through with a piece for a National Theatre ad.

Wow sounds like you landed on your feet, but guess that’s not where the story ends.
After this initial success and after spreading a lot of CV’s about I started as a producer/sound designer/composer at Candle. I’ve been here four months now and so far I have worked on various ads (most haven’t been aired yet due to the length of production time required), but these have included Age UK, Shell and the Tetley spot that you may have seen recently.

Check out Stuart’s work for Tetley

So who are Candle?
Candle are involved in all aspects of music and soundtrack production. Music composition, arrangement, sound design, sonic branding, copyright and licensing negotiation, music searches, radio production, voice casting and animatics are our main areas of expertise. The heart of Candle’s work lies in TV commercial soundtracks and radio production, but we cover all areas of sound production.

So back to Tetley – can you tell us a little bit more about the production process behind the ad?
The production process for Tetley – Just The Way You Are, started with a brief from the agency Dare. We did various demo versions including a Brass band (which later got adapted into the final piece). I then arranged the strings and produced the final mix which you hear on the ad. We had a live brass band and pianist in to play our version of the Billy Joel piece.

What tools do you use and what’s process you use?
I work in Logic and Pro Tools in our purpose built studio. We composed to an animatic and storyboard while the ad was in development, then sent our master to a dubbing studio to be finished with the voiceover.

Have you got any advice for ACM students who might be interested in carving a career in sound design and production?
Everyone will find a different path into their career, but I did it through work experience and helping out on no/low budget productions. While at ACM I helped out as a boom operator, did a few weeks at Technicolor post production and then a 6 month stint at an indie label. More than anything else working with other people and companies makes you feel confident in what you do. The CV points and contacts is of course another bonus. You can’t tie yourself down to one specific direction, if you are open for various avenues of work then you have much more chance of getting a gig. Lastly – don’t rely on an emailed CV, show up with one in your hand, put together a decent reel, even if you have no spots of your own on air yet.

Our thanks to Stuart for taking the time to update us on his progress since leaving ACM.