The La.M.P. Studio
The LaMP studio is François Evans's film music compositon and production facility.
The studio began with a trip to the London Rock Shop in Camden, London, where my Dad helped me buy its first synthesizer: a Roland Juno-6 which I still have and use. In the 1980s I bought a drum machine and a 4-track portastudio to learn multi-tracking. This was great to learn the ropes but I could only ever get demos out of it.
Over the years I grew a MIDI studio at my parents' home in Rickmansworth, with outboard synths, hardware samplers and effects boxes which made it possible to layer sounds and make orchestral mock-ups, but relied on maintaining a lot of gear. The studio moved to Hackney and grew a bit.
I moved to Barnet, North London. Along came faster computers and big hard disks. I switched from using MOTU Performer software to MOTU Digital Performer. This took a while to learn, it's perfect for film scoring and synchronization. I never lost my interest in and love for older analogue synthesizers from the 1970s (see Influences).
My folks retired to France. They discovered an abandoned nursery school an hour inland from La Rochelle on the West coast. Dating from 1906, it had a high-ceilinged classsroom with an oak floor and an interesting acoustic. There was a side room that could be adapted to become a control room. It took a long time to figure out how to configure things. I wanted a live empty space to record groups of of real musicians, and a separate room to programme and record in-line. The LaMP studio is now a hybrid facility with 32-channel digital recording through an analogue Soundcraft DC2000 desk with flying faders. Tracks are recorded through two Focusrite ISA428s or valve Ferrograph pre-amps, which give a warm but controlled sound.
Special software for making 'spectral' sound transformations is still in its infancy. I like to give time to work at these to incorporate sound morphing into my scores. This can blur the boundaries between real and electronic instruments; chords and timbral sound identity in hair-raising ways. It's pleasantly disorientating but helps to integrate music and sound.
My best friend in the studio is a small 1930s' Gaveau upright piano, which has a character of its own. It was going to be chucked on a junk heap, but is being restored.
Having vintage studio kit is fun, but a responsibility to maintain. I can understand why so many composers have opted for a minimalist studio of desk, keyboard, computer, amp., speakers and DAW. For me, that relies on the composer or plugin patch providing most things. Each piece of hardware I use has a life of its own that participates in the scoring. I like to think that, like film actors, those characters bring life, interest and originality to the music I make for films.
Funding for Films
The British Film Institute has published a useful summary of sources of funding for UK films.
These fall under the headings:
- National and regional agencies
- UK Tax relief and
- Regional Investment funds
Full info. at:
Filmdaily.tv gives a list of feature film grants, see:
- Creative Debut's Black Artists Grant
- BFI NETWORK - EARLY DEVELOPMENT FUNDING
- Short Circuit: First Features
- COVID-19 Recovery Fund
- albert free training
- BFI NETWORK x BAFTA Crew Mentoring
- IBF Europe: Regulations for Distribution Support
- The Pitch Film Fund
- Actors’ Benevolent Fund
- Disability Arts Online’s new commissions for disabled artists
- Sheffield Doc Fest - Digital Industry Pass 2021
- WELFARE - RESPONSE TO COVID-19
- West Midlands Production Fund
- Ford Foundation: JustFilms
- Screen Scotland: Film Development and Production Fund
- Field of Vision's Virtual Mentorship & Consultation Service for the Documentary Community
- Screen Scotland: Professional Development Fund
UK Film Commissions
UK Creative England:
- Bath: Bath Film Office
- Birmingham: Birmingham
- Bristol: Bristol Film Commission
- Berkshire: Berkshire Film Office
- Cornwall: Screen Cornwall
- Kent: Kent Film Office
- Liverpool: Liverpool Film Office
- London: Film London
- Northern UK: Northern Film Media
- Yorkshire: Screen Yorkshire
- Manchester: Screen Manchester
- Surrey: Surrey Film Office
- Yorkshire: Screen Yorkshire
- Wales: Screen Alliance Wales and Business Wales.
- Scotland: Creative Scotland
- Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Screen
François conducted backing string parts at Air Lyndhurst Studios, London 24/11/20, in marvellous arrangements by Howard James Martin for Andrew Teacher's new album project: Red Clubs, Black Hearts.
John Prestage: Sound Recordist at Air Lyndhurst Studios, London
L-R: Andrew Teacher (songwriter /vocals), François Evans (conductor), Howard James Martin (arranger)
Managed by Laura Anstee, marvellous string players included musicians who have performed with the London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra.
Mazen Murad to Master The 3 Kings Soundtrack
François Evans's biblical soundtrack to Shaun Moseley's millennial feature film The 3 Kings starring Ron Moody and Vanessa Redgrave is to be mastered, appropriately, in the Middle East.
Mastering Engineer: Mazen Murad
Mazen has been based at EMI Studios 301, Whitfield Street Sony and Metropolis, London. He has worked with Mika, DJ Shadow, Björk, Muse and Robbie Williams.
Clef Band-Box Resurrected
An automaton band-in-a-box made by Clef Products (Electronics) Ltd of Stockport, Cheshire, UK in ca 1982, the Clef Band-Box was rare, with only about 1000 made. There is an article on the Clef Band-Box at Matrixsynth.
Huge thanks to genius Andy Collins at Antech Systems for restoring one I was lucky to find.
Question is, what piece of music can it be used in?