Stephen O'Hara

Experienced sound engineer with skills in video production.

Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic, Davinci Resolve Studio


Experience

Freelance Recording Engineer

Stephen O'Hara Productions

Recording bands, voice over artists and sound for video/interviews on location at my college/university studios, studios around Glasgow, church halls and other locations as well as running a studio from my flat for a year with a 16 track analog mixing console with Pro Tools.

2009 - 2016

Live Sound Engineer

Bands: Blue Nova, Paul Malcolm and others

Experience includes supplying, setting up and operating a full backline for bands/DJ's in bars, small venues, church halls and social clubs. Sound Engineering for bands and acoustic artists in different venues.

Venues: O2 ABC 2, SoundHaus, Gallus, Lauders Bar, Blackfriars Basement and more

2009 - 2013

Studio Assistant

Standing Stone Studios, Barrhead.

Working alongside owner Colin Cameron as a studio assistant helping setup and run sessions and general duties involved with a busy recording and rehearsal studio. I recorded a few bands here as well on a freelance basis.

2010 - 2011

Education

University of the West of Scotland

Bachelor of Science
Music Technology
2010

James Watt College (West College Scotland)

Higher National Diploma
Sound Production
2008-2009

Audio Portfolio

I have had a keen interest in recording and producing music since around 2004 when I was in a high school band and wanted to get some recordings of our music but couldn't pay for studio time. I signed up for 2 programs which ran alongside the school with Reid Kerr college and James Watt College which allowed for a half/full day out of school to study sound production. Shortly after this time the singer in the band paid for a Sennheiser microphone and Line6 Toneport and I recorded our first songs. You can hear one of them here.


Blue Nova - Live Recordings (Audio Engineer & Production manager)

As the manager for the Glasgow band Blue Nova for a few years and managed to arrange a free video shoot for them doing some live sessions in Berkeley 2 studio. I recorded, mixed and mastered the audio while Dave Allan shot and edited the video. Each track was recorded and filmed and we used the audio from the best of 3 for each. I attempted to get the drummer to use a click track so the video's could all be synced up but after half an hour or so of him failing and being frustrated I made the executive decision to scrap the idea. As much as this created problems when editing 3 takes of video to 1 take of audio it wasn't worth getting the band more stressed over, which could have led to a worse performance.


Blue Nova - It's Not Gonna Happen (Recording and Mixing Engineer)

While studying at the University of the West of Scotland I often recorded the band Blue Nova, this is one of the more challenging tracks I recorded and mixed for the band as the dynamic range in the track is quite large and it's far too long at 10 minutes and 48 seconds!

I took this challenge on and how I dealt with the loud and quiet sections is I duplicated all of the audio tracks and automated/cut them at the transitions so the contrasting sections were mixed on different channels. This allowed me to more accurately balance the differences in the distortion pedals which were used at different times. This track was all recorded live aside from the vocals which were the only overdub.

Patches. · Blue Nova - It's Not Gonna Happen
The Mixups - Where you belong (recording engineer)

Recording began in late 2010 I was the recording engineer for Glasgow band The Mixups for their recording Where you belong.

The Mixups · Where You Belong

My home studio where the guitars and some vocal tracks were recorded.

Drums with guide guitar and vocals were recorded on location at Berkley 2 studios with my equipment listed below.

Guitar tracks were recorded in 2011 at my home studio by close micing a mesa boogie guitar amp using an SM57 microphone. The bass was also recorded using a DI input on the Allen & Heath mixing desk. Some backing vocals were also recorded using an S.E. 4400a microphone.

Equipment used
  • Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 I/O
  • Beyerdynamic Opus 99 for kick drum
  • 2x Sennheiser E604 for toms
  • Shure SM57 for snare & guitars
  • 2x S.E. Electronics SE1a for overheads
  • S.E. Electronics 4400a for hi hat and backing vocals
  • 2x Shure SM58 for guide vocals & guide guitar
  • Bass recorded using DI
  • Allen & Heath Zed16R
  • Genelec 8040a monitor speakers

Patches - (Electronic Music Production)

As well as DJing across Glasgow from 2007-2014, I also produced, mixed and mastered some electronic music of my own under the name Patches.

In My Mind Remix - Aside from a hi-hat loop and a vocal sample all other sounds were programmed or played using Ableton Live with the Push controller. Bass and synth patches were programmed and not presets. The bass synth filter parameters were automated by recording my movements using the push controller.

Patches. · Heather Headley - In My Mind (Patches Remix)

Breakmode - (Electronic Music Production)

Co-produced with my friend Marc Carruthers, we created this track in a single night from scratch. Aside from using drum samples we programmed each sound using software synths and either played in or programmed the MiDi. The track was mixed and mastered by myself.

Patches. · Breakmode - Light Speed

The Other Two Sides (recording engineer)

Recorded in the singer's graphic design studio at Tobacco Merchants House in Glasgow. I used a Steinberg UR824 audio interface with Focusrite Octopre using ADAT as well as mostly my own microphones but hired a Neumann U89 microphone for the vocal tracks. Bass and drums were recorded live with guitars and vocals overdubbed.

The Other Two Sides · Changing Of The Season

Video Portfolio

I have had a keen interest in film making from a young age when I stole my dad's Hi8 camcorder from him in the early 2000's. Around the age of 12 I got the Lego movie maker stop motion camera for my birthday which ran on Windows 98. With this I learned how to make stop motion animation, I recreated the TV advert for Grand Theft Auto Vice City using lego as well as using clear sweetie wrappers to simulate water for the boat. I sadly lost that video on a hard drive failure many years ago.

HTML5 Canvas Animation

Below is an animation I created for a university project which was a movie props website where I decided to make the logo with an animated lightsaber with a sound.

HTML5 Canva not loaded.
Patched Media - Property Video Tours

Last year I invested in a Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless camera capable of recording 4k video. I've used this as a hybrid video and stills camera for my YouTube hobby and to learn shooting property videos.

This is my first property tour video having completed the following 2 courses:

Shot in 4k at 25p with 1/50th shutter speed using my Fujifilm X-T2 with XF 10-24mm lens, a Konova P1 80cm camera slider and Manfrotto tripod. Edited using Davinci Resolve Studio.

Some of the shots had some noise in them which wasn't noticeable on the camera screen when shooting. I removed this using Davinci Resolve Studio's Noise Reduction in the colour tab. I also used the qualifier, masks and keyframes to pinpoint the NR where it was needed in the darker areas of the rooms.

Basic Benchmarker - YouTube Channel

A year ago I started making videos for YouTube about gaming and computers, it's just for fun but I've been learning a lot about using my camera by doing it.

I've used a manual Konova P1 slider and a Manfrotto 502 fluid head to create smooth movements and make the shots more interesting.

The voice over was recorded by myself using an Mbox 2 mini and Rode M3 mic.

Exposure - University Project - Camera Operator

While I was at University we shot the above video as part of our media module where it was a group exercise and we all had to choose a role. I chose camera operator as I had the most experience using cameras. The camera was a semi-professional Canon Digital8 camcorder with a fluid head and a manfrotto video tripod. I used a sheet of white paper in each location to set a custom white balance.

As this was a Music Technology course we each had to record the audio for the same footage, the audio above was all recorded or created by myself including the foley. The elevator door opening sounds, although quite out of place and futuristic sounding, were created using a software synth and programmed from scratch. The samples used were elevator ding, drum samples in the flashback scenes and the song I co produced with my friend Marc, see the audio portfolio above.