Oxford MP Nicola Blackwood Talks Recruitment at Solid State Logic
The firm currently employs 120 people locally (160 globally) and has an array of vacancies in Begbroke in engineering, research and development and product support.
Nicola nominated Solid State Logic’s AWS 948 SuperAnalogue™ mixing console for the Made by Britain project, organized by the Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group. All 650 MPs have been asked to find a product that is manufactured in their constituency, with the aim of building up a diverse and comprehensive picture of British industry today.
31-year-old Nicola was given a tour of SSL’s two-story glass factory, built in 1998 by award-winning architect Michael Hopkins, and saw how audio consoles are assembled from their constituent parts. She was also shown the Product Demonstration building which houses six acoustically treated and fully equipped sound studios, each with an array of SSL consoles and smaller products.
Nicola has strong musical credentials herself. A trained classical singer, she gained a First in Music at St Anne's College, Oxford and an M.Phil. in Musicology from Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Nicola said: “It’s great to see a local company doing so well internationally in the music and broadcast industries – and recruiting at a time when unemployment is rising. I have enjoyed seeing behind the scenes at SSL, seeing the consoles at various stages of assembly on the factory floor, and going to the actual studios to see the finished products in action. I’ve spent time in recording studios before but have never got involved in the production side. After today I understand a bit more about the technology that allows producers and engineers to record and mix audio, and see why Solid State Logic are considered leaders in their industry.”
Antony David, Managing Director of Solid State Logic, adds: “We have enjoyed the opportunity to show Nicola around, and welcome her positive response to our business. We consider ourselves lucky to be positioned in Oxford where there is such a formidable pool of talent within a commutable radius. Of course the macroeconomic climate is affecting the industries we operate in – music, broadcast and post – but the company is growing nonetheless. We have a strong reputation for technological innovation and customer service, and have diversified our product range over recent years to appeal to wider markets. All of this adds up to increased demand, which is why we are on a recruitment drive.”
Solid State Logic was founded in 1969 in the village of Stonesfield, seven miles from the current site in Begbroke, by the late Colin Sanders. His twin passions were church organ music and recording music. He chose the name Solid State Logic because in its early incarnation, his company was the first to manufacture solid-state control systems for pipe (church) organs. He introduced what was then cutting-edge technology (transistors and FET switches), which replaced the older space-consuming electro-mechanical systems.
Colin invented the world’s first analogue mixing console with an integrated computer in 1970, originally for his own private use, but word soon spread and he started manufacturing them commercially. Today the company has established itself as a world-leading manufacturer of audio technology for music, broadcast and post production. SSL consoles of varying shapes and sizes are used all over the world by recording studios, artists, producers and broadcasters.
SSL is owned by musician Peter Gabriel (his own Real World Studios in Wiltshire has an SSL 72 channel SSL 9000 XL K series console installed in its main studio, the Big Room).