Kyle Marriott Headshot

Kyle Marriott


Live Sound National Lead

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Kyle Marriott Headshot
Kyle is a live sound engineer with a deep respect for sound systems and a career that's taken him from raves in the North West to the dust storms of Burning Man.

What did you do before joining dBs?  

I founded Neuron as an audio-visual company that honours its DIY roots by thinking differently and designing the right solution for the client. One that also isn’t ashamed to ask for help from its friends when needed! We’ve built systems for some incredible events and venues across the globe. Notoriously, The Void, Garden & Ballroom stages at Outlook & Dimensions festivals, plus the Temple at Glastonbury’s Common, the iconic Water Tower 360-degree stage at Waterworks, a 24-hour Midnight Sun festival in the Arctic Circle, the Blues Kitchen and more…

I’m also the A2 audio system designer & operator for Robot Heart; a 1970s open-top tour bus fitted out with 2 tons of custom, no expense spared, hifi-grade PA that drops heavy beats throughout the Nevada desert once a year at Burning Man. Mic’ing up a pristine Steinway on a dry lake bed in front of that beast with a dust storm rolling in makes you feel like Mad Max!

Occasionally, I consult on acoustic testing projects for aerospace & loudspeaker modelling or tour with emerging artists, such as Two Shell and Blackhaine, as the Front of House engineer. Coachella and Primavera are two recent highlights.

Why did you first get into audio engineering? 

When I realised that nobody in our rave crew (pre-Neuron) knew how the rig actually worked! Having a deep respect for sound system as a totem of power from attending Jah Shaka dances and AC/DC concerts as a teen, I saw the opportunity to figure out what goes on in that rack and inside of those speakers and make a place for myself in a community of people who let me be myself without judgement.

We did some very epic, very naughty parties across the North West and beyond.

Come 2008, I came to realise that my day job in IT wasn’t really giving me the same energy, and decided to “go legit”. Neuron was founded soon after, and ever since I’ve tried to find new ways to ensure you can have those powerful conversations in the dance – not because it’s quiet, but because it’s deep, clear & clean!

Any special areas of interest?  

I’m a self-aware nerd of all sorts. I like finding ways to integrate arts and technology – anything that stimulates the senses. I have an intimate knowledge of dubstep, from attending or providing the rig for much of its birth and blossoming, but I’m equally into weird & foreign films and love a good head-scratcher of a book. I dabble in 3D CAD & acoustic models, like to do a bit of typography and design, and enjoy writing snippets of code or building websites… I have a voracious appetite for content, hence the nickname ‘Wikylepedia’

What do you love most about what you do?

Honestly, it’s hearing and seeing the impact the events or venues have had on people’s lives. The difficult work of choosing the best options and making them all play well together is so worth it when you see those smiling faces in a crowd. It’s the quickest and best job satisfaction metric.

Tell us about your proudest career moment?

Being asked to design a sound system for the redesign of the Temple stage at Glastonbury in 2016 is up there. The ‘naughty corner’ is very close-knit, coming from the 90s traveller and rave scene, so there’s an element of trust placed in us because of our similar foundations.

I was asked to cover a circular, tiered amphitheatre of 45x45m with the brief, “No big pile of speakers. People should look at their friends, not worship a DJ or a rig.”

They had a big pitch from L-Acoustics - some 50 speakers - everywhere. My concept drew from the legendary Mancuso loft parties. I convinced my partners to ship Danley speakers from the States and Holland, and we did a demo of the setup for Steve Bedlam at Motion in Bristol – because hearing is believing – and sealed the deal.

What do you get up to outside of your role at dBs?

No matter what I do, I always end up doing something related to the circuit and industry - going to nights by DIY sound systems, seeing friends when they pass by on tour with amazing acts such as Foo Fighters or SZA, reading technology and science news or interesting research papers. I also like to travel, get deep in a series, movie or novel and build stuff – but it always comes back to the sound system somehow. That’s love, I guess!

Tell us something our students may not know about you?

I was a DJ for one night only at Intel’s 50th Anniversary party.

Pascal flew me out to California in July 2018 to deploy wirelessly distributed towers of Danley across three giant car parks around Intel’s San Jose headquarters. The officially sanctioned playlist hadn’t arrived in time for soundcheck. We only had a small window for air traffic control, so I had to find some music. I drew for some dub techno, as the least offensive or weird option from what was saved to my laptop’s hard drive at the time.

After the test, the producer came over and asked if I could play more of that for the entire show because it was much better than the glossy crap he’d heard in the meeting room. How could I say no? For five nights, I played deep cuts of pulsing bass while the thousands of staff – and their kids! – of this iconic chip maker piled onto the rooftops to watch an epic drone show of the famous Bunny Men from those 90s ads, floating in space.

Doubt I’d get a bigger gig than that, so haven’t touched the decks since.

I love hearing and seeing the impact that events or venues have had on people’s lives. The difficult work of choosing the best options and making them all play well together is so worth it when you see those smiling faces in a crowd.

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