Sound Czech

Jan Titlbach graduated in 2018. A drummer whose favourite instrument is actually the piano, Jan valued every module, whether he liked it or not, because he believes there is always something interesting or useful to take away.

Jan Titlbach standing in front of the main building holding his dissertation

I live in Prague where I work in a film post-production company, providing sound mixing and the whole audio post-production for movies. Mainly we do over-dubbing, providing Czech audio versions for non-Czech movies (Paramount, Warner, Netflix, and many more), recording with voice actors and finalising (mixing) the whole movie sound afterwards.

I’ve always been closer to music than to film, as I started to play drums at age seven. It would be a sin not to use facilities on Edge Hill for making music and learn everything about it. Thanks to EHU I was also able to try out many instruments and interfaces myself which was great and now I know what I could buy in the future, what is reliable and what is not.

A course highlight was writing sheet for string quartet, composing my own songs, recording them in the studio. It was a great opportunity to work with people with so much experience in the music/audio industry. Life advice from Gary Westhead and working in Parr Street Studios were also hugely rewarding experiences.

Last year I almost had no work, which sucked a lot. On the other hand, I had time for composing and mixing my own songs which were later released. Now it’s the opposite extreme. I have so much work at film post-pro, that I have no free time for myself whatsoever.

I took something from every course, whether understanding piano intervals in Music Theory modules or tutorials from industry professionals. Everything was great, really, and I’ll be honest here, even though I didn’t like every module, such as Digital Production where we had to code virtual programmes to make music, it was great to try it out, just to know these things exist.

If I could take one piece of kit with me to a desert island it would be a piano. The piano is the most beautiful instrument on earth…and I say this after 18+ years of playing drums!

Jan standing over his drumkit

My music idols these days are usually jazz or funk musicians. My idol drummers are people like Dave Weckl, Simon Phillips (Judas Priest, PhD, Toto), and Dennis Chambers (Parliament/Funkadelic, Santana). In terms of production it would be pop producers such as Greg Kurstin, Jay-Z, but even Bjorn Ulvaeus from Abba. It really depends…the important thing for me is the creativity and musicality when looking for good production.

Seeing The Who in Liverpool Arena was great, as well as Mark Knopfler, Uriah Heep, and Nickelback in Prague. But I also have great memories of small gigs I’ve played in or seen.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Balkan music. I love the 9/8 rhythms and changes of time signatures. I also like Kylie Minogue’s latest album and I can’t believe she still delivers quality pop after all these years. Cory Wong’s latest album is also cool – the smoothest funk out there!

I keep coming back to my vinyl collection. The Carpenters, Paul Simon’s Graceland or Jethro Tull often play in my living room. It’s good to benefit from these gems.

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