Oscar Goodwin is on a different wavelength to most 16 year olds.
The sound engineer has received praise from local veterans in the sonic space as a dynamic, one›to›watch talent.
He recently added sound engineer at the Rhythm & Alps pre-party to the mix of his achievements.
Oscar’s passion for music began early — his mother’s side of the family were all musicians and he joined them, playing guitar from a young age.
‘‘Just strumming chords . . . still just strumming chords now, then I got into drums properly when I was about 9 and wanted to be a touring drummer on the big stages.
‘‘That was what I wanted to do until I was about 12 or 13,’’ he said.
He attended Yami, a music summit for high school pupils, and that sparked the transition into producing and sound engineering which he had been doing consistently for the past four years.
He started using a mixing desk at school and spent most of his lunchtimes practising in the music room at Mount Aspiring College.
‘‘And then every gig I’d go to, I’d just kind of stare at the sound desk engineer awkwardly until he’d show me what he’s doing and that’s sort of how it started.’’
He practised his sound engineering with local band Powder Chutes and he still works with them now.
‘‘They’re really crucial in my career so far.’’
He played alot of gigs with Powder Chutes and also learnt a lot as the band grew. When he goes into a new venue, the first thing he does is look at the space and the corners and consider how they reflect off each other. ‘‘You don’t want lots of flat surfaces in an empty room,’’ he said. He assessed how flat the roof and back walls were and then continued on from there.
‘‘In a big hall, it does get hard and you’ve just got to make it work with a lot of EQing . . .
‘‘In a studio situation, I’d fill it up with different fabrics and mattresses, so you can get proper soundproof insulation and make it nice and dead,’’ he said.
He used the example of clapping and hearing an echo.
‘‘Ideally, we don’t want it to echo. You want it to be nice and flat sounding.’’
In his final year at school, Oscar credited his music teachers at Mount Aspiring College and local businesses for his career support and progression.
‘‘My music teacher, Mat Doyle, jas helped me a lot.
‘‘He’s been legendary actually.
‘‘I definitely wouldn’t be here without him and then just working with Tom Tom productions and sound people a lot,’’ Oscar said.
He started working with Queenstown-based Fidelity Sound System, who provided the sound systems for events such as Rhythm & Alps atthe end of December.
‘‘I started working with Steve [from Fidelity] . . .and have been doing a lot of gigs with him.
‘‘He’s taken me under his wing, which is really nice of him.’’