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Oxford MP Nicola Blackwood visits Solid State Logic

Music-loving MP meets the engineers and sound experts at Oxford-based facility, and talks about the console manufacturer’s current recruitment drive, writes Erica Basnicki.

Directors at Solid State Logic (SSL) in Begbroke, UK, invited local MP Nicola Blackwood in last week to see the firm’s manufacturing facility and to discuss its current recruitment drive. SSL employs 120 people locally (160 globally) and has an array of vacancies in Begbroke in engineering, research and development, and product support. Blackwood was given a tour of SSL’s two-story factory 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. Last year, Blackwood nominated SSL’s AWS 948 SuperAnalogue mixing console for the Made by Britain project, organised by the Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group. All 650 MPs in the UK had 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. Blackwood herself has strong musical credentials – 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. Said Blackwood: “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, added: “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.”