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The Essential List: Alex Bingham

Machine senior sound designer lays his audiophile credentials bare, along with his almost religious dedication to white wine

The Essential List: Alex Bingham

For 15 years Alex Bingham has been laying down sound design and music composition at some of London’s top audio shops, so it comes as no surprise that his so many of his Essential List picks are of an audiophile nature. Now senior sound designer at London boutique sound and music production company Machine, he’s worked with tonnes of brands over the years, including the real biggies (Nike, adidas, Guinness) and has had his craft recognised at the Emmys, Creative Circle, Promax, MASA and the British Arrows. We have it on good authority that he loves noodling on a synth and a cheeky slap bass solo. Get to know him.


Lifestyle

o Place of birth: Rochford near Southend, Essex 

o Hometown: Leigh-On-Sea

o Staycation: London Town

o Vacation: Latecomer to the chilled side of Ibiza

o Pet: Vicarious dog borrowing

o Place of work: Machine  

o Place of workout: The pub, unfortunately

o Side project: Playing bass with Igor Volk ex New Young Pony Club and Punk Disco band Spektrum

o Mode of transport: A pied/TfL

o Bonus Travel Essential: Sound on Sound Magazine


Culture

o Artist: Basquiat

o Musician: Prince/Jamie Lidell/Cody Chesnutt/D’Angelo/Talking Heads

o Commercials / music video director: Sara Dunlop / Ninian Doff

McDonalds 'It Must Be' from Sara Dunlop on Vimeo.

o Film director: Kubrick

o Photographer: Annie Liebowitz

o Film: There Will Be Blood

o Series: Currently Ozark. All time?….The Wire. I’m STILL heartbroken from season four

o Commercial: BBH - Audi Birth. Seen it a million times and still gives me goosebumps



o Music Video: Sabotage - Beastie Boys

o Video Game: Diddy Kong Racing, old school

o Board Game: Guess Who 

o Book: The Shining

o Graphic Novel: Habibi - Beautiful and brutal fairytale of two escaped child slaves.

o Podcast: John Robins and Elis James Radio X Podcast - very moreish indeed, it’s like they are my real friends. Also loving the Blindboy Podcast at the moment, his recent interview with Spike Lee is great.

o Newspaper (off or online): BBC News website

o Magazine: Sound On Sound - from music college until present it’s been a regular. Shiny posed pictures of sexy expensive music equipment, mixed with down-to-earth reviews and advice. 

o Bonus Culture Essential: Giles Peterson Worldwide 


Food and Drink

o Breakfast: Eggs Benedict - posh - Bacon sandwich on white - home. 

o Restaurant: Sing Buri Thai Cafe in Leytonstone E11

o Cheap bite: Macca’s

o Working lunch: Pure vibes

o Favourite Dish: My mum’s rib dish. I’m sure everyone says this about their mum’s cooking but… it really should be patented. It’s the stuff of legend in our family and beyond. They are five-spice-y, sticky, sweet and v v tasty

o Signature Dish: Chilli. A must have is star anise and chipotle, the frying off of the mince property is essential for ultimate flavour

o Snack: Biltong

o Guilty Pleasure: Chocolate Hobnobs, they broke the mould with this legend.

o Bar: The Railway Hotel in Southend

o Booze: White wine (see photo)

o Not Booze: Copella - Apple and Elderflower 

o Bonus Food: Any curry by my grandmother.

o Bonus Beverage: Lager


Kit

o Phone: iPhone 8

o Computer: iMac

o TV: Samsung 40”, Classic model, great size.

o Headphones: P7 - Bowers & Wilkins. At the time I was assisting and this was a very extravagant purchase. I used to have a mega commute on the Central Line everyday so I justified it to myself. It’s hot, sweaty, smelly and rattly, these puppies helped me through    

o Camera: iPhone 8

o Soundsystem: Just got given some old Goodmans Acromat speakers by a mate. I’ve danced around these many times over the years and now they are mine! They run off an old Technics amp. 

o Pen / pencil: File line black marker 

o Where you document an idea: The sound recorder or music memo app on my iPhone.  An idea usually emerges waiting for a bus, the challenge is to make it seem like you are having a conversation with someone on the other end, but really you are whispering silly noises. When I have time to kill, I trawl through and rate or delete it.

o Casual Clothing: Carhartt

o Smart Clothing: Reiss

o Footwear: Air Max 90

o Watch: Never been a watch guy since my Flik Flak.

o Collection: Music Equipment. Latest purchase is a lifetime dream, a 1976 P-bass, I have found my soulmate. 

o App: Instagram - Love it

o Website: Music Radar. I check it religiously in case a synth comes out that I will never buy and can’t afford.

o Blog: Mark Kermode

o Work program: Pro tools, Logic and Ableton in that order.

o Digital work tool: Decapitator by Sound Toys. There’s been zillions of distortion plugins since, but this just does an amazing job, simple and great. 

o Analogue work tool: Contact Mic

o Morning grooming / makeup essential: A good cry, then apply Sex Panther

o Bonus Kit Essential: My Fender Rhodes Mark 1, it’s an electric piano. Just a beautiful sounding thing, as heard in great effect on the theme to the ‘70s show Taxi.

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