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Engineers’ music of the week

The team strive to ensure the ‘do anything’ attitude that Real World is famous for remains at the forefront of everything we do. An assistant engineer is provided for every studio session to help make visiting engineers comfortable – they know the studio and equipment inside out. We also have experienced engineers who can be booked onto your session.

Oli Jacobs, Head Engineer

A lover of music from an early age, Oli studied classical singing, drum kit and piano to a high level before graduating from the prestigious Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey. Following a placement year as assistant engineer to Peter Gabriel, he rejoined the Real World Studios team in 2014.

In 2017 Oli worked on records with artists including The Vamps, Stornoway, Lenny, Hannah Peel, Simon Phillips and Erland Cooper. He recorded the soundtrack for a Volvo advert, produced/mixed the Christmas campaign for Nokia and produced the soundtrack for feature film, Starfish. 2018 began with a session in Abbey Road 2 followed by a trip to record in Trondheim, Norway – both with musician Amira Medunjanin. He worked on a further two album projects with producer Ethan Johns, an album with Freya Ridings and sessions with Sub Focus and Wilkinson.

In 2019, Oli recorded and/or mixed projects with Erland Cooper, The Breath, Fofoulah, Liam Payne, James Everingham, Meta & The Cornerstones, RIOPY, Zands & Louise Duggan, Snow Ghosts and Big Big Train. He programmed and mixed adverts for Nike and restored and mixed a challenging live recording from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performing at WOMAD festival in 1985.

Oli also recorded and mixed a live album for Madness at Kenwood House with an orchestra (arr. David Arnold) and worked on Harry Styles’ second solo album, earning credits on six tracks.

With his seemingly limitless energy and enthusiasm, extraordinary technical ability and vast experience on a diverse range of music, there’s no project Oli can’t handle, in the studio or on location.


Full list here


Engineering and/or Mixing – Guy Garvey, Cat’s Eyes, Amira Medunjanin, Aqualung, Eliza Carthy, Chris Linton, 9Bach, Liam Payne, Erland Cooper, Chris De Burgh, The Breath, Bløf, Toto La Momposina, Simon Phillips, Hannah Peel, Stornoway, Madness, Sub Focus, Cara Dillon, The Vamps

Assistant Engineer – Van Morrison, Tom Jones, Paloma Faith, Harry Styles, Marillion, Michael Ball, Neil Cowley Trio, Peter Gabriel, Courteeners, Boy & Bear, I’m With Her, Algiers, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Freya Ridings

Oli Middleton, Engineer

Oli joined us full time in 2018 and has since established himself as an accomplished member of the Real World engineering team. A graduate from the University of Surrey’s Tonmeister course, Oli also completed a year’s placement at the studio during 2017/18. Always smiling, Oli is full of energy, and combines his broad technical knowledge with a keen ear and diverse musical taste.

His engineering credits include: Indigo Girls, Liza Pulman, Jacky Naylor, David Mrakpor, Young Waters, Lili Cros.

Oli has also worked on sessions for a number of artists including: Harry Styles, Tom Jones, Robert Plant, Nick Mulvey, Jorja Smith, Van Morrison, HYUKOH, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Hannah Peel, Blue Lab Beats, Roger Waters, Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, Steel Banglez, Liam Payne, Richard Spaven, Alfa Mist, Loney Dear, Neil Cowley, Elbow, The Vamps, The Breath, Ethan Johns, George Ogilvie.

Patrick Phillips, Associate Engineer

Patrick began his career in the recording studios of the North of England, before studying at the University of Surrey, where he graduated from the world-renowned Tonmeister Music and Sound Recording course. Recruited by Abbey Road Studios as an assistant, he spent two years working on large-scale orchestral recordings, before joining the Real World Studios team in 2011. With his passion, creativity and ability to think outside the box, Patrick quickly garnered acclaim for his innovative approach to recording music in all genres.


Engineering and/or Mixing

The Breath, Nick Mulvey, Rag’n’Bone Man, Marina and the Diamonds, Peter Gabriel & OneRepublic, John Metcalfe, Thomas Bartlett, 9Bach, Chris De Burgh, Kairos 4Tet, The Smoke Fairies, Stealing Sheep, Blue Lab Beats

Assistant Engineer

9Bach, The Gloaming, Alison Sudol, Elbow, John Metcalfe, Spiro, Ludovico Einaudi, Kate Bush, Susan Boyle, Tom Jones, Guy Garvey, Van Morrison, Lady Gaga, Bruno Major, Goldfrapp, Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, The Heavy, Taylor Swift, Mark Ronson, Anna Calvi, The Strypes, Pretty Vicious, The Courteeners, The Vamps

Scott Barnett, Associate Engineer

Scott is an engineer and programmer with a flair for creativity, dedicated work ethic and ability to develop artistic ideas. He first began working in recording studios in 2010 as assistant for Peter Gabriel, earning additional engineering credits on the orchestral album New Blood and as mix assistant/5.1 editor on the subsequent 3D film Live in London

After graduating from the renowned Music & Sound Recording “Tonmeister” course at the University of Surrey, Scott began his freelance career. This led to work for composer Harry Gregson-Williams at his studio and on live film seminars. He has always kept close links with Real World, working on sessions ranging from Jeff Beck to Beyoncé, plus a range of local artists. 

Scott has worked on live shows as a programmer and playback engineer for artists such as London Grammar, Rita Ora, George Ezra, Paloma Faith and Stormzy – including his critically-acclaimed Glastonbury 2019 performance. He has mixed FOH for artists including Rex Orange County, Oh Wonder, Birdy, NAO, John Grant and The Heavy. 

Scott is also an accomplished guitarist with a passion for experimenting and creating unique sounds using a range of effects pedals and amps, and a specific interest in analog tape recording. 


Engineer and/or Mixing

Peter Gabriel, Jeffrey Cain, Samuel Yirga, Tony Anderson, Amanda Cook, Chris Wells, Broken Bones Matilda, Antoine Owena, Rockschool 2019 syllabus.

Assistant Engineer

Jeff Beck, Beyoncé, Bernard Sumner, Hot Chip, Neil Cowley Trio, Cleo Sol, Dub Colossus, Portico Quartet, Harry Gregson-Williams.

“The superb team ensure that all you have to think about is making a great record. The house engineers really know their stuff and, most importantly, totally engage with sessions; making my time at Real World incredibly productive and enjoyable.”
Chris Porter (Take That, Wham, George Michael, Chris de Burgh, Elton John, David Bowie)

Support Staff

Tim Oliver, Senior Consulting Engineer

With over 35 years of recording experience and 20 years running his own small but successful studio, Tim is well qualified to ensure that Real World Studios maintains the standards expected of a world-class recording facility. He keeps a watchful eye on the quality of the rooms, equipment and engineering, supporting and balancing the youthful energy of the staff engineers.

Starting his career in Manchester, back in its heyday, Tim engineered for some of the city’s biggest names, including New Order, ACR, Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. With his own project studio now based on the Real World site, he’s recently worked with Robert Plant, Ludovico Einaudi, Sinead O’Connor and Brix Smith.

Lisa Murton, Bookings Coordinator

Lisa has devoted her life to working at Real World, ensuring sessions are easy to book and run smoothly. Arriving fresh out of school and working her way up to the post of Studio Coordinator, she knows the Studios inside out and is on hand to cater to all session requirements.

Olly Seber, Studio Technician

Olly Seber joins us as our Studio Technician from the University of Surrey’s Tonmeister course. Olly spent his placement year as a Hardware Design Intern at Focusrite.

Dom Shaw, Assistant Engineer

Dom joins us on his placement year from the University of Surrey’s Tonmeister Course. Real World has a long association with the University; the Peter Gabriel team have been employing a placement student from there for around 10 years. The commercial studio only began taking placement students in 2016 and it is a tradition we hope to continue.

Past studio placements:
Katie May (2018-19)
Fraser Latimer (2017-18)
Oli Middleton (2016-17)