Swift Professional Audio was founded in 2013 by Andy Partington, after more than twenty years of work at the BBC, to provide professional Sound Engineering services to the Broadcast Media and other industry sectors.
Andy graduated from Imperial College, London in 1989 with a B.Eng (Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and joined the BBC’s Engineering Department in London. After completing the Engineering (ETSI) training, he worked in various teams to maintain studio and broadcast infrastructure, and install new equipment and systems.
In 1993, he made a temporary move to become a Studio Manager (or “SM”, the BBC’s term for a studio-based Sound Engineer) at the World Service, and found the combination of both technical and creative aspects of the job more satisfying than Engineering alone. At the end of this attachment, instead of returning to the Engineering Department, he switched permanently to the programme-making side of the industry, working as a News and Current Affairs SM for the next four years on a wide range of complex live and pre-recorded programmes in London’s Broadcasting House.
After leaving the capital in 1998, he had a spell at the Open University Production Centre in Milton Keynes, recording and editing sound for course materials and television broadcasts, before moving to BBC Birmingham in 2000 and remaining there for the next thirteen years.
Beginning at Pebble Mill and later moving to The Mailbox, Andy’s wide ranging work included: editing complex Radio 4 features on SADiE; various light entertainment, music and sports Outside Broadcasts; Radio Drama studio mixing and post-production work; boom operation on BBC1’s “Doctors”; mixing live phone-in and magazine-style programmes for Radio 5Live; and assisting on music recording sessions for BBC Radio 2 Big Band and Blues session. One particular highlight of Andy’s time with the BBC was spending three weeks in Athens as part of the OB team for the 2004 Olympics.
Radio Drama became a speciality, and in 2005 he took the lead technical role with the Asian Network’s daily drama “Silver Street” and remained in this post for four and a half years, overseeing the recording and sound design of over 1200 episodes. Mixing the studio recording sessions and post-producing this fast-paced contemporary drama was a hugely enjoyable technical and artistic challenge.
After Silver Street finished its run on air in 2010, Andy returned to the Birmingham Audio Team working across the whole range of National Radio Network programmes. He retained a strong interest in Drama, recording and post-producing plays for the Asian Network and Radio 4, as well as regularly working on The Archers and its spin-off Ambridge Extra.
As the BBC progressively reduced the scope of Birmingham’s contribution to national broadcasting, Andy decided the time had come to seek new challenges and offer his skills and experience to a wider range of clients. He founded Swift Professional Audio to offer friendly, efficient and dependable sound services to media companies and other industries requiring high quality audio. With almost a quarter of a century of experience and contacts, if Andy can’t help you directly on this occasion, he may be able to recommend someone who can!