Matt Galland, a graduate of Derby’s BSc (Hons) Sound, Light, and Live Event Technology program, thrives as a freelance audio engineer based in London. Originally from Preston, his journey epitomizes a practical passion for live events. Initially undecided, Matt found his calling in sound engineering during his studies. The course equipped him with vital technical skills and a resilient mindset. Initially overlooked, subjects like multichannel audio and soldering proved indispensable. Professionally, he has navigated corporate audio, festivals, venue mixing, band tours, and broadcast audio. Connections with Derby alumni, such as those at Wigwam Acoustics, facilitated his career trajectory. Recent work at a large Cambridge festival underscored the importance of continuous learning. Looking ahead, Matt aspires to deepen his expertise in live system tech work and broadcast audio.

Photo of Matt Galland

Matt Galland, Class of 2015



Current location:


Current job + employer:

Freelance audio engineer

What did you do/study prior to coming to Derby?

At college, I studied Maths, Psychology, Music Tech and Graphics. On the side, I was mixing pub gigs with a thrown-together PA from what I could get my hands on.

Why did you choose to go to the University of Derby?

At the time, there were few courses of its kind. I wanted to go to university but certainly knew that live events were the path I wanted to take. This course met all of my requirements and more, being both practical and academic.

Did you start the course with a specific focus or were you undecided?

I was undecided on what field of the industry I wanted to be in. I knew and liked doing sound, but also had an interest in lighting, too.

Did that focus change on the course? If so, how?

I wasn’t all that good at lighting, and leant more towards sound as I understood it better, eventually focussing my final year towards it.

Has that focus changed on graduating? If so, how?

Since graduating, I’ve stayed in the field of audio and tried to master my skills there. But the course taught me all about the other fields which helps every now and again.

What was the most useful thing you learned on the course?

I guess how to be open yet scientific in my learning. The industry and technology it’s built with is always evolving, and the course gave me a brilliant theory background to build from but continue to learn and adapt with new equipment and updates.

What did you learn on the course that you thought you’d never use, but that has come in handy during your career?

Multichannel audio and psychoacoustics.

What did you do on the course that you never thought you would enjoy?


What is your most memorable moment from Derby?

After the 6th week of trying, finding out all this time I had missed a forward slash from the start of my code and that’s why it wasn’t working.

What have you done professionally since graduating?

Started out by working heavily in corporate audio once I graduated, with the intention of working towards mainly doing concerts. I filled my festival season boots working back-to-back festivals on patch. I then started work at a local venue. Here’s where I learned a lot about mixing, mainly mixing monitors. I then landed an act mixing monitors for a 30-piece orchestra, before moving on to touring with Uriah Heep, mixing FOH for them. This took us into the pandemic where I delivered sofas for a while, but we’ll exclude that period. I then started working in broadcast audio whilst filling the rest of my time with system tech work for the first time. That’s what I do today, half my work is in broadcast audio and the other is in systems around the UK.

Have any Derby alumni or staff opened any doors for you? If so, who?

Yeah, I was originally put in touch with a Derby graduate working at Wigwam Acoustics. This was a great introduction to get my foot in the door and get a lot of work from them.

What is your most memorable moment from your career so far?

There are way too many to choose from! But recently I ran systems/FOH for a large festival in Cambridge. The line-up had some very big acts on it, and it was one of my first large-scale festivals in that role. I’d spent a lot of time over the pandemic learning and researching about system tech work, even referring back to what I’d learnt on the course, so it was a great feeling to have it all play out with some good results.

What are your future career plans/ambitions?

I ask myself this every year. What do I want to do next? And I can’t answer because there are so many options to choose from. But for now, I think I’ll stick to a mix of live system tech work, where I still have a lot to learn, and broadcast audio.

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