Industry veteran Henry Edwards passed away on July 11 with his family around him. His decades-long pro audio career began at age 20, when he joined RG Jones as a technical engineer, working on location jobs with the BBC and independent television companies before moving on to Trident Studios in 1977 as technical manager of the recording studio, mix room, mastering and disc-cutting facilities.
There, he met a young Steve Angel, now HHB’s sales director, who had just arrived for his first day at work. “I went for an interview and they started me making tea right there and then,” recalls Angel. “Henry was kind enough to show me where the kettle was, and when he returned the next day he was surprised to find that I’d been there all night! I had to prepare for a Brand X session later that day, and I’d never seen a multitrack tape recorder before, let alone lined one up. If Henry hadn’t been patient enough to show me how, my career in the recording industry probably wouldn’t have lasted more than 24 hours.”
In 1981, Edwards joined CTS and Lansdowne Studios, where, as technical manager of the recording complex, he witnessed the transition from analog to digital recording, helping the studio become one of the first all-digital multitrack recording facilities.
According to Chris Hollebone, then at Sony, “They were the pioneering days of Sony’s CD mastering systems and DASH digital multitracks, and Henry was very much in the hot seat. While the feedback we received from some early adopters was perhaps understandably a little emotionally charged, the feedback we received from Henry was always carefully analyzed, fully documented and professionally delivered. Henry played a very important part in the digital audio revolution of the 1980s, and, of course, he did it in his typically modest and understated way.”
In 1992, Edwards took a position as technical manager at Masterpiece Mastering (formerly Copymasters) with responsibility for all technical aspects of the nine-room facility. Six years later, he joined HHB as new products manager, where he worked on the PortaDrive and FlashMic, among other products, and developed the nickname “The Old Speckled Henry.”