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RIP Mike Skeet
Old 27th January 2016
  #1
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Roland's Avatar
RIP Mike Skeet

It's with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of Mike Skeet. I don't know the specific date, but it was reported as being in December.

Many in this forum either knew him personally or through his many articles for various recording and hi-fi magazines over the years.

Mike was a former Telecoms engineer who had for many years recorded as a hobbyist before quitting work with BT to go independent as a freelance recording engineer. He was an humorous, highly intelligent, genius, if slightly eccentric character, with a lively mind and had a knowledge of near coincidence microphone techniques that in my view is unrivalled. I had the pleasure of working with him on a number of sessions over the last 20 years and his generosity with which he shared his knowledge will always remain with me. He left many great recordings that he did for various labels such as ASV and Naxos, many highly regarded.

There is a full obituary by Hugh Robjohn's who puts it far more eloquently than I, here:

Mike Skeet 1932 – 2015 «
Old 27th January 2016
  #2
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A big loss for the recording world. He left some interesting and original ideas about mid-side and other recording topics, some of which can be found under Saturn Sound.
Old 27th January 2016
  #3
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Anyone who has heard his work will know the consistently high quality recordings he produce, sometimes with quite modest equipment (though always good microphones). On a personal side, I will miss the times I spent with him talking about sound and techniques. Prior to his illness we had been discussing a periphonic microphone system that had come out of discussions we had and he was building a prototype using capsules that Soundfield had donated to him, sadly it didn't get beyond early experiments.
Old 27th January 2016
  #4
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There's a big void left where Mike led the field. I didn't spend a lot of time with him, mostly at microphone-based events, but he was always warm and happy to talk about ambisonics / periphonics. Sad times.
Old 27th January 2016
  #5
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Great Gent of the first Water, a venerable Blumleinist
Pointed me in the direction of an accurate capture with no bull ****e
Willingly lent me his sophisticated microphones
Sadly missed in this age of multi mic/multi track,synthetic soundstage.
Roger
Old 27th January 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
He left some interesting and original ideas about mid-side and other recording topics, some of which can be found under Saturn Sound.
I had a brief contact with Mike when I once built the analog mid-side matrix circuit that he published in Studio Sound (UK), 1987, pp 56-7. That simple hobby-box design (based on only two 5532A opamps, a few resistors and capacitors and a +15-0-15- volt power supply or battery) certainly raised my interest and understanding of MS the technique...and my appreciation of MS the man.
Old 27th January 2016
  #7
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Sad news. I never met Mike but it was his articles in a Hi-fi magazine back in the 1980s that got me into recording as a hobby - as it happens I still have that magazine and re-read his article just a couple of months ago. I bought my still trusty Calrec mics from his company.
Old 27th January 2016
  #8
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
It's with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of Mike Skeet. I don't know the specific date, but it was reported as being in December.
It was the 19th December.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Many in this forum either knew him personally or through his many articles for various recording and hi-fi magazines over the years.
Yes, he was a good friend of mine for over 30 years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
There is a full obituary by Hugh Robjohn's who puts it far more eloquently than I, here:

Mike Skeet 1932 – 2015 «
Thanks for the link - I knew Hugh was doing this and I was putting him in touch with a few of Mike's friends who could supply himwith info and "stories".

Mike didn't want a funeral and his family are doing as he wished - but there is a get-together being planned where Mikes friends can get together and give him a send-off, but I don't know the date yet.

A great loss and sadly missed.
Old 27th January 2016
  #9
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Roland's Avatar
Hi John, if you can let me know when and where, I would like to attend if possible.
Old 28th January 2016
  #10
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Hi John, if you can let me know when and where, I would like to attend if possible.
Will do
Old 31st January 2016
  #11
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That's sad to hear. As I left the UK at the end of the 1990'a I haven't seen him for many years but during that decade he was one of only about two people I would entrust recordings to if I couldn't cover them myself. Such an enthusiast across all aspects of audio! And a man after my own heart when it came to keeping things simple and, where appropriate, inexpensive. I introduced him to the possibilities of minidisc for location recording when that format was quite young, and in no time he had constructed a dual minidisc recording rig which I'm sure I saw him using at Wigmore Hall one night. Ever generous of spirit, he gave me such credit for that little tip that it was almost as if he credited me with the invention of it.

Eccentric indeed, as are the greatest Englishmen. And as are, perhaps, the greatest recording engineers? A very sad loss. If anyone is in touch with his family, please convey my condolences from the other side of the world.
Old 31st January 2016
  #12
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Another old friend of Mike Skeet here. He really did seem to know and play a part in the lives of many people. I will miss him very much.

Dave.
Old 1st February 2016
  #13
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Never knew the man, but love his recordings. Some of the binaural stuff sounds like you're really sitting there.

Itza RIP to the mad scientist.
Old 19th February 2016
  #14
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Mike Skeet

RIP Mike, I knew him for over 30 years and he helped me out lots of times as he lived just down the road from me, he was particularly helpful after I lost my sight and was struggling with being blind and trying to set-up my studio again after a house move - he will live on in my memories forever, one of a kind!
Old 19th February 2016
  #15
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Hi John, I'd be interested to know also, Hugh did say he'd let me know too but I just wanted to cover all corners, I only found out in early January when I went round to Mike's as he hadn't been answering my calls
Old 20th February 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ankin View Post
Hi John, I'd be interested to know also, Hugh did say he'd let me know too but I just wanted to cover all corners, I only found out in early January when I went round to Mike's as he hadn't been answering my calls
I am in communication with Tony Flynn, another good friend of Mike's, and we are trying to sort a get-together of Mike's friends.

I will post here when I know venue and date.
Old 20th February 2016
  #17
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I'd be interested in the get together as well

Mike helped me out when I was at Kingston University studying Music Technology
I was doing a dissertation on Binaural Recording, I spent a couple of fascinating afternoons with Mike and some of his creations!
He was always so generous with his time and knowledge

A true pioneer in Recording , RIP Mike
Old 22nd February 2016
  #18
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SOS magazine March edition has the same obit by Hugh Robjohns as cited above, as well as the "Garage Door' soundfile: Mike Skeet | Media
Old 27th February 2016
  #19
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Exclamation

The get-together of Mike's friends is scheduled for Saturday the 19th March at 12:30 in London.

Please send me a PM if you want to attend and I'll send you all the details I have.

John
Old 29th February 2016
  #20
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The get-together of Mike's friends is scheduled for Saturday the 19th March at 12:30 in London.

Please send me a PM if you want to attend and I'll send you all the details I have.

John
UPDATE

I understand that food is being laid on and there will be a £10 per head charge for this.

RSVP is required.

Please PM me and I'll let you have the full details of the venue and the e-mail to send the RSVP to.

It should be a good opportunity for us all to reminiss (and for Mike Ballance to hear all the stories for the book on Mike he is planning on writing).
Old 14th April 2016
  #21
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I've only just heard this week about Mike. I made about 15 albums with him, what a character. He recorded the first LP I wrote in the 80s which was pop(of sorts..) then lots of classical albums I produced in the 90s. It was the noise floor of his mic pre amps which enabled us to capture such great recordings. He also made me laugh, a lot. V sad.
Old 2nd August 2019
  #22
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Peter Allison's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver1972 View Post
I've only just heard this week about Mike. I made about 15 albums with him, what a character. He recorded the first LP I wrote in the 80s which was pop(of sorts..) then lots of classical albums I produced in the 90s. It was the noise floor of his mic pre amps which enabled us to capture such great recordings. He also made me laugh, a lot. V sad.
It was a few years since Mike Skeet died, and I have just listened to a recording that I did not know he recorded? He is down as Balance Engineer, its the same thing, is it not?
The record in question is that of an English pipe organ, situated in the Yorkshire town of Selby. Its on the "Abacus label" ABA 505-2, recorded in 1988
Indecently I collect versions of the main work on this album (Sonata in C) made on instruments all over the world, but this is still my reference
Old 26th August 2019
  #23
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Allison View Post
It was a few years since Mike Skeet died, and I have just listened to a recording that I did not know he recorded? He is down as Balance Engineer, its the same thing, is it not?
The record in question is that of an English pipe organ, situated in the Yorkshire town of Selby. Its on the "Abacus label" ABA 505-2, recorded in 1988
Indecently I collect versions of the main work on this album (Sonata in C) made on instruments all over the world, but this is still my reference

Though the term balance engineer is a little antiquated it usually means recording engineer. On an organ recording, if Mike was doing it, I would be surprised if it was anything other than a simple, single point system. He had a very good collection of the best microphones, things like Schoeps, Sennheiser, DPA formally B&K, a Soundfield and a Pearl DS60, among several others. I. Sure the recording is beautiful to listen too. ?
Old 26th August 2019
  #24
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Peter Allison's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Though the term balance engineer is a little antiquated it usually means recording engineer. On an organ recording, if Mike was doing it, I would be surprised if it was anything other than a simple, single point system. He had a very good collection of the best microphones, things like Schoeps, Sennheiser, DPA formally B&K, a Soundfield and a Pearl DS60, among several others. I. Sure the recording is beautiful to listen too. ?
Many thanks Roland,
it is what I thought. And the sleeve notes give a little info on the mics used and their positions in the building. And you are right, it is a beautiful recording, and incorporates ALL frequencies
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