Nick Angell set up Angell Sound back in 1979 in a basement in Floral Street, Covent Garden: there was one studio, a lot of half-empty coffee cups and not much daylight. Since then, the business has grown significantly and its new fifth-floor premises in Wardour Street boast views across London, five studios and any amount of complex electronic gizmos. The coffee cups are still there, of course.
So, what is it that people value about Angell? Zoe Dale, the specialist radio producer at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, has known Nick for years, but says it is still difficult to put a finger precisely on the contribution he makes. "It's quite often invisible," she says. "But it's to do with being a safe pair of hands. Nick approaches every job with the same level of enthusiasm: from a full-blown, sprawling post-production project to a little test campaign."
It is also clear from what people say that Angell is not just an engineer - he gets involved in casting, production and directing. Dale says: "If you see a script where the creative team are suggesting a big-name actor who needs careful handling, I immediately think of Nick. He's good with actors - in fact, he's good with people full stop."
He seems to be good with creatives, too. Al Young, the executive creative director at St Luke's, has worked with Nick many times. Young says: "He notices ten times more things about a recording than you do yourself, but he won't force you to take his view if you have a different idea."
Young also identifies the value such a specialist can be outside the studio. "What I really value with Nick is to be able to phone him up and say: 'We're thinking about this kind of approach, what do you think about that?' He'll always have a useful point of view."
These people skills ensure Angell is regarded with great affection and admiration by those who work with him. As Dale says: "He's a person you would absolutely trust. In this business, 'reliable' means a lot."