Paul Hodges’s home page


(jenny pic) (lucy pic) (polly pic) (penny pic)
Jennifer RIP Lucy (aka Thug) RIP Polly (the WMD) RIP Penny

Other dog pictures: Jenny and Lucy, Lucy and Polly, Polly's album, Ziggy and Gilda.

Sound Recording

A very long time ago I worked briefly for the BBC as a Studio Manager (SM), at that time aka Programme Operations Assistant (POA), a period which I remember with great affection.

After leaving the BBC for a varied career in the world of computers I kept up an interest in music and sound recording, and I have recently recorded, edited and mastered several commercial recordings, of music by Bill Hopkins, Justin Connolly, Michael Finnissy, George Gershwin, James Clarke (Island), Gwyn Pritchard (raum greift aus) and Earle Brown (Tracking Pierrot), as well as recording many concerts for private use; the Schumann here is from one of these concerts.

I own a number of AKG microphones (two C414B-ULS, and several Blue Line), which I use in Blumlein, MS or ORTF configurations as I see fit. The mic amp is an Amek 9098 DMS, or a Mackie 1402 mixer if more than two mics are in use. Location recordings have gone direct to DAT, but studio recordings have gone to disk via a Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe 24/96 soundcard. More recently, location recordings have been made in ambisonic surround, horizontal only, like Nimbus, using three of the Blue Line microphones and a MOTU Traveler interface connected to a small Dell laptop computer. I now have the choice of a Core Sound TetraMic, a SoundField SPS200, or a Brahma (from Embrace Cinema Gear), all of which can make a fully 3-D ambisonic recording. Recording is done using AudioMulch, and other audio recording and editing software is Adobe Audition (formerly Syntrillium Cool Edit) and Steinberg Wavelab.


I like to sing in choirs, both large and (preferably) small, and have been in quite a number over the years: Christ Church Cathedral (as a boy, 1955-60), the Oxford Bach Choir as a student (1965-68), the Weald Music Society in Crawley (1971-75), the Cherwell Singers in Oxford (1981-84), the Steeple Aston Singers (1990-92), and the Farrant Singers and St John Singers in Salisbury (1991-93). I am now singing in the Cherwell Singers (2004- ) again. As well as singing, I was a founder (1987) and, for a time (1990-92), chairman of Opera Exchange, an opera group based near Oxford (which later metamorphosed into Oxford Touring Opera, now defunct).

As a student I once played harpsichord continuo (properly, from a figured bass) in a performance of Handel's Samson, but I was never asked to do it again! Also as a student, I was involved in the building of pipe organs. I went as far as trying to join an organ building firm as a possible career, but was prevented by apprenticeship rules.

In about 1990, I edited for a performance (from copies of the original manuscripts) a previously unpublished version of Haydn's solo cantata Arianna a Naxos, which has subsequently been published by Doblinger (they got my name wrong on their web site, I see).


Some old photos:

The house in Hackney where I lived (before we moved back to Oxford) with my wife Vivien, and a view of the back; some lilac and a barn in my back garden when I lived in Charlton on Otmoor near Oxford; the dogs I had then; the younger one, Gilda; my piano after it had been set on fire; views of Didcot power station and Christ Church meadows.


My job, and also a hobby (I use a computer for sound recording and editing). Of course, most of the companies I have worked for no longer exist, or are now unrecognisable.

In the early 1970s I worked for PMA Consultants of Horley, who have left no trace that I can discover. Then I went to Varian Data Machines, a part of the no longer extant Varian Associates empire that got sold off to Sperry Univac; my project was moved briefly into their Medical division, which is now the only survivor of Varian Associates. I then left Varian to set up my own company, Halarose, which is now not anything like what I started. I should say that through the whole of this period I was working on medical imaging systems; my work no longer survives, but people I worked with have carried on in that business. For instance, a group of engineers set up their own company, NodeCrest, after Varian Data Machines was sold; Halarose cooperated with them in the medical field, and they continued for a few years (later in the USA), but they appear to be no longer trading. The other founder of Halarose has set up his own company, Link Medical, selling the kind of systems I used to write.

I then had a period away from medical applications, working for Norsk Data at their peak when they were the second largest company in Norway; they subsequently broke up, leaving rumps in the UK and Pakistan which have now vanished. (Trivia fact: Tim Berners-Lee wrote his program that evolved into the World-Wide Web on a Norsk Data machine at CERN.) This was followed by a period writing systems for the pharmaceutical industry at CI Electronics (now CI Precision), many of whose instruments still contain the embedded code I wrote for them. Then some years running systems at QBS Software and lastly, until my retirement in early 2016, at the Oncology department at Oxford University, mainly for the OCTO clinical trials group (which no longer uses the web site I designed for it).

I can talk happily and with lots of out-of-date knowledge about, for instance: Algol-68, BCPL, Delphi, REXX, writing operating systems, fast real-time data acquisition, microprogramming, embedded systems, image processing, sound recording and editing, networking, IPv6, firewalls, and Internet RFCs.

For the convenience of one of my former employers I have qualifications from Microsoft and Redhat; it was strange to go back to doing exams in my 50s!