Career Ladder: Tony Gayle, Freelance Sound Engineer/Designer

Career Ladder: Tony Gayle, Freelance Sound Engineer/Designer

Tony Gayle

Tony Gayle, Freelance Sound Engineer/Designer, talks to us about his career and life lessons. 

Date Published: 19 July 2019

Tell us about your early life. What were your goals and dreams?

Growing up in South London, I only had aspirations of becoming professional footballer and playing for Arsenal and England! I was fortunate enough to have some footballing talent and if it were not for a long term injury, maybe it would have been a different story today.

I was always interested in Drama and Arts at school but never pursued it further until my late teens when my short footballing career ended. This is when I discovered there was more to Drama and Arts than standing on stage in front of an audience...backstage was a thing!

Talk us through your career journey. What were the influential periods, or experiences?

I completed a BTEC National Diploma in Stagecraft and levitated towards the sound element of Theatre. Growing up in a West Indian family ensured music was ingrained me!

I was sent on work placement in the last year of my course to the leading sound equipment supplier and design company in London, Autograph Sound who specialise in musical theatre and live sound events.

Autograph were suitably impressed with my raw and eager determination to work with sound equipment and offered me a full-time role upon completion of my placement. That was back in 1993 and I stayed for 18 years before leaving for new adventures and challenges within the theatre sound world and beyond, eventually establishing myself as a Production Sound Engineer and Associate Sound Designer.

In 2012 I formed Tony Gayle Audio Ltd and continued to offer sound design, production sound services, audio consultancy, and audio crew.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

I have had many proud moments in my career including being the founder of The Audio Cartel advisory and jobs group for over 2000 Sound Engineers and being on the committee but the moment that tops all of them is the call or email you get from a new client asking you to work with them. That always fills me with immense pride.

What are you working on at the moment?


The workshop of a new play with Goodchance, followed by a hectic few months with new and current productions of The Book of Mormon Tour, Matilda UK & International Tour and a job in Johannesburg in between! I also regularly check in on my other shows I look after, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, Disney's Aladdin and The Book of Mormon. In addition to these, I try and keep my ear to the ground by designing drama colleges shows alongside my associates.


  • BTEC National Diploma Stagecraft, 1991 – 1993

  • City & Guilds Sound Engineering, 1994 - 1996


  • Freelance Sound Engineer/Designer, 2011 – Present

  • Autograph Sound Limited, 1993 – 2011

  • Fulham FC Apprentice, 1989 – 1991


Life Lessons

  1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, just make sure you learn from them.
  2. You will never know everything. We are constantly learning, every day is a school day.
  3. Be the best you can be as there is always someone waiting to take your place.


Tony Gayle: Sound Engineer / Sound Designer
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