The UK theatre sound industry primarily consists of individuals working in a freelance capacity, who until the existence of the ASD rarely met and had little means for professional development. Our aim is to provide a community and a variety of educational and support networks - both online and in real life. We offer assistance to those who live far away from industry centres like London to be able to travel to our training events. We offer the loan of recording equipment to those who might otherwise struggle to access it. We also exist to provide a mouthpiece for the industry - to vocalise the issues our members face, and to improve their working lives. We also provide resources and open access training to non-members and the rest of the industry.
The Association of Sound Designers advocates for a diverse and inclusive theatre sound community, in which all members, regardless of race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, mental health, nationality, language, religion, belief, or socioeconomic background can work with dignity and in safety.
All ASD members are expected to take responsibility for creating inclusive, productive working environments that are positive and supportive. As Theatre Sound professionals, we also have a responsibility to raise concerns we may have about unsafe working experiences and to stand up for others in vulnerable positions, where appropriate and possible.
The ASD is committed to support and empower its members to work freely and creatively, in environments in which everyone can be themselves, respected, valued, and feel that their voices are heard.
Private discussion forum and closed Facebook group
Where you can create and discuss topics with some of the best sound designers in the world. Or ask a really stupid question without getting judged.
We run regular training seminars for our members and they are always free to attend.Recent seminars include:
Network Audio | Introduction to Ableton Live 10 | AutoCAD for Beginners | QLab training | Foley Sound | Digital Comms Masterclass
If you are based in the UK and live more than 50 miles from one of our training events, we aim to pay 33% to 50% of the cost of a standard saver return rail fare to get you there- see here for more details, terms & conditions.Social events
We're establishing regular social meetings for members to meet, socialise & network:
- New Year Drinks on the first Friday each January
- Summer Social, a social in the summer!
- And we run social events and drinks to coincide with events we organise.
News and features
- The Echo magazine and The Herald e-newsletter. Read some of our back issues here.
The Echo magazine focuses on the art and business of theatre sound, with behind-the-scenes interviews and showcases, and a range of resources to educate better business practise. We also give away The Echo at trade shows throughout the year.
The Herald newsletter focuses on events and equipment, highlighting imminent training seminars from us and our partners, as well as wider topical sound issues and news. Non-members can sign up to receive the Herald here.
All of our members appear in our online directory and can allow you to be contacted by others.
Public Liability Insurance (£10 million) and Professional Indemnity Insurance
We provide Public Liability Insurance (£10 million coverage) and Professional Indemnity Insurance (£1 million) for Professional membership categories. Corporate and NCO members can also be covered for freelance work they do outside their normal employment. Click here for more details. This is available as an extra cost, currently £50 per year, charged pro-rata to the end of the membership year.
25% off Mandy (previously known as Stage Jobs Pro) Premium Accounts
To enable access to professional recording equipment, we have partnered with the National Theatre, to provide a range of pro-audio equipment, from location recording equipment, binaural heads to SMAART systems, to borrow for a week at a time. Click here for more details.
In conjunction with Edenred, we are offering a range of benefits and discounts to our members, including discounts on Apple products, car hire, hotel rooms, travel insurance and a range of other products.
Enjoy a free subscription to LSI Magazine either Print or Digital - more info here.
ASD Mentorship Scheme
The Mentorship Scheme is open to Professional, Future Professional, NCO and Associate members of the ASD and aims to connect anyone working, preparing to work, or in enforced pause from work in theatre sound, to helpful and inspiring one on one conversations with peers or mentors.
Whether you are a future professional looking for advice on how to shape your career aims, a professional looking for peer to peer learning on a specific area of interest, or conversations to spark new ideas, the mentorship scheme can match and connect you with like-minded, or experienced sound professionals from across the community, for useful conversation, practical help and unique insight.
There is no defined format for communication. This may take the form of emails, phone calls, online video interactions or on the job shadowing.
As of 2023 there is financial support available for some Mentor/Mentee programs. This is by application, details of which can be found below.
We are becoming the go-to organisation to respond to matters affecting our industry - whether it's about the US Tony Awards or to write an article for The Stage. Having an industry mouthpiece is key to getting our issues heard in the wider industry.
We are taking active steps towards promoting sound design - appearing at trade shows, publishing directories of practitioners and sponsoring exhibitions of sound designers work from the V&A to the Prague Quadrennial .
We are seeking to improve conditions in our industry - from undertaking research into fees and daily rates for sound designers and engineers, to tackling issues such as gender imbalance.