Staff profile

Jon Burton

Senior Lecturer in BSc in Sound Lights and Live Event Technology and MSc in Sound Engineering Postgraduate Research Student


Engineering, Entertainment Engineering


College of Science and Engineering


School of Computing and Engineering


Markeaton Street, Derby Campus



Before joining the University in 2019, I had a long career in the music industry, working as a sound engineer, primarily in live concert touring. I have worked with many acts from Bryan Ferry to Radiohead, Biffy Clyro to The Prodigy. I have worked most recently as a Front of House engineer, but for many years as a monitor engineer. A chance invite to talk at an industry event ignited an interest in teaching and over the last twenty years, I have been giving guest lectures and masterclasses around the world.

In 2014, I decided to concentrate on education and enrolled at the University of York from where I graduated with an MSc in Music Tech. My passion remains sound and I am looking to pass on my many years of experience to the students at Derby.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the BSc (Hons) in Sound, Light and Live Event Technology as well as the MSc in Audio Engineering.

Professional interests

I am still involved with music and although I have stopped working as a touring sound engineer, I still maintain an active interest. Through my connections with industry, I am trying to build bridges between education and the various professions that make up my field of interest.

Research interests

I have a Research Master's in Music Technology and will be continuing my work on acoustics and psychoacoustics. I am continuing my research into audience perception and ways that we can improve the overall experience at concerts, particularly at larger events such as festivals and arena shows through a PhD.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a member of the Audio Engineering Society, the Institute of Sound and Communication Engineers and a Fellow of the HE Academy. In 2017, I was made a companion of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.


Recent conferences

AES Conference Struer Aug 2017, WIMP Huddersfield 2018, Reproduced Sound Conference 2019, Reproduced Sound Conference 2020, AES Conference on Education 2021.

Experience in industry

I worked as a sound engineer for almost 35 years and was the front-of-house engineer for the dance act The Prodigy from 2004 – to 2019. Most recently (2019), I have worked as the sound engineer for Gabrielle, The Prodigy, Bring Me The Horizon and Biffy Clyro. I have worked on TV, and radio, on such programmes as Top of The Pops, Later With Jools, The Tonight Show (US), etc. I have extensive studio experience and co-own a five-studio recording complex in Sheffield, The Laundry Rooms. I also write regularly for the international magazine "Sound on Sound".

International experience

I have toured the world extensively as a live sound engineer, working widely in Europe, North and South America, Russia, Asia and Australasia. I have worked in South Africa, Morocco, and the Middle East. As an educator, I have devised and taught courses in sound engineering most recently in Serbia and Armenia.

Additional interests and activities

I have a keen interest in the music of all types and try and keep up to date with all the most recent technological advances. I am also interested in art and cinema.

Recent publications

Sound Level Monitoring at Live Events, Part 1–Live Dynamic Range

Education and Certification in Sound Pressure Level Measurement, Monitoring and Management at Entertainment Events

A Case Study on The Impact Live Event Sound Level Regulations have on Sound Engineering Practice

A Case Study on Sound Level Monitoring and Management at Large-Scale Music Festivals

Perception of Low-Frequency Content of Amplified Music in Arenas and Open-air Music Festivals.

An indoor concert from within the crowd with spotlights.

Jon Burton, Lecturer in Sound, Light and Live Event Technology at the University of Derby, looks back on how audio and lighting has developed over the years and the technological advancements that have helped to drive change in this area.