New Year's Honours: Oscar-winning East Lancashire businessman awarded OBE

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Mark Crabtree is founder and managing director of Burnley-based audio engineering company AMS Neve Mark Crabtree is founder and managing director of Burnley-based audio engineering company AMS Neve

AN Oscar-winning East Lancashire businessman responsible for changing the sound of music, television and film around the world said he was ‘honoured and very privileged’ to be awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Mark Crabtree is founder and managing director of Burnley-based audio engineering company AMS Neve, whose products are in the most famous and prestigious studios across the globe.

Earlier this year, films using AMS Neve’s audio console scooped 17 Oscars, including Argo, Life of Pi, and Les Miserables, as well as more than 55 nominations.

Mr Crabtree has also previously won two of his own Oscars, awarded for Science and Engineering.

Despite his success, news of the OBE came as a shock to Mr Crabtree.

He said: “It is a really heart-warming feeling to realise that your home country has decided that you are doing something really worthwhile and worthy of respect. I feel very privileged and grateful to be honoured in this way.”

Mark first established Advanced Music Systems in 1976, and early customers included Paul McCartney, EMI and Strawberry Studios.

He then went on to design the world’s first microprocessor controlled effects units to produce delay, reverberation, looping, sampling and harmonising effects, all of which were used to add richness to a huge swathe of successful recorded music in the 1980s.

Chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Mike Damms said of Mr Crabtree’s OBE: “I’m thrilled, because he is thoroughly deserving of it. He’s an inspirational man.

“It’s tremendous and it’s a very well deserved recognition of Mark’s contribution.”

 

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