Simon Leadley, Australian Music And Sound Craftsman Obituary

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2nd March 2010, 03:32pm - Views: 805

Culture Entertainment Trackdown Scoring Stage 1 image

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Leading Australian Music & Sound Craftsman 

and “Computer Whisperer” 


1956 - 2010

Simon Leadley was one of Australia’s leading audio and music for

film craftsmen. He was a founder of Trackdown Digital, now a world

renowned orchestral recording facility in Sydney. Simon was a

“Computer Whisperer” who had a sixth sense for how to do things

smarter and break through many of the outmoded conventions in

his field of expertise.

Simon Charles Anthony Leadley was born in Henley on Thames, UK

on October 28, 1956. He came to Melbourne, with his parents,

brother and sister as Ten Pound Poms. When he was seven his

family moved to Sydney. He attended Vaucluse Boys High School

and then UNSW, studying electronic engineering.

He played rock guitar in a number of local bands, touring the

country. It was when he set up one of Sydney’s first recording /

rehearsal studios in Oxford Street in 1976 that his career path

began to really take shape.

This small, three-man business quickly evolved into one of Sydney’s

premiere contemporary music rehearsal studios with clients such as

INXS, The Divinyls, Midnight Oil, Icehouse, Do re Mi, to name just a


The next step for Simon was to create Sydney’s first half-inch 

16-track recording studio underneath Hutchings Keyboards shop in

Bondi Junction. This studio became the recording home of a

significant proportion of the Sydney independent music fraternity. It

also became one of the first studios in Australia to master their

albums using digital technology.

Simon then shifted his focus to film and TV audio and music. This

began with a move to Camperdown where Simon introduced digital

technology to Australia’s largest children’s animation production

company, Yoram Gross Films. He started with sound and soon had

almost all the studio’s animation and editing processes running

digitally – helping increase Yoram Gross’s production output five-

fold. This time also saw Simon driving the audio production for

animated versions of Blinky Bill, Flipper and Skippy.

It was 1998 when the Australian live action film industry truly

recognized Simon’s extraordinary skills. He was asked to set up a

music for film division at Australia’s leading feature film audio

production house, Soundfirm, at Sydney’s Fox Studios. Over the

next ten years Simon was music editor for films such as Dark City,

Master & Commander, Happy Feet, The Bank Job, Australia and

Moulin Rouge for which he received a Hollywood technical Oscar (a

Golden Reel - Motion Picture Sound Editing Award). 

The pinnacle for Simon was the creation of the Trackdown Scoring

Stage at Fox Studios. This room has become recognised as one of

the five best orchestral recording rooms in the World. It has been a

favourite home for music groups as diverse as the Sydney

Symphony, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Whitlams, John

Mayer, The Angels and many more.

Simon was also a keen snow skier, SCUBA diver, ocean swimmer

and bike rider, having completed many Sydney to the Gong rides,

Bondi to Bronte swims as well often being spotted on the black runs

on the Australian and New Zealand slopes.

Simon Leadley passed away on February 24, 2010 from cancer. 

He is survived by his partner Kerry, his brother Philip, sister Sally

and father Tony.

For further information contact Elaine Beckett at

or telephone 61 (0)2 98353 2765.


More about Trackdown :

Trackdown is a complete audio and music solution for the film, television, music and multimedia

industries. The facility houses a variety of studios and suites and boasts Australia’s premier Orchestral

Scoring Stage. Trackdown caters to all aspects of music recording and audio post production, with

innovative technology and expertise. Credits include feature films, Knowing, Happy Feet, Australia,

Moulin Rouge and Master and Commander. Television productions include animated series Zigby,

Farscape and Australian Idol. Trackdown’s Main Hall presents a unique rehearsal and performance

space for artists, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Opera and contemporary pop,

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