Mark Crabtree is the owner of AMS Neve Limited, creators of digital and analogue audio equipment found in the world’s most prestigious studios. All designed and made in Burnley.

Early interests in music and electronics led to a hobby of making devices to make his own recordings sound better. As a holiday student at Lucas Aerospace in Burnley, he worked with the world’s first microprocessors and was employed by Lucas Aerospace after graduation, designing multi-microprocessor-based automatic test equipment for Tornado aircraft.

He started AMS in his attic whilst at Lucas to design and make digital sound-enhancing devices. His first sale was to Paul McCartney in 1976 and he went on to make the world’s first hard disk recorder as well as win an Emmy and two personal Oscars. Between half and all of Oscar-winning films each year have soundtracks recorded or mixed on AMS Neve consoles.

Crabtree also created the world’s first commercial and fully automated digital mixing console, released into the TV post-production market during the 1990s. AMS Neve has won three Queen’s Awards for Export.

An Honorary Fellow of UCLan, Crabtree was appointed an OBE for Services to Advanced Manufacturing and Creative Industries. He has acquired the former Grade II listed Burnley Grammar School and is converting it into ‘The Landmark’, intended to be Lancashire’s most prestigious tech hub for digital start-ups and collaborative working.