During my talk at the Live Sound Summit (thanks again Nathan Lively for organising this great event) I received a question from on of the participants, who wanted to know if anyone can learn how to become a sound engineer. And it is not an easy question to answer, but I will try to break it down as I see it.Read More
Placing overhead microphones is almost a separate artform, as it involves making an informed decision depending on the type of music, the sound of the drum on its own, the way a musician hits those drums, the physical properties of the venue, and what you are trying to achieve sonically in your mix. So right off the bat - I don’t believe there is one proper way of placing overhead microphones. Learning about different techniques and how they sound allows the sound engineer to respond to a number of variables, helping him to shape the sound of the drum along the way.Read More
If you can influence the sound source in a way that sits better in a mix and supports the entire sonic image without ever touching the processing part of the console, that might be the best option for minimising work for yourself down the line. Here are some tips to help you accomplish just that.Read More
When people ask me about advice on how to become live audio engineers they expect me to tell them to learn about microphones and consoles. They do not realise that all of that is second to your personal approach to sound, which might be much more instrumental in ensuring that your career is successful than really nailing down the attack and release times for a particular compressor on a particular vocal.Read More
Being of a constantly sober constitution gives me an opportunity to ponder on what it means to be a working cog in the rock’n’roll industry with its notoriously bad reputation of substance abuse. It is my strong belief that if you want to be considered an audio professional (or a professional in any field for that matter), there is no place for any type of substance abuse while you are working. Let me explain why.Read More
A friend of mine recently posted about a gig he did, which did not go the way he planned. Hearing about that story triggered a knee-jerk reaction in my head - I was immediately thrown back to my own nightmare scenario. But no matter how horrible that show was, I wouldn’t go back to erase it.Read More
“It is going to be an easy gig, we only have 3 vocal microphones and an acoustic guitar.” A sentence I’ve heard many times from PA providers who hired me to mix was surely meant to comfort me, but it had the exact opposite effect. Let me tell you why I still dread intimate acoustic events to this day and what techniques I have developed for dealing with them.Read More
The focus of live mixing for major shows turned from focusing on single channels to the master channel. Sure, you have to be a mixing engineer during the preproduction stages, and you might still go back and tweak some channels on various cues and snapshots during setup, but when show time comes, you are zeroed in on the master bus, mostly taking care of snapshots being fired at proper moments. From a studio point of view, you are not a mixing engineer anymore, you are tweaking the summed results of a mix - you are now a live mastering engineer.