As technology accelerates at a dizzying rate and increases in processing power are only rivaled by the size of knobs on “retro analog” gear, we find ourselves navigating between magical-designer patch cables and legitimate advances in audio.
We know digital must always be “better” because CDs sound better than cassette tapes.
Everything is processed, as often as possible, and just as the hot dog is the perfect meal of processed meat, sound will be perfect and consistent any day now, as soon as we buy that magic black box with sufficient DSP power.
In order to help understand where you are in this overwhelming audio maze, I have put together a quiz to help rate your knowledge and personality type.
Modeled after the timeless and successful “Rate Your Love Life!” or “Is He Faithful?” types of quizzes in women’s magazines, it only seems appropriate that we “audiots” should share in the fun.
Your “audio horoscope” should provide some valuable insight into your mixing “character”. To properly score, you must answer every question, and be sure to keep score as you go.
So take your time, read carefully, good luck and enjoy!
1) You are mixing FOH at a venue that has a 90 dB A weighted limit, averaged over 10 minute intervals, maximum 20 dB peaks, measured from the FOH mix position. Which of the following would be a valid approach for achieving the best sounding show?
—Make a point of introducing yourself to the sound monitoring person, find out the rules and show interest in their job - 1 point
—Radio to production for a case of beer and a bottle of Jack - 2 points
—Yell obscenities and stomp around like a little kid - 4 points
—Ignore the irritating sound cop and crank it up - 3 points
—Go back to the bus - 6 points
2) Really old sound gear does not actually sound that great…
—Unless it has tubes, which means that it sounds amazing - 4 points
—Unless it looks cool, which means it sounds amazing - 2 points
—Age is not as relevant as the quality of the design - 5 points
—True - 1 point
3) Huge mics are better because they capture more sound…
—Of course - 4 points
—Especially if they have a tube - 3 points
—No, but they definitely fall over easier on a tripod stand - 6 points
—Yikes - 0 points
4) A large-scale digital console is best suited for…
—Replacing a smaller, lighter, less expensive analog console on a tour that ships worldwide and only one engineer uses it - 7 points
—A rental company to put on festivals so all the engineers can share one console and learn to use it at the same time - 4 points
—Award shows with multiple acts and cues and the producers won’t let the band engineers touch the consoles anyway - 1 point
—All of the above because it will make the band sound better - 4 points