I recently had the opportunity to attend a portion of Robert Scovill’s latest “Complete Front of House Engineer” seminar and workshop, held at the beautiful Church On The Rock in St. Peters, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis.
The group of 30-plus attendees represented quite a wide range of folks in terms of experience and expertise, yet it didn’t seem to matter as Robert provided practical techniques, ideas and insights gained over his career as a multi-TEC Award winning live sound engineer.
“My agenda is to expose sound reinforcement pros and semi-pros alike to professional concepts and techniques that they can employ on today’s technology in order for them to develop a “method” for attaining the results they desire in their day to day work,” he explains.
“Be it for touring, night clubs, pro AV work or houses of worship, the seminars are strongly rooted in audio fundamentals with an emphasis on understanding the “why” rather than just the “how” to do a given task.”
One particular aspect I enjoyed was Robert’s focus on the importance of understanding music, which sometimes seems to get overlooked in the quest to know all things technical, particularly since not everyone who finds themselves working with sound has a background as a musician, and even if so, a deeper understanding can only be helpful in furthering the goal of crafting mixes that both fit and benefit the music.
For example, he offered an discussion of tempo, how to find it within a song utilizing techniques like determining Beats Per Minute (BPM), and then tied it all together as to how this can be very instructive in deploying things like reverb and delay on certain elements of a song to enhance the overall musical presentation in addition to specific instruments and vocals.
That said, basic bedrock technical information is well covered, and as in all quality educational programs, in a building block manner that’s essential. Attendees are supplied with a helpful coursebook that outlines all of the discussions and concepts, and it includes plenty of space for additional note taking.
Check out a video I’ve also put together regarding the latest “Complete” workshop, which includes commentary from Robert and several attendees.
And for further information and announcements regarding upcoming workshops, go to www.proaudioseminars.com
Thanks to Robert, the attendees, and the folks at Church On The Rock for their gracious hospitality. It was definitely time well spent, and I strongly suspect there are more than 30 other folks who readily agree with me.