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Quotable Quotes: Pro Audio People Say The Darndest Things

And here's the proof...

By Keith Clark August 10, 2018

A column (here) by Karl Winkler referencing “best practices” got me thinking about the many (too many to count, in fact) insightful comments that have appeared on the pages of ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International over the years. It lead to a weekend of reading more than a hundred archived articles, and from them, I’ve drawn the following quotes about the world of pro audio.

“People don’t come to hear me mix, they come to hear the act. I want to present artists as they are. Hopefully, I’m just turning up what they’re doing.” – Dave Natale, FOH engineer

“There will always be a desire for good sound and a general lack of understanding in attaining it. So not everybody will just be able to throw together a sound system with any sort of good or even mediocre results.” – Jim Long, Electro-Voice

“It depends.” – Pat Brown, SynAudCon

“Mixing sound in the live realm is not rocket science. In fact, it’s probably closer to voodoo.” – Dave Rat, FOH engineer, Rat Sound

“They’re just tools, not a magic safety net. No single person who wants to truly succeed as a mixer can do it by relying on a machine.” – Wayne Pauley, mix engineer

“Sonic excellence occurs when you capitalize on the best opportunities for reinforcing the sound that’s already being created onstage. Do that, and then you don’t have to work so hard the rest of the time.” – Brett “Scoop” Blanden, FOH engineer

“You can use shabby equipment like cassette players or you can use high-end equipment, but it’s all about ideas, and ideas don’t rely as much on technology as you might think.” –Christopher Shutt, theatre sound designer

“So instead of concentrating on ‘digital versus analog’ and whether or not our microphones reproduce signals up past 50 kHz, let’s worry about what really matters: good sound in the mid-band.”—Karl Winkler, columnist, VP at Lectrosonics

“I find that a compressor with a brickwall limiter allows you to resume your relaxation.” – The Old Soundman

“Tom (Petty) and the band have taught me over time that there’s just as much skill in revealing something as there is in bringing something up. It’s not always about louder, it might be a matter of pulling something back so something else shines through.” – Robert Scovill, FOH engineer

“My job was to get a balance and be invisible, to be a servant of the music and provide the technology to establish an emotional connection between the musicians and audience.” – Bryan Bell, FOH engineer

“When I’m asked how I got into this business, I tell them that I said yes to the wrong people.” – Mick Whelan, Adamson Systems

“If you want to make a million in audio, you know how you do it? Start with two million.” – Ryan Jenkins, owner, Arizona Concert Sound Solutions

“I think I’ve done close to 3,000 shows with the guy (Rod Stewart), so we’re hoping we’re going to get it right sooner rather than later.” – Lars Brogaard, FOH engineer

“I never thought about getting into audio. I wanted to be a rock star.” – Tim Cain, co-owner, Gemini LSV

“There are two approaches to mixing monitors: the ‘taking it to a fine art’ approach, and the boxing gloves approach.” – Michael Prowda, monitor engineer

“It’s way easier to please 10,000 people than five musicians.” – Sean Sturge, monitor engineer

“At the end of the day, the guy sitting in the third row doesn’t care how long it took to hang the PA, or how light weight it is. He just wants it to sound good, and so do I.” –  Kevin Margolin, co-founder, Atomic Professional Audio

“Anybody can provide equipment; it’s the way you implement that equipment and the attitude you have that makes for a successful event.”—TC Furlong, founder/owner, TC Furlong

“As a practitioner of this craft you have to simultaneously understand your equipment and your input—meaning the artist on stage or whatever the content is—as well as who is listening to the results of your work.”—David Scheirman, mix engineer/system consultant (and current president of the AES)

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About Keith

Keith Clark
Keith Clark

Editor In Chief, ProSoundWeb & Live Sound International
Keith has covered professional audio and systems contracting for more than 25 years, authoring hundreds of articles in addition to hands-on work in every facet of publishing. He fostered the content of ProSoundWeb (PSW) from its inception, helping build pro audio’s largest portal website, and has also served for several years as editor in chief of Live Sound International (LSI).


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