Last year we presented a collection of quotes (here) from various folks working in pro audio, all of which have appeared on ProSoundWeb as well as Live Sound International magazine over its 25-plus years of existence.
It proved a popular feature, so popular in fact, that we decided to serve up another round of sage advice and observations collected from audio professionals along the way. Enjoy.
“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, sound company owner
“It can all be accomplished as long as we don’t confine ourselves to the self-imposed limitations inherent in viewing one technique as ‘right’ and all others as ‘wrong’.” – James Cadwallader, independent engineer/tech
“One of my most important roles is to ensure that even if every instrument in the band is frozen solid, a block of ice, that there’s still ceremonial music.” – Karl Jackson, chief audio technician, United States Marine Band
“A front of house engineer is in the business of creating a memory. Impact, excitement and anticipation form the landscape of the journey you’re guiding the audience through.” – Dave Rat, FOH engineer & sound company owner
“What is the most important thing in the band to amplify? OK, put that up. What is the next most important thing? Now put that up. Continue in that mode until – and this is very important – things start sounding cluttered and unclear. Then back up, to the point when it was still clear, and stop right there.” – The Old Soundman
“I went back to mix Josh Groban in 2004, and what I’d forgotten about when I was in the office for all that time was that addiction you have for the drug of the audience. When they go nuts it’s not for you, but part of it is, and it’s a great feeling knowing you translated the music well.” – Bob Goldstein, FOH engineer & sound company owner
“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 you turn up the kick in a large arena with a massive PA, it’s something you never forget. Once you’ve mixed, you always want to mix.” – Dave Natale, FOH engineer
“Essentially, I throw things into the mix, eliminate what doesn’t work and continue to develop what does.” – Christopher Shutt, theatre sound designer
“The monitor engineer is every bit as important as the house engineer to most bands. The mix we hear is an inspiration. If it isn’t right, it’s counterproductive.” – Alan Parsons, artist, engineer, producer
“I’ve done everything from schlepping gear, to setting it up, to designing it, to mixing on it. I like it all. It’s a good day’s work.” – Phil Scobee, engineer/tech now with Harman
“Whatever sounds good on a particular instrument on a particular day, we move forward with that.” – George Cowan, FOH engineer
“This business is not for the squeamish. You can get squashed like a bug, but if you can survive it, you can make a comfortable living, you can work half the year. You’ve just got to pay attention and stay out of jail.” – Jim “Redford” Sanders, FOH engineer
“That’s how we all learned in those days – on the road. We were definitely making it up as we went along.” – Mike Scarfe, sound company owner
“What I do is to try the best I can to solve the problem at hand; however that happens, I really don’t give it that much thought.” – Tom Danley, loudspeaker designer
“If something happens on stage and you’re working for the president of the United States, you want to walk calmly, with authority, and go up and fix it. You don’t want to run, because the Secret Service will shoot you in the ass.” – Mike Bourne, sound company owner.