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The Old Soundman: Studio Versus Front Of House

You've gotta be kidding me!

By Old Soundman July 16, 2018

Dear Old Soundman:
Studio engineers verses front of house engineers – can they be one and the same?

Studio guys don’t want to let us get a shot at their jobs, because we would wipe the floor with them! Unfortunately, we would also wipe the floor with their clients!

Do I really want to spend three months listening to some rock star (who tries to pretend he’s a man of the people) reveal how completely dependent he is on the click track, and the Pro Tools, and his bloody re-amping?

The lights must be kept turned down nice and low, while his sycophantic entourage sits on the couch, smoking ganja and getting crumbs from their vegan pastries on my carpet.

Only the love and devotion I feel for my family keeps me from climbing on star boy and beating his head in with an RE-20 while shrieking, “play a damn song, why don’t you!”

If I ever did that, David, I would make sure to have the theme music from “Psycho” playing very loudly in the background.

Don’t even get me started on pretty boy from the record company, and his cowardly criticizing of my mixes behind my back. Hanging is too good for the likes of him! I’m thinking a year in solitary confinement, with the same Melvins record playing over and over again, 24/7.

By the way, you are honored and respected, OSM.


A frontman/singer well cared for by his own OSM.
David P.

See, here is a smart guy who didn’t employ a younger sound buddy who would have asked for less money but doesn’t know his (expletive deleted) from a hole in the ground!

Our friend went and got an OSM who knows the drill, and it pays off in the long run because now David P. can exist in a superior, relaxing audio environment rather than wondering what input is about to go wildly intermittent or explode into hellish feedback.

We old guys change the batteries – you know what I’m saying? We not only check things, we double-check them! Maybe at one point in our lives, we did that mainly because we were all amped up on (controlled substances deleted), so to speak, but now we do it because we know it’s the right thing to do!

And it pays off for our artists. If they want some Chippendale-looking guys, they can damn well go to the Chippendale’s!

I like being the absolute ruler of my little acre. When you and pretty boy and Mr. Royal Rock Star come into my club, you do things my way or the highway!

The Old Soundman

There’s simply no denying the love from The Old Soundman. Check out more from OSM here.

About Old Soundman

Old Soundman
Old Soundman

Veteran Pro Audio Engineer
Old Sound Man is a recurring column that is hilarious and informative at the same time. He answers your questions which provides him with both the chance to pontificate and provide useful information.


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soundman57 says

love it

Unklwally says

Glad you're still on the correct side of the dirt.

Jimmy Mack says

The old sandman is my favorite content, just who is that guy behind the curtain, he's the man who can only take Dorathy's Band all the way to Oz. The great ones, just click their heel's and transport the audience to the sound of Music.These new kid's only know Bass and volume, the louder the better,I'm old school, vocal's first, if it don't sound good on my old boombox, it's not mixed right.

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