052 - ESSENTIAL LIVE SOUND TRAINING vs. GUERRILLA MIXING

052 - ESSENTIAL LIVE SOUND TRAINING vs. GUERRILLA MIXING

As you might know, online resources for learning about live sound are pretty limited. That’s why I started The Production Academy: I’m working to help people who want to learn pro techniques. But there are some other online resources I want to share with you.

In this post, I speak with Nathan Lively and Aleš Štefančič about their new course, Guerrilla Mixing on Digital Consoles.

051 - THE EVOLUTION OF TOURING STYLES

051 - THE EVOLUTION OF TOURING STYLES

We’re going to get into some touring industry stuff in this post. Of course, touring isn’t the only application for live sound (we also have houses of worship, local performance spaces, block parties, dance parties, weddings, corporate events, etc.), but since I work in the touring industry I hope I can provide some good insight there.

A long time client of mine (10+ yrs) called The Hold Steady has been refining they way they approach touring. It’s an interesting touring model; The Washington Post recently published an article about it and it seems like other artists are taking similar approaches.

050 - FREELANCE WEEKEND W/MACKLEMORE AND PORTUGAL. THE MAN

050 - FREELANCE WEEKEND W/MACKLEMORE AND PORTUGAL. THE MAN

I always get to do a bunch of shows with regular clients, but as a freelancer I’m always getting calls to work with a lot of different artists. For this post, I want to share a weekend I had recently with two Grammy-winning artists, Macklemore and Portugal. The Man.

For these two shows, I did a short, 2-song set with Portugal. The Man at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City (a traditional venue, but with formal dining set up in the room), and a 30 minute set with Macklemore in a hotel ballroom in Aspen, Colorado. 

049 - HEADLINING PITCHFORK FESTIVAL WITH HAIM

049 - HEADLINING PITCHFORK FESTIVAL WITH HAIM

A couple of weeks ago, I did a show in Chicago with a regular client of mine, Haim, to headline the first night of the Pitchfork Festival. Since Haim hasn’t been playing many shows this year, we went out to LA for a few days of rehearsals before the actual festival. We set up in a production rehearsal studio with all of the audio gear we use (mics, stands, consoles, wireless IEMs, etc.) so that we could properly prep the show.

048 - MIXING ARENAS W/KHALID

048 - MIXING ARENAS W/KHALID

One of my favorite parts about my job is the variety. For example, last month I did a really fun tour with the comedian Fred Armisen, playing venues from around 500-2000 capacity, with a small crew. This weekend, I’m headed to the west coast to mix a handful of shows with the Grammy-nominated R&B artist Khalid. I’m particularly looking forward to the 2 nights at Staples Center in LA, which has a capacity more like 18,000.

I’m filling in for my friend CJ Blair, who is Khalid’s normal FOH engineer. I actually interviewed CJ for a webinar last year, so thought this would be a great time to share a clip from that interview, as well as discuss some issues with doing arena shows.

047 - USING TIMECODE WITH LIVE MUSIC

047 - USING TIMECODE WITH LIVE MUSIC

Normally we don't think about timecode too much in live sound; in live music it's mostly used to synchronize lights and video. When implemented properly, it’s really effective at getting these production elements to operate consistently in time with the music, and it’s an essential part of many large-scale productions. But even though it’s not very common in live music, it’s also possible to have timecode trigger events on our audio consoles.

045 - ON TOUR WITH FRED ARMISEN

045 - ON TOUR WITH FRED ARMISEN

Just got back from tour this past weekend and I have to say, it was one of the most fun tours I've ever done! I was mixing a comedy show with Fred Armisen and Mary Lynn Rajskub which was a nice change of pace from the loud pop/rock shows I usually do. The biggest change from my normal touring setup was using house consoles, which I document in this post.

044 - MIXING ON THE FLY

044 - MIXING ON THE FLY

Previously on this blog, I was talking about a challenging situation I was preparing for this past weekend: I was mixing a band for the first time, with no soundcheck, while headlining a festival. Well, on Saturday we did the show!

Of course, it didn’t go exactly as planned. Since we wouldn’t have time to set everything up on the day of show, we were able to load in the day before and get situated. But we still had to work within a specific timeframe, and by time I got to the festival site (after a delayed flight!) we didn’t have time to work through all the technical issues that came up.

039 - PHASE IN LIVE SOUND

039 - PHASE IN LIVE SOUND

When I’m asked what the most difficult concept to explain in live sound is, the answer is pretty clear: Phase. It also happens to be one of the most critical things to understand, especially when setting up speaker systems.

But we definitely have to think about Phase throughout our entire audio system. This could be the phase relationship between two inputs, latency in plug-ins causing phase issues on console outputs, or setting the correct delay times on speaker systems to ensure phase coherency.