In live music production, we mostly use just two types of microphones: Dynamic and Condenser. But there's yet another type of microphone that can be great for live sound, called a Ribbon mic. They tend to sound really smooth, with a rich and detailed mid-range. I really love them on electric guitar amps and they're also great for sustained keyboard sounds like organ.
One of the Q+A Webinars we did last year (which are archived as part of the Essential Live Sound Training curriculum) featured a really talented engineer, Amanda Davis. We talked about a bunch of things throughout our conversation but the topic of women in sound came up when someone wrote in with a question.
Doing television shows is always fun for me. I’ve done a ton of them with different bands: The Tonight Show w/Fallon, The Late Show w/Letterman and also w/Colbert, Seth Meyers, Ellen, Wendy Williams, The Today Show, Jools Holland, Graham Norton, various BBC specials, and my favorite - Saturday Night Live. And you know what? I barely touched a console at any of them!
I used to own a studio in Chicago and had a lot of fun making records. But there was a point when the work I could get as a live sound engineer quickly became more attractive than hustling for studio clients. After all, I enjoy having just a few clients per year instead of many per month, I like how steady the work is with actively touring bands, and I love traveling around the world!
When I was interviewing my friend Amanda Davis earlier this fall (FOH for Janelle Monáe, Tegan & Sara), we had fun talking about all things audio and touring. Of course, this was part of our Live Q+A series, so thanks to our awesome webinar attendees we had questions coming in from all over the world!
I had a really fun show last weekend - I was mixing a regular client, Haim, but we were doing a special benefit show for VetsAid. It’s organized by Joe Walsh (guitarist for the Eagles) and raises money for veterans groups around the country. Of course, he got a bunch of great artists to come support the good cause, including Chris Stapleton, Don Henley, James Taylor and Ringo Starr.
My friend Nathan (aside from offering great training on sound system tuning) has a podcast called Sound Design Live. And he interviewed me recently!
We talk about a handful of things, including finding work, being nice to people, and using EQ as much as necessary. It was fun to talk about this stuff "on the air" - sometimes it takes someone asking good questions to get insightful conversation.
Want to know what audio gear and equipment is most important on tour? I’m often asked: "Do you use your own console for that or do you use a festival desk?" which is something I’ve often asked myself the first few times I saw how big festivals operated. So, this post is all about the most important audio gear I carry on tour.