What appear to be the biggest challenges working in live sound?
“There’s nothing worse than being on the wrong end of a badly operated PA system, as I’ve discovered more than once when playing with my own band. On one occasion I asked if a monitor could be turned down as it was deafening me, only to be told by a member of the audience that the sound desk was unmanned and the ‘engineer’ had gone to the bar! You wouldn’t expect the guitar player to walk off stage and go to the bar half way through a set, so why should a mix engineer think that was OK?” – The SOS Guide to Live Sound: Optimising Your Band’s Live-Performance Audio by Paul White © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved.
The biggest challenge I have come across so far is the use of the Avid S3 console, I personally feel I have not been able to have as much use of this console to feel confident in making the live mix happen. I am very confident in setting up everything from the console to P.A, monitors, miking and side fills and drum fill also EQ’ing the P.A and I am sure I could get signal coming through various microphones and back out of all the required speakers confidently but doing all this in a set time limit and then trying to mix a band without practicing on that specific console is hectic. I feel I would be able to do this easier if I could book the room as per other studio bookings I have previously made at SAE. I most likely will have only used that console 4 to 5 times throughout my course and then be expected to be able to confidently start work in live sound, NOT GONNA HAPPEN without more practice. I would really love to be able to make it all happen but live sound has 1 big massive danger BLOWING UP PEOPLES EARDRUMS!!! I can see how this could be easy to do if you have not had the right amount of time practicing and then be in a situation where you are forced to rush doing the job… If by accident a button or fader got pushed causing massive feedback that would be the ultimate disaster and to me it doesn’t matter if it affects 1, 200 or 200,000 no one should suffer from excessive loud feedback. I know certain jobs have a rush factor but rushing while not knowing what’s happening creates mistakes or even worse… injuries. That said I am loving learning live sound and I would like to be able to get out there and confidently mix some bands live.
Some other things I have noticed with live sound, the live sound team need to have an exact list of every piece of audio equipment required for the gig and all of the audio equipment needs to be tested by the live sound team before it hits the stage or should I say before the band start playing, it is very important for a live sound team to be on the ball, there really is no excuse for plugging mic 6 into channel 8 if both the mic and channel are labelled correctly, that’s just creating a very time consuming process of finding out what’s not working. Correct planning and time structure is essential and with any job turning up on time if not earlier helps!! And if you don’t know something ask rather than winging it!!
I came across this site and thought this was pretty cool….
Audioundone.com. (2014). The Role of the Mix Engineer | Audio Undone. [online] Available at: http://audioundone.com/the-role-of-the-mix-engineer [Accessed 10 Jul. 2016].
Rahul Samuel. (2015). How to make the perfect tech rider for your band. [online] Available at: https://rahulsamuel.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/how-to-make-the-perfect-tech-rider-for-your-band/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2016].
Stageplot.com. (2016). StagePlotPro. [online] Available at: http://www.stageplot.com/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2016].