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Sound Engineers for Live Music Events.

Andy Robertson

All live performances that have amplified sound will require the services of a Sound Engineer. The best Sound Engineers can command premium pay and will always be in demand by top artists. Over time an artist will form a close relationship with their preferred Sound Engineers built on trust and mutual understanding. 

Broadly speaking the Sound Engineer has responsibility for assembling, operating and maintaining the technical equipment used to amplify, enhance, mix or reproduce sound. The Sound Engineer often works long hours and will be one of the first on location to work closely with other equipment engineers and any producers that may be involved. Typically, the Sound Engineer will be responsible for setting up, testing and the operation of sound equipment to ensure the best acoustic result before the artist sound check. Collaboration with lighting, camera and other people is also a key element of their role.

Skill Set.
Sound Engineers come from a variety of backgrounds possibly working as an apprentice in either a venue or for one of the many companies that hires out light and sound equipment for live events. They are deft around sensitive audio equipment and experts in using them to produce quality sound. An experienced Sound Engineer will be knowledgeable about different audio mixing techniques along with an element of creativity. In addition, they may have responsibility for playing backing tracks and special effects during a live event. The Sound Engineer is an adaptive problem solver capable of resolving technical issues as and when they arise. They are experts in all technical aspects of sound engineering techniques (equalization and mixing consoles for example). Other technical abilities will involve a working knowledge of multiple software and hardware tools. 

It is not unusual for a Sound Engineer to turn up not knowing what equipment they will be working with so they need a comprehensive understanding of equipment that they may encounter. As they are familiar with their artist’s sound set up requirements the set up will need to be tweaked to the artist’s satisfaction. The set up can be further complicated when multiple acts are using the same equipment. It is the engineer's responsibility to ensure that their specific set up has been saved and marked on all equipment so that the transition to that set up from another artist can be made quickly and seamlessly.

The life a Sound Engineer can be tough, they often work long and unsocial hours spending long periods of time away from home and this can mean brutal days, weeks, and months on the road. For touring artists, a good Sound Engineer will travel with the act as one of the band or crew so early mornings, late nights, and rough travel schedules are all part of the deal. For these unsung heroes it is also not unusual for them to develop hearing problems later in their working career after being subject to high decibels for many years, severely shortening their career.

If you use an events management software solution like FestivalPro it already has built in functionality for all your event sound equipment management needs. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has all the features you need to plan and manage every aspect of your live music event covering equipment logistics, Sound Engineers scheduling and collaboration between relevant parties.  

Photo by Marc Schulte from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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