And the winner of the Live Sound Engineer of the Year award is….
Congratulations to Focal Press author Dave Swallow for winning the Live Sound Engineer of the Year award at the 2011 Audio Pro International Awards in association with NAMM.
You can learn more about Dave, his work and what it is like being a Live Sound Engineer from a Q&A session we recently posted: A Q&A Session with Dave Swallow
Dave Swallow is the author of Live Audio: The Art of Mixing a Show, a practical, hands-on, ‘in the trenches’ guide to mixing and live sound. Below is an excerpt from his book.
Advancing the Show
Before a tour has even started, part of your job as an enthusiastic audio engineer is to advance the shows, which means that you create documents of your band’s technical specifications (or “tech specs”) and then send them over to your tour or production managers so they can send them to the venues and/or promoters, along with any other documents they need. You need to make sure you have received the tech specs from each of the venues or the PA companies that are supplying the gear. This process needs to start sometime before the first show.
As part of advancing the show, it is also your responsibility to go through the venue specs and make sure everything you will have at the venue will work with your band’s setup. For example, are there enough channels in the multicore (snake) for you to send all your mic signals to the front of house? Do you have enough tie lines (which are a way of sending a signal from FOH) to send everything you need to stage? Have you used the console before, and are you familiar with this kind of PA system, if you aren’t touring your own? And even if you are touring your own PA system and consoles, you need to liaise with the PA company to make sure it has everything from you that it needs to put the whole system together.
Although you won’t be expected to prepare a budget for your kit, and you proba¬bly won’t be involved in that process at all, everything comes down to budgets at the end of the day. If you want something, someone has to pay for it. On smaller tours there is usually not even enough cash to get you around the country, let alone pay for the latest gear. So, when there is something you need, speak to the people who write the checks, and get them to sort out who is paying for it.
Remember: a big part of your job is to get the best out of what you are given.
Dave Swallow is Mixing Engineer, Live and Studio Audio Engineer, Tour Manager and Tour Consultant who has toured extensively in Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Japan. He has mixed and supervised countless sessions, including Itunes, Aol, Yahoo, BBC, and B-side cuts. His live TV appearances include Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, Dave Letterman, Austin City Limits, Conan O’Brien, Regis & Kelly, VH1, Later with Jools Holland, Brit Awards, Live at Abbey Road, BBC One Sessions, Parkinson, Friday Night Project, Album Chart Show, E4, Taratata, New Pop, Jonathan Ross, Alan Carr, Top of The Pops, CD:UK, T4, Davina, and Mobo Awards.