Where the Jobs Are

Oct 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

New Opportunities in Live Sound Show Production

Polls


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

Students in Full Sail’s Show Production program learn to design, engineer and manage multimedia productions at Full Sail Live, with the use of equipment including a DiGiCo SD8 mixing console, Meyer Sound Mica line array system and UM1P stage monitors and a Shure wireless mic system.

Students in Full Sail’s Show Production program learn to design, engineer and manage multimedia productions at Full Sail Live, with the use of equipment including a DiGiCo SD8 mixing console, Meyer Sound Mica line array system and UM1P stage monitors and a Shure wireless mic system.

THE INTANGIBLES

In the recording community, there’s a lot of talk about “studio etiquette.” Is there touring etiquette? What kinds of people skills or personal qualities make students well suited for a career in live sound?

Stefus: In live sound, there are no re-dos, so you have to be able to handle stress. You have to be mentally tough enough to deal with problems, and humble enough to brush yourself off and keep moving when things don’t go as planned. You also have to be physically capable of the job. It’s not sitting at a desk. You have to be strong enough to lift, move and work on equipment, and you have to have a technician’s mindset. Gear nuts are great for live sound—people who have the excitement and interest in equipment, and technical capability.

Roun: I can say this because I toured for more than 15 years: The most successful live sound engineers, the ones who endure, are solution makers. They’re positive and willing to work with everyone to make the entire production a success. They go with the flow and know how to work as a team. I’m known for telling students, “You have two ears and one mouth.” That means, listen twice as much as you talk. When you’re in school, you’re being served by a school, but out there you’re serving your client.

Scanlon: I always tell my students that they’re in the service industry, like a waiter or waitress. You want to make sure the people you serve have a good experience, no matter what. In live sound, we especially focus on students being calm under pressure. If you’re having technical difficulties, how do you calm the artist? Maybe put the artist on a different task so they’re not focused on technical issues, and you quickly solve those problems. You need to have confidence in yourself to assure them that nothing’s wrong.

Krogh: There’s a core of soft skills that successful engineers need to have, whether they’re working in the studio or in a live setting. Recognizing that you’re providing a service is a big part of that. Check your ego at the door, because you’re part of a collaborative effort. And if something goes wrong, stay calm and try to find a solution. I’ve seen situations where something’s not going right, and everyone starts pointing fingers. It’s not productive. Those are the people who don’t get asked back for the next tour. The engineers who are successful in live sound are the ones who are natural problem solvers—they’re people who just can’t leave some nonfunctioning piece of software or hardware down. They can’t rest until they figure out what the problem is and fix it.

Barbara Schultz is a contributing editor to Mix.

Click "Next" to read David Coyle's success story.






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