5 EQ mistakes you had no idea you were making

EQ is probably the most important tool within a sound engineer's arsenal. It glues together the sound and can bring otherwise dull, lifeless elements of a mix to life (naming no names or particular musical instruments, of course…). Unfortunately, it can also destroy a mix if you get it wrong. With that in mind, we've put together what we believe to be the five most common EQ mistakes made by live sound engineers, no matter their level of experience: 1. You're not being [...]

7 questions to ask yourself about your live mix

Self-critiquing your own mix is inherently tricky, because very few of us want to admit that we’ve got something wrong. And that’s a shame, because usually, we have got something wrong. That’s life - none of us are perfect. Live sound demands a significant degree of honesty with oneself if you’re to put together the best possible mix for a gig. With that in mind, we’ve decided to list seven questions you should ask yourself during the soundcheck and the gig [...]

20 of our favourite music memes – for your pleasure

The internet's a funny old place. If you work in the live music industry, you'll be aware of the abundance of characters and situations that play perfectly into the hands of meme creators. What's a meme, you ask? It's nothing more than an image and caption that have been combined for comic effect. The internet is full of them, but we've picked out twenty of our favourite music-based memes for your pleasure. Enjoy! 1 If you're an audio engineer, you'll have to work with pop [...]

How to become a freelance sound engineer

The freelancing economy in the UK is booming. Since 2009, it has grown by 25% and now generates an estimated £109 billion every year. Some industries have been well attuned to freelance workers for some time, and nowhere is that more true than in the field of pro audio, where freelance sound engineers regularly rub shoulders with lighting techs, roadies and tour managers who have all shunned regular employment for their own mini enterprises. If you’re determined to make it as [...]

4 live sound mistakes you won’t want to make twice

We all make mistakes - we’re human, after all. In live sound, errors often pass by unnoticed by the majority of those in attendance. Sure, as the engineer, you might rue your decision to push up a fader or curse your inability to find the frequency at the heart of the booming, but the chances of such mistakes ruining the night are satisfyingly low. Then, there’s the big stuff - the mistakes which will put a significant damper on the night [...]

7 essential tips for a stress-free tour

Taking to the road as a sound engineer is as exciting as it is stressful. Days, weeks or even months away from home are a novelty at the start, but that soon wears off as the people you find yourself living, working and playing with become more irritating each day. Suddenly, things that you’d otherwise dismiss as in irrelevance turn into the exact opposite. Despite this, touring should be fun. You only live once, after all, and if you spend an [...]

How to work with the lighting tech as a sound engineer

Sound and light should work in perfect harmony at live gigs, and to the audience, that’s (nearly) always the case. If everything goes swimmingly, they’ll be treated to great sound reproduction and a dazzling stage illumination. Behind the scenes, things might be rather different, for as long as gigging has existed, there has often been an inexplicable divide between the lighting and sound teams. It doesn’t necessarily manifest itself in fisticuffs, but it’s there, and can result in two silos [...]

How to deal with “TURN IT DOWN!” requests as the sound engineer

The tell tale signs are obvious. They’ve been sitting there for the first half of the show, constantly straining their neck to glance around at the mixing desk. They do this consistently every thirty seconds or so, before returning to face the band, occasionally muttering something to their partner. Then, it happens. They sidle up to the desk, lean over it (usually with drink in hand, haphazardly sloshing its contents all over the EQ and FX knobs) and shout “turn [...]