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In this episode of Sound Design Live I talk with touring system technician and Master Sound Engineer at the Guthrie Theatre, Alex Ritter.
- How did you get the system tech job on the Lady Antebellum tour?
- How did you get the job at the Guthrie?
- What is a system tech?
- Walk me through a day in your life while you were working on the Lady Antebellum tour.
- One of your responsibilities at the Guthrie is to prepare the sound system for new shows and sound designers. System optimization is all about managing interactions and you are managing many interactions in these rooms. How do you keep it all straight?
- What’s in your work bag?
You get the work you get because of the people you know and what they think of you.Alex Ritter
- All music in this podcast by Sulagna Handique.
- Alex on LinkedIn and FB.
- The Guthrie Theater
- Master sound engineer = production sound engineer = top of the union ladder
- If you want to work in theatre, build relationships with sound designers and general managers. If you want to work in concert sound, build relationships with production managers, FOH engineers, monitor engineers, and artists.
- Shows: Wicked, Noises Off, West Side Story
- Software: AutoCAD, OmniGraffle, VectorWorks
- Hardware: Stagetec Nexus, Outline Newton
- Workbag: Q-box, M30 RTA mic, Leica disto/range finder, Nikon forestry pro, Sound Devices USB Pre 2, Motu 18i2, iSemCon 7150, Lectrosonics R400 wireless transmitters
- Books: Sound Systems: Design and Optimization, Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook
- Resources including an empty delay tracking spreadsheet, an example delay tracking spreadsheet, and CAD blocks.
- You get the work you get because of the people you know and what they think of you. I made the decision to be nice to people and create contacts and cultivate those as best I can.
- We’re in a service industry. The day you realize that is the day that you get more jobs.
- I want to make sure that what I do will reflect a show condition. It makes no since to just tune a front-fill by itself and say “Hey, it looks flat.”
- Part of my job is to make sure that what the engineer hears at FOH is replicated for the other 16,000 people that are there.
- I feel like if I did six EQ cuts in a system, I did something wrong.
- If you’re going to change the system on an engineer. They should should know about it before you do it and don’t do it in the middle of a song.
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