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In this episode of Sound Design Live I talk with Brian Adler about good and bad of being a tour managing FOH engineer and how he lost his passion for audio in the recording studio and rediscovered it in concert sound. We discuss:
- Why getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to his career
- The benefits of working at smaller concert venues
- How to control your relationship with an artist (even if you work at a shitty club)
- One important demand you should make when taking tour managing gigs
- Staying healthy on tour
- Brian’s industry secret for optimizing a sound system on tour 😉
- Brian’s #1 trick for controlling stage volume
- How to give guitarists and vocalist plenty of volume on stage
- How to double a vocal channel at FOH for separate monitor control
And we answer these questions:
- Do the places you work affect your reputation?
- Should you go after tour managing jobs to get more audio work?
- What are the responsibilities of a tour manager?
- What’s it like working at a museum?
- Where do you get the best burritos in San Francisco?
You can’t control whether someone has a good time or a bad time with a venue. You can control whether someone has a good or bad time with you and your sound system.
Details from the podcast:
- All music in this episode by eO
- Fighting sound clip from SoundNimja
- Sad trumpet from Doctor_Jekyll
- San Francisco restaurantes: Ebisu sushi, Taqueria Cancun, La Taqueria
- Bottom of the Hill, The Independent, Slim’s, The Fillmore, Cafe du Nord, Red Devil Lounge, The Rickshaw, Austin City Limits, The Brava Theatre, The Mercury Lounge, Ace of Spades
- The California Academy of Sciences
- Dan Kroll, The Stone Foxes
- Midas Heritage 3000, D&B rig
- You’re never going get to into the big places unless you do the little places.
- Word gets out if you’re bad.
- Being a tour manager is just another way to get work.
- Being a live sound engineer has really opened up a lot of doors for me.
- That’s my #1 way of Smaarting out a room: Play Tom Petty and talk to the house guy.
- You can create a listening environment on stage that can be fantastic just by moving the monitors.
- If you are making too many cuts [in the EQ], it’s because your monitor is too loud.
Nate Schneider says
That story Brian told about going to audio school and being so excited to get out there, then realizing what it would take & how little the pay would be is so familiar! It’s the story of many folks I know. I think that’s why so many folks (including myself) ended up in the systems integration biz. Another awesome episode Nathan!
Nathan Lively says
Totally. I wonder if the solution is as simple as a career or business development seminar where students would be exposed to the many opportunities in audio, outside of the studio?
Luke Fisher says
I am said British guy at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, thank you for your kind words! Very much appreciated
Nathan Lively says
Thank you for your hard work!