The retooled ElectricCanyon.com website is online, thanks for visiting. It includes this blog to share audio highlights, information and stories. I have always shared audio knowledge and my experience with those interested. A sound guy’s real life experience can be more entertaining than fiction.
There is complexity in audio from technology to acoustics to logistics to people. When someone asks a sound-related question, they are seeking input based on recent experiences—technical hurdles. No sound guy has ever seen it all, however, listening to what an experienced engineer has to say can shed light and help fellow audio enthusiasts on their path.
When people ask “What is an audio engineer?” This is what I tell them.
The role of an audio engineer is to assist in the conveyance of a person or group’s emotional message to a specific audience using the technology available.
This holds true in live sound, recording, audio/visual services and everything else an audio engineer does. Audio engineers are sonic stewards—advocates for the artists. Sure that’s lofty, but there is more to it than patching cables, eliminating feedback, and pressing the record button…
The type of help, the technology, the medium (recording, live-sound, consulting, etc) the time, the place, and to whom I am helping varies greatly. No two work days are the same in the audio industry for most sound guys.
There are audio engineers (let’s just call us sound guys) that operate only in a specific niche, but most of us are diversified horizontally in the industry to make it professionally. It keeps us fresh and on our toes.A diversified audio skill-set is especially important for sound guys living in smaller markets, like me, living in somewhat-rural Northern California.
My typical week as a sound guy:
I conduct several recording sessions in a week of broad musical styles, needs and deadlines. I may be performing drums or percussion for some of these artists, editing, overdub recording, mixing, remixing or mastering. I provide sound systems for events and mix for bands. I may be converting and restoring VHS, cassette tapes, or vinyl records to digital formats. I may be consulting on recording or audio setups and acoustical treatment. I may be providing A/V equipment for a business meeting. And I may be creating a bit on own projects, such as musical collaborations, writing, and my YouTube channels. I am always scheduling future work to perpetuate the spinning plates. Any given week has all or part of these things going on. I love that.
It is unfashionable to throw down ‘busy’ card nowadays. Society makes us at least feel busy constantly. People tend to exaggerate and excuse themselves by dropping that word. I try not to tell people I’m busy because I want them to call. There is always time for a new project.
I stay busy but balanced with relax time, family time, and vacation which has to be scheduled I I get to (eh-em) busy. As sound guy, I do get to sleep in sometimes—but I probably worked on Saturday.
The line between the sound guy’s work and play is blurry. Yes, even loading the truck and driving for hours can be be fun. Wait, don’t some people just drive professionally for a living? That would be too monotonous for the sound guy. Arriving on time and then getting to work a show, long recording sessions, meeting people, going places. That’s where the fun is.
Talk Soon. Dale Price