When I first started working in live sound I wasn’t mixing, I was just helping set up all of the equipment and patch the stage. I was brand new at this and working as an unpaid intern.
I’d assist a co-worker on what was essentially a one-man gig just to gain experience. Part of my job would be to help him load the truck with all of the gear we needed for the gig. Because I had a firm grasp on signal flow, it allowed me to picture the entire system and all the individual parts in my head. In doing so, I was able to be extremely thorough, making sure we had everything we needed to do the job.
Most of the time I worked with the same person doing small local bands. He’d show up at the shop and we’d load the truck and then drive off to the venue some 30 - 45 minutes away. Inevitably we’d be setting up and my co-worker would realize he forgot this or that.
As he’d start to panic over forgetting an important piece of equipment, I’d let him know that I had packed it and would then go off to retrieve it from the truck. This happened quite often and each time he was incredibly relieved that we didn’t have to drive all the way back to the shop for something he forgot.
I also knew frequencies better than he did and was able to assist him in ringing out monitors and EQ’ing the PA. He came to rely on my meticulous attention to detail so much that he always requested that I work his shows with him and eventually started throwing me some cash for my hard work.
This helped tremendously since I was broke and trying to pay rent and taught me that how you work with your colleagues is so very important.
I was a total team player. I could have easily left my co-worker hanging by not doing such a thorough job, after all, this was his gig and I was just coming along for the experience. But I cared about the big picture, doing a good job and everyone having a great show. This ultimately got me a LOT of work and some great recommendations.
Having knowledge AND a good attitude and has gotten me a long way. It’s helped me to keep progressing forward and enjoy a long and successful career as a live sound engineer.
So whether you're mixing or working on the audio crew, knowledge of your craft and a good attitude are great traits to have. They’ll make you better at your job, and more valuable. When you know what you’re doing and work well with others, it makes a good impression and the right people will notice. You’ll get more work and opportunities to advance.