Many live sound engineers and technicians have been trying to figure out ways to keep up their mixing skills during the pandemic with the lack of live shows and events.
While it may have been a long time since you’ve had your hands on the faders and it may still be some time before you get back to mixing, there is a simple way that you can improve your skills in the downtime- by focusing on listening.
It’s easy to forget just how important critical listening is. When we are in in the midst of a tour or constant work, we tend to operate on auto pilot. For anyone who has been mixing for an ample amount of time, listening becomes kind of like breathing… until we don’t need to do it for a while.
I’m not talking about every day listening, of course we’re always hearing sounds and noises around us, music or television in the background. What I am talking about is active listening in the form of critical listening.
Theme parks are a great place to build your live sound skills. Christian Rosado who is currently Entertainment Production Planner for a major theme park talks about what working in audio at a theme park involves.
Tell me about your job working as an audio tech for a theme park.
When working at a theme park you have two options, you are either a stage technician or an event technician. Stage techs are only scheduled at stages in which they know tracks or roles and or they can learn other stages. When you get trained at a stage you can let the managers and crew chiefs know that your skill sets are on a specific discipline for instance mine is audio, then they can go ahead and train you in the audio positions at the stage.
As an event tech or what we call a flex tech, you are capable of doing stages and events. At events you can be A2’s or audio assists or you can be the A1 (Audio Engineer), we are always in need of good A2’s but we only have a...