Mixing Music Live

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About Michelle

Hi there!  My name is Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato and I’ve had a career as a professional live sound engineer for nearly 30 years, working with/for some of the most recognizable names in music including: Styx, Gwen Stefani, Goo Goo Dolls, Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, Mr. Big, Big Time Rush, Ke$ha, Jewel, Adam Lambert, and more.

For a full list of my credits and testimonials from artists I've mixed click HERE

I’ve been a panelist and speaker at industry conferences and for various universities.  I’ve mentored audio students and young professionals and written numerous articles and blogs about industry topics ranging from live sound techniques and career development to life on the road.

 In 2013 I co-founded soundgirls.org to create a supportive community for women working in professional audio, while also inspiring and empowering the next generation, and in 2015 I was inducted into Full Sail University’s Hall of Fame.

I’m a self-admitted sci-fi geek and addicted to coffee. I’m also den mother to far too many cats but that’s a whole other topic.

Over the years, I’ve mixed the sound for thousands of live performances in everything from the tiniest clubs to some of the biggest stadiums in the world and in all kinds of situations- from the freezing cold at the X Games in the Austrian Alps, to military bases in the African desert.  I’ve been part of some incredible musical events and even realized my dream of mixing some of my favorite bands.

But life wasn’t always so exciting…

I grew up in a tiny town in Pennsylvania.  There was no music scene to speak of anywhere for miles.  How a little girl from a small town in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania got it into her head that she was going to break into the music business is beyond me but that was my dream and I had big dreams- I wanted to mix great music!

There was a lot of trial and error and hard work but I finally got my foot on the tour bus when a friend gave me my big break and offered me the job mixing sound for a band on tour.  Timing is everything.  The year was 1992.  The band was Spin Doctors, and shortly after I began working for them, their debut album skyrocketed up the charts!  That was the beginning of my professional career as a Live Sound Engineer and I never looked back.

So I’ve been doing this a long time but I remember how intimidating it can be when first starting out. I’ve met and talked to a lot of aspiring young sound engineers, people who are interested in mixing or just getting started in live sound.  Many of them are overwhelmed with the amount of information and technology and how much there seems to be to learn.  They just don’t know where to start.

That is why I wrote this FREE Ebook- “7 Things Every Live Sound Engineer Should Know”.  I wanted to break it down to what I feel are a few of the most important concepts that live sound engineers should understand.  It was hard to limit it to seven, as I could have easily listed 15 or more.  This Ebook will explain some of the most important things to know when mixing live music or mixing sound for any live event.

Many self taught sound engineers struggle with getting great sounds and learning how to mix on different consoles and systems because they lack a knowledge of the basic fundamentals of live sound. 

Let’s face it when you are just starting out, you don’t know what you don’t know right?  Lots of people go about learning the hard way, by trying to learn the equipment rather than the principles behind what they are doing.  Learning these principles makes learning the equipment and techniques so much easier!

The concepts and techniques that I explain in my FREE Ebook “7 Things Every Live Sound Engineer Should Know” will help you to understand what it takes to mix live sound and do it well.

I've also created a course called Mixing Music Live that is a basic intro to live sound and mixing.  Mixing Music Live builds on the concepts in the eBook but goes much deeper.  It gives you the foundation you need for mixing live sound and doing a proper gig.

So whether you just want to learn how to do sound as a hobby for fun, or you would like to make a career out of it, I am happy to share my knowledge with you so you can achieve your goals.

If you’ve already been doing live sound and struggling with getting a great mix, download my FREE Ebook for the fundamentals that will help you get better sounds. If you'd like to go deeper, check out Mixing Music Live. 

Also, check out my blog.  I’ve spent a long time on the road and have a lot of stories to tell. I also have a lot of tips and insight to offer.  I write about live sound, life on the road, music, career development, and sometimes just whatever is on my mind- like what is the proper order to watch ALL of the Star Wars movies!

So make sure you don’t miss anything by signing up for my email list and you’ll also receive a link for a FREE download of the Ebook- "7 Things Every Live Sound Engineer Should Know".

I promise I won’t inundate you with emails because quite honestly I can’t find the time to write more than once a week.  Life on the road is filled with long and sometimes hard days.  When I’m not working, I’m usually catching up on sleep, or exploring new cities.  When I am not on the road, I’m feeding and cleaning up after 8 cats as you read earlier. But that’s a topic for a whole other website. 

I’ll never sell or share your email address because I hate spam as much as everybody else.

When I was first starting out, I was lucky enough to have some really good teachers who were incredibly generous with their knowledge.  They helped me focus and gave me room to hone my skills. Now I want to share my knowledge and experience with you so make sure to get my FREE Ebook "7 Things Every Live Sound Engineer Should Know" and check out Mixing Music Live!

Hear’s to good sound!


Contact Michelle at:  [email protected]


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