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You may not believe it, but strong math and algebra and a good basis in physics, as well as an understanding of complex formulas, will all help.

I would also take up an instrument, and not just play. Actually find out how to read music and get some good theory behind it. You’d be amazed how much that helps.

The next step is to spend your summers interning somewhere, and ultimately to move to where the work is.

As working engineer with about 25 years of experience, I have used formulas for designing studios and placing speakers on the stage. Understanding the physics of sound and how frequencies react and a good grasp of harmonics is fundamental in my work.

Oh, and then if you start being a real engineer, you might actually start working on the equipment. Or, even better, you might end up designing some of your own gear. But, I digress.

Schools are good, if you can’t get an internship, and you’ll learn the basics of how the signal path works.

One aspect that schools won’t teach you is how to work with people. You would never talk someone down or say that you know it all. That kind of attitude would get you shown the door in a hurry. Working as an engineer is also about politics and crafting a vibe that the musician feels safe to create in.

You’ll go further if you understand why things sound good. It’s the difference between a guitar player and a guitarist.

And never stop learning, or you’ll be stuck.

Image of a Front of House sound engineer By Ville Hyvönen (originally posted to Flickr as FOH), via Wikimedia Commons

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Our group just came back from a decent road trip and great performance using the Crown XLS1000 amp that we picked up to replace an aging and failing Hafler amp. (the Hafler quit on us during a show at the Eastern States Expo, doh!)

So it was time to shop for something new and reliable. Ok, Crown has a rep for reliable. But what was even better, was the light weight! Seriously, the road case felt empty. One of our smallest members could haul it out of the truck and deal with the box with ease. The only real change to our kit was needing to pick up some SpeakON® connectors to jump into our speaker cables. That was easy and I like the solid lock you get with SpeakON®

For inputs we had choices of 1/4″, XLR and even RCA if we wanted to go that route. The amp has a built in crossover so when we eventually add subwoofers, (our vocal percussionists would LOVE that) we won’t have to change amps.

How did it sound? Solid. We were able to fill a large size hall with our sound and not a sign of stress. What was even cooler is that we can still get away with using a single 15amp outlet for all our gear. That makes for easy setup and take down in the weirdest of vintage environments.

And nothing says, “They’re pro’s” like good gear, clean setup and take down and solid sound. Our next purchase is going to be better monitor wedges, and I know I’ll grab another one of these amps to power them up.

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Ok, this has been overdue!Yamaha MG166CX

I picked up the Yamaha MG166CX for our A Cappella group Strike A Chord, and it has been on the road with us for several gigs. So now it’s time to tell you all about it. 10 XLR inputs, built in effects, two Aux buses, mute switches two sub groups...

I mean really. All for $429.oo? Clean sounding pre-amps and it’s wicked light. (wicked pissa light.) What more can you ask for in a road mixer? It fits a standard mixer case and has worked out perfectly. The only thing I’ve broken so far is one small bit of plastic where it rack mounts. It was an easy fix with a larger washer and I must remember not do drop it off the golf cart again. (heading to a gig, using the cart to transport... the road case slid off the cart...)

Having the effects built in is another weight saving. No outboard gear to haul. We only use a little reverb anyway. Plus there are built in compressors on 8 of the channels! Perfect for our vocal percussionists to bang out the beat without crushing the system.

I’m a fan. My Mackie 1604 can stay in the studio safe and sound. We also just upgraded to a Crown XLS1000 amp.. but that will be another review.

In fact, I’ve ordered another for another venue that I do work in. And I don’t even get free promotional material!

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Time Flies!

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The fall semester has come and gone and what a trip it’s been!

Monk

I recorded 2 performances and produced a new album for my wife which is now available on CD baby.

The voice and acting work has continued with fun jobs on both fronts (Volvo North America, questionwriter.com, collegeguide.com...etc) So haven’t slowed down since landing this gig at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

This forum is getting busier and the search is on for another moderator to lend a hand! The more the merrier!

2010 is looking to be a great year for the industry as the U.S. and world economy get back on track. So let’s get busy!

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Update

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Ok, it has been a few weeks since I posted. Basically I’ve stepped off of one speeding train, The National Guitar Workshop, onto another train, Bard College at Simon’s Rock as the new Instructional Tech Specialist. Covering IT duties, Sound, film, video... you name it. If it plugs in, fires up or glows, it’s in my court.

I’m still checking these forums and if I can help I will.

Ahh back to work in My Office. it’s almost lunch time...

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