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Author: Pooch

Who’s Really Running the Show?

BY KEN “POOCH” VAN DRUTEN In business, money talks.  And the music business is just that… a business. When we are talking about the live event industry, money has always been king, but over the past five (or maybe 10) years, money has taken a sinister front seat to the point that NOTHING else matters.  Business managers are deciding which vendors are getting their gear on the gigs, essentially giving the accountants the power to decide what tools we technicians get to use. As a sound engineer who has honed his craft, has years of experience, and is an...

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T… Earned, Not Given

BY KEN “POOCH” VAN DRUTEN I meet a lot of roadies these days who are young, willing, and hard working.   This is unusual amongst the younger generation of workers in the “real” world, and it makes my heart happy to know that there ARE those who still believe in what they do for a living, and who will work hard to do it. BUT – It seems that there are a lot of younger kids getting higher end jobs on major tours, like FOH Engineer, or Lighting Designer, or Stage Manager, without EARNING it. When I started in...

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Pirates and Thieves? Sounds Good…

  The live sound industry seems to attract pirates and thieves. In a captain Jack Sparrow kind of a way, we meander thru on our Prevost pirate ships coming soon to a town near you. I had the pleasure of attending Webster University’s Audio Engineering Society earlier this year. It was really a pleasure to lecture to a bunch of young students who obviously care about music, and how music sounds.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and would love to go back next year. But this is NOT the norm.   As soon as those young whipper snappers get out of their bubble in college, and get a taste of the real world, are they going to forget it is about the sound and get absorbed into the “carnival atmosphere”  ??  (Thanks Scott and Bill for that phrase – again) The live sound side of this industry seems to attract the pirates and thieves.  In a captain Jack Sparrow kind of a way, we meander thru on our Prevost pirate ships coming soon to a town near you.  Working in this industry for 20+ years leaves you a little jaded.  You hang out with enough ruffians and you become a ruffian.   God knows I spent a lot of years only concerned about myself, and how much I was going to make on the next leg of the tour. ...

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The Politics of Live Sound Mixing and the Sacrificial Lamb

OH yes, the politics.  The dirty little secret of live sound mixing.  I believe that, on any given day, 50% of our job is politics and 50% of our job is actually mixing.   The problem is that MOST times this is out of wack, one way or another. Somtimes our job is 90% politics and 10% mixing ability and/or talent.  Sometimes our job is 90% mixing, 10% politics.  (this doesn’t happen very often.)  I am often asked how do I get your job?  Well, before you learn anything audio, you better hone your people skills.  Before I even...

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Scared For 40 Years

Just got done doing a show in Moscow, Russia. You may have seen some hype for the new Transformers 3 movie. Pictures here. Video Here. Linkin Park has a long standing relationship with the franchise, and we were there to perform for the big movie premiere. All of the stars were out and even our production manager (Jim Digby) got some national TV time as he was interviewed about the event for entertainment tonight. It was really fascinating to do a show in a place with so much history. (Click here for a quick wiki history lesson). But the...

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