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Author: Martin Frey

Synergy: The Mix Engineer And The System Engineer Relationship

BY MARTIN FREY   As a live FOH mix engineer, I’ve made it my business over the years to learn as much as I could about the basic principles of sound system physics.  This philosophy has given me two great advantages as a mixer:   The ability to successfully trouble-shoot and best optimize any PA whenever I find myself under less than ideal circumstances. (This almost never happens!)   To better understand how and why both the set-up and adjustments in the PA may directly affect both my FOH mix for the audience and the resulting sound onstage for...

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It’s December Again

It’s that time of year when many of us find ourselves winding down for the season. Festivals are all but finished.  Many touring bands have already unloaded their busses, trailers and trucks, etc. and put everything into storage (with care) until whenever “next year” is going start.   If you’re lucky enough to have a full time gig, be on salary or retainer with an act or artist, or even still out on tour for that matter, you’re probably in pretty decent shape for the winter.   It’s a perfect opportunity to spend some much-needed time with the family and/or...

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I Remember My First Gig…

By Martin “Shrek” Frey Yup, that’s me calling a show at an early age. Well not really, but somehow it doesn’t seem all that long ago… I remember my first gig though. I got my start in the biz in the very early 80’s. I was humping PA for a local music store. The stores’ owners had invested in a rather sizable Peavey Project One system. Our main clientele were bluegrass festivals and the odd country music bar gig or concert.  At first, humping those massive bass bins and mid horns that looked like rocket engines and wiring the...

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Back To School… Again…

Cursing myself, I flailed hopelessly with the touch screen (this was an entirely new experience for me), quickly digging myself into a deep and dark place from which there was no immediate escape. By Martin “Shrek” Frey I’ve been mixing live music on digital consoles consistently now for well over 12 years. This includes both large and small format desks both on and off tour. I can’t say that I’ve mixed on every model and each manufacturers brand just yet, however it’s fair to say I’ve mixed on most live digital mixing models in one form or another. In...

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To Main Squeeze Or Not To Main Squeeze?

By Martin Frey The other day I happened upon a discussion in a live audio forum where a fellow sound engineer posed this question:  “Limiter On Mains?” Does anybody else do this and if so, why or why not and how?   Now, the term he specifically used was “limiting” however, based on his wording, I came to the conclusion that compression/limiting on the LR Master Bus (as a mixing tool) was indeed that to which he was referring. A few of the responses were adamantly against it, insisting that it took away from the performer’s dynamics.  One went...

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