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Pro Advice

What I Wish I Knew Then: Live Sound

We kicked off our new "What I Wish I Knew Then" series earlier this month with some advice from graduates on the world of freelance graphic design. The information they're sharing is based around the question, "What do you wish you knew about your career that you didn't know when you graduated?"

This installment of What I Wish I Knew Then is all about live sound. We went to a few Recording Arts and Show Production grads with successful careers as audio engineers and technicians and asked them for their best industry-specific advice. Check out their tips, and if you have some of your own to share, add them in the comments below.

"Don't forget about the personal aspects of touring. We work with each other throughout the day, then live on a bus together at night. No matter what your gig is, make sure you are nice and positive to the people around you. Anyone can plug in cables and push faders, so more often than not it appears to be more important that those you work with enjoy working with you. Everyone has a bad day, but don't make it every day." – Jeff Wuerth, Recording Arts 2006 & Show Production 2007, Currently: Monitor Tech on the Honda Civic Tour

"Record and listen! I started listening to the recorded stereo board mixes of my live shows and I instantly got better. I became insanely more aware of my gain structure and my mixes really started to gel. Once I got comfortable with how my live recordings and live front of house sounded I knew I was on to something. I wish I had done that way earlier!" – Fela Davis, Recording Arts 2002, Front of House Engineer

"Network! Get out and volunteer while you're still in school. Start making your connections early. It's all about who you know in this industry to get the job. Then, after that, you'll get a chance to show what you know." – Tim Bischof, Show Production 2009, Currently: ESPN College Football

"It's important to adapt. In the touring world, a lot of bands these days require someone on their crew to double up as tour manager as well as engineer. When I first started touring, all I wanted to do was be a front of house engineer, but there have been times throughout the year where I've had to step up and tour manage too. It's also important to be able to adapt to the different type of equipment you may encounter. I make sure I always carry my own microphone package, which I didn't do in the very beginning. It keeps everything consistent if you're not traveling with the same soundboard every night." – Andrew Peters, Show Production 2005, "SoundBasher" Audio Engineer/Tour Manager

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