foh engineer

I believe that some people are born to great things and that greatness is defined by a feeling you have in your heart when you are doing something that you truly love to do.

There is a moment just before the start of a performance when I am pacing back and forth wearing a hole in the floor just below my feet, my hands clammy and the beating of my own heart deafening.

Where the whole world is just silent and the anticipation of the first 8 bars of the performance is boiling over.

When my nerves speak to me about the care I have for what I’m about to participate in, the responsibility, and the journey I am about to assist the audience on. 

foh engineer

“These are the moments that define what it’s like being a FOH engineer.”

 

The moment the audience erupts like a molten volcano at the first glimpse of the band.

The moment the lights go down and the bass rolls across the floor.

The moment that the snare cracks after the four count to lead in the band, and last but not least, the moment when the whole stadium breaks out and sings every word to every song as one glorious angelic choir.

What it takes to be a FOH Engineer

 

Your passion and desire to be the best at what you do decides how deeply you dig into the faders as you mix the performance.

Do you hold on like your riding a rodeo bull because the idea of missing the guitar lick after the second verse just before the tag envelops you? Or do you just push up faders and say close enough?

The passion and desire you internalize dictates how much music you listen to and analyze on a minute to minute basis when you’re not actually behind the console mixing a show or setting up a console thinking about mixing a show.

Do you lose sleep at night trying to figure out at what level the high hat must sit at to create that swing and groove from that Meter’s track ‘Cissy Strut’?

Do you use words like emotional response and feeling? Do you relate to using your console as a canvas and turning knobs as your paintbrush?

 

foh engineer

“To truly excel at something in life we must be fully engrossed in what we do and approach all life and mixing as it is the last thing we will ever do. 

What it takes to be a FOH engineer is the unrelenting want and need to improve the listening experience not only for the audience but also for yourself. Because, for me, mixing FOH is just as much for my pleasure as it is for the audience.

The long hours and the time away from home and family only make sense if our hearts are full with good quality performances and fantastic sounding mixes.

Never settle for close enough, because when it’s time to explain the reasoning behind your love for music and your time away from home, close enough doesn’t quite get the job accomplished.

Understand that last sentence and the understanding of what it takes to be a FOH Engineer starts to come into focus.

Good luck and happy mixing.

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