Learning Live Sound Production (part 3)

My second time out with Dave Hill was at the Medina. This venue is a Minnesota tradition, with over 50 years of great live music, artists such as Alice Cooper, Pat Benatar, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash have all performed there.

Dave Hill and I met at the Medina at the same start time as my first show, 3pm. When I arrived Dave had already powered up the stage. The live sound production went almost exactly the same as the first, detailed here. I will describe just the differences between the shows.

At this event we had a Hammond organ with Leslie speaker and he showed me the proper way to mic it.

Leslie Speaker

Example of a Leslie speaker

The Medina’s Grand Ballroom is much larger than Bunker’s, therefore the front-of-house mix is slightly different, but the soundcheck procedure is still the same. Dave also reiterated a point he made at Bunker’s, that the acoustics change once the audience fills up. The sound is absorbed by the audience, hence less reflective. Keep this in mind when the band is asking for you to turn up the volume on their foldback monitors, because they probably do need it.

The last difference to mention is the headliner was Bruce McCabe. Again the bands thanked Dave and I for providing them with “perfect sound”. The bands rocked and the fans screamed and danced until they fell over from exhaustion (literally someone did!). This was a night I will never forget.

To end this series detailing my live sound production experience, in Part 4 I will write about my first time as the monitor engineer and my first as front-of-house engineer!

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