debrief_nmit live sound

19 & 20 June 2013

Sound Operator_Greensborough NMIT Auditorium

My first semester of study culminated with two days of mixing sound for our sister campus’ student recitals. This was an excellent experience, as our course at Fairfield has not yet afforded us much hands-on sound mixing experience – while we get the full responsibility of operating the lights and stage management, our campus has a full time sound course which means those students operate sound at our weekly music performances.

That all changed this time, and over two days we had a whirlwind rotation of mixing/recording sound, lights and performing stage crew tasks as the music students performed their major recital assignment pieces. We had a wide range of music to mix, from single microphone vocal performances, to full bands with piano accompaniment, to an oboe player who did not want to mic’d up at all, which all produced their own unique differences in how to mix properly.

I really gained an appreciation of the varied nuances of balancing a mix with such a wide range of different instruments and vocals. From the very fine line between making a bass guitar solo stand out, to ruining the subtlety of the instrument and just making it sound muddied and distorted; to the incredible range of the human voicebox and how to complement a voice with the slightest touch of reverb, I really feel like the penny dropped for me during these performances. From the hands on (but still theoretical) lessons in class, to the real world application at end of this semester, I’m confident I can be an asset to the bands I’ll be mixing for in the future.

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