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Inspiration

Grainger Everyday Heroes: Sound Engineer

6/29/20
Grainger Editorial Staff

I am Che Arthur, and right now we're at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, Illinois, which is one of a few venues in town, where I work as a sound engineer. One interfaces with bands as they show up. You know, you find out what they're gonna need, what their instruments are, what they need, what kind of mic's they need, etc., etc. Maybe what they want people to hear out front in the mix. What they wanna hear on stage. I was a guy hanging out, playing music, and some friends of mine, who owned a club back in Alabama, which is where I grew up, asked me to be their sound guy at a venue they had just bought. And their booking person, so that was a long time ago. And I just started doing it and kept going. And then I moved here to Chicago, met some people, and it continued.

Yeah, so here's the sound booth, here. In this particular venue, we control not only the front of house sound, with what the audience hears, but also we control the stage sound, so what the band hears on stage. Each row here controls, essentially, one thing, that's mic'd or that is directly connected to the PA. And then that all goes to here, which is the master for everything. This is what we refer to as front of house, controls what people hear, sort of like the treble and the mid-range are up here. And then under here, this stuff, call 'em sub's, this is where the base comes from. These are monitors for the stage, for the bands to hear. And we have separate mixes, so the person who's standing here can hear something different from the person who's standing here or there, or the drummer.

I think that being a musician and being a person who's played a lot of shows, I think it helps me relate to what bands want when they're on stage, as well. And how bands want to interact with their sound engineer. You know, you want the sound guy to be nice, and not tell you you can't do stuff. I'm fortunate enough—the venues that I work at locally, and also bands I've toured with, I've been fortunate to tour with people or work with people that I really liked as people. You know, and like musically, as well, I think that's the best part.

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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