Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Contact Us | Home RSS

The Secret Life

March 7, 2008 - Dan Voigt
How many of you who are over the age of 21 ever read "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" at some point in your school careers? Then again, who hasn't always wanted to be something that they weren't, professionally speaking, of course. Little kids want to grow up to be a fireman, a professional athlete, a doctor, a nurse. But no, not me. I have a secret ambition, that strangely enough, I do get to engange in, on occasion, and I love it! Here it is - One of my greatest wishes is to be a touring sound engineer, working on the road with a touring musical group, handling the mixdown of their performances. I developed this ambition after being introduced to sound reinforcement many, many moons ago, before big waters come from sky. Actually, this fascination and pursuit began in my junior high school days, carried through high school into college, where I actually spent a summer living out of a truck, on the road, working sound reinforcement all over the midwest, including jobs in Arkansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa. Along the way, I worked with lots of artists, saw a lot of country, and really learned to appreciate a nice, hot shower after a long day on a fairgrounds, setting up speakers, running cables and lines, and then running a show before tearing everything down, packing it in the truck, and taking off down the road. Over the years, I've kept my hand in the business, and work a few events, such as the St. Pat's events here in Emmetsburg, Auction Fest, and the Fair. I help some buddies up in southwest Minnesota with sound jobs they work, including some theatrical productions and a county fair, and I had the opportunity to run some shows at the Opera House in Fairmont a few years ago, so I manage to keep the sound engineer dream alive. It's hard to explain what it is that is so appealing about sound work - there is a lot of work to it - more than the actual event, where you sit at your console, working the mix to provide the optimum sound for the performers and the audience. But, that is the major part of it - using your sense of hearing to come up with a pleasing mix. That in itself is a major task, especially if your performance features several people singing at once, or instruments, or a combination of those. If you have a dancer working with recorded accompaniment, then you have to make sure the artist can hear their music so they don't miss their steps, and likewise for a singer working with a recorded accompaniment - they have to hear it clearly so they can get their pitches and tempo. It is a challenge, but its one that tests your skills and leaves you with a good feeling when a show comes off well. So, if you see this person behind a bank of knobs, sliders, switches, antennas and cables, with a large smile on his face, it'll be Walter Mitty, enjoying another one of his adventures, cunningly disguished to look a lot like me.


Article Comments

No comments posted for this article.

Post a Comment

You must first login before you can comment.

*Your email address:
Remember my email address.


I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web