But you can call him Dean.
Dean has been the sound guru at Chandler Center for the Arts for the last 15 years, but he started out in a much different place.
“I went to school to be a studio engineer, moved to Phoenix to find work and kind of fell into live sound,” he said, adding that it didn’t take long for him to fall in love with it. He got his start by mixing bands at a local blues bar or $20 and the occasional sandwich (which is also how I got my start in journalism/PR/social media, by the way) and eventually landed here.
“Working in a studio, you put in long hours, and with live, it’s always something different. And my favorite part of working here (CCA) is there are all kinds of events, unlike other venues,” he said.
‘”I like the variety, there’s desk work, running the stage, maintenance and repair, so my days are broken up and keeps the job from getting too arduous.”
The hardest part of his job, though, was getting started.
“Sometimes when you first start, you feel like you’re getting snubbed, but if you stay dedicated, you’ll find something,” he said. His advice to sound techs trying to break into the world?
“Perservere and stay dedicated. Go to tiny places that don’t really have a sound guy, or help out a friend’s band by mixing sound,” he said, because a gig that can only pay for your gas and maybe your dinner could be what opens the door for your next job.
If you would like to see him in action, he’s going to be doing sound demos April 27 and 28, so come down and say hi!
If a performance looks great, but no one in the audience can hear anything, it can very quickly lead to a riot. Which is why we need Dean (who you’ll meet later) and a soundboard.
Call it what you will, audio mixer, mixing console or mixing desk. This vital and giant piece of equpiment makes sure that any sound coming out of the speakers in CCA sounds like it supposed to. It also helps our sound techs know which microphones will pick up what sounds, and when they should come on or go silent. When you have multiple microphones, you have to make sure that no one will dominate the others, so you can hear the singer just as easily as the rest of the band. When a mic is not doing it’s job properly, the who performance is off. Sometime during April Dean may let me sit in on a sound check so you can see him and the board in action.
Seriously though, this thing is a beast. I would have gotten in the photo to show how big it is compared to a person, but being in a giant empty and semi-dark theatre is down right creepy. I snapped my two pictures and booked it out of there.
Yes I’m a giant scaredy cat. No shame.