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Feb
20

A Tribute to Audio Engineers

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Audio engineers are some of my favorite people.   They tend to be pretty mellow, which makes them a blessedly steady presence in the studio and a good counterpoint to my, um, effervescent emotions.

They’re always ready with a comeback to any line I quote from Star Trek, Firesign Theatre, Firefly, or Monty Python.  I am in awe of their skills and instincts, and I am forever grateful for how much they teach me, problem-solve scary tech glitches, reassure me, and make me sound good.

They are, literally and figuratively, grounded.

 A few memorable examples:

 Heather, just want you to know that a three-ton oak branch fell on my studio roof over the weekend and fried a few components.  But don’t worry; everything will be online in time for our workshop.  [And it was.]   -Don Ross, Don Ross Productions

I really don’t hear that hum.  Here’s a spectrograph of the sample.  See? It doesn’t even register.  - Zach Herries, Mosaic Audio

You’ll be fine; we can fix this over the phone.  Do you see ‘Setup’ in the top menu?  Okay, click the drop-down and choose ‘H/W Buffer Size’ and tell me what it says . . .   -Dan Reyhle, Pro Sound & Video

Mom, you always think you suck and you don’t, so I am NOT going to punch in over that last take.  -Logan Donielson

You will be fine.  Your mounting arm WILL fit this monitor.  I promise.  [And it did.]   -Dylan Driscoll,                              Sweetwater.com

Before you say no: the deadline isn’t until July.    -Paul Fowlie, Common Mode, Inc.

We can stitch some of those in so you don’t have to do so many pick-ups.  -Dirk Gouwens, Oasis Audio

All you have to do is relax and narrate the book.  We’ll take care of the rest.  -Nathan Semes, Deyan Audio

[Regarding the outtake full of obscenities that I forgot to trim off before I sent a file late one night ...]  There was certainly no offense, Heather – it was pure comic relief.  In fact, thank you for it!  - Greg Lawrence, On Purpose Productions

And from the many unnamed engineers who have uttered this music-to-my-ears:

 It sounded great.  Still rolling.

We can fix that.

No, you didn’t peak.

No, you didn’t pop.

There’s a work-around.

Do you need your headphones turned down?

Yeah, we’ll be using the Neumann U87 today.

It’s fine; we have plenty of time. You’ll get it.  Take Twenty-Five. And: rolling.

So as we celebrate the narrators and producers nominated this week for the 2014 Audies Awards, I would also like to send a huge thank-you to those unsung heroes, the wonderful audio engineers who make the nominees (and the rest of us) sound — shiny!

 

2 comments

  1. Kathe Mazur says:

    This is fantastic. I couldn’t agree more. All the engineers I have worked with have been tremendous. I wanted to add the name of the magnificent Joey Roberto to the list. I wouldn’t be able to work the way I do in the home studio without Joey’s help and calm, kind intelligence and humor.
    Thanks to all of you engineers for the way you take care of us.

  2. Heather Henderson says:

    Thanks, Kathe! “Calm, kind intelligence and humor”: that does sum it up. Anyone reading this is welcome to add names to the list — I wish I could have included all of my favorite engineers!

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