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 thoughts on “A Tribute to Audio Engineers”
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.
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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