In this week’s episode of Gig Gab, Robert Scovill brings his wealth of live audio expertise to the show. As a front-of-house engineer for legendary acts like Tom Petty, Prince, Kenny Chesney, and Rush, Scovill shares the art of balancing sound in massive stadiums while ensuring the audience gets a crystal-clear experience, especially in the crucial front-fill zone. He emphasizes the importance of integrity, stating that “facts are not truth” in the quest to blend technical perfection with the creative essence of the artists. He advises managing the trade-offs inherent to audio mixing, as live music remains a visual art form where “Always Be Performing” is key. Scovill discusses managing sound for Kenny Chesney’s stadium tour and recounts working with Matchbox 20 on a silent stage, sharing how cell phone videos can be instrumental in helping to reveal potential audio issues.

Scovill dives deep into drum audio techniques, recommending starting with stereo overheads and advising against isolating the drums in an “aquarium.” He also explores his favorite microphones and explains why in-ear monitors (IEMs) have positively impacted performers.

Scovill wraps up with stories from touring with Rush and insights into beamforming technology at U2’s innovative Sphere shows. Throughout the episode, he remains open to ideas and resources, underscoring the importance maintaining audio integrity and continually refining one’s craft in pursuit of perfect live sound.

Press play and enjoy, folks…and always be performing!


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