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PAT MCCARTHY SPM AUDIO ENGINEERING Follow spmaudio on Twitter
Reliable, No-Nonsense Audio Expertise since 1990
Reliable, No-Nonsense Audio Expertise since 1990

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EVENT AUDIO DESIGN & ENGINEERING

Are you a producer or promoter looking for that one individual who can take care of all audio needs for your event or tour, from beginning to end?

Look no further. Hand me the details about your production (set designs, stage plots, lighting and video designs, audience seating plans, speaker/talent lineup and tech riders, media coverage, and venue information) and I’ll come up with a complete audio package (inlcuding logistics) that fits your event and budget. I can also be your lead audio person, supervising and assisting with setup and running audio during the event. (In addition, I can put together any pre-recorded cues such as announcements, music beds, and sound effects.)

What are the benefits of this approach?

1) Having the person who will be running audio for the event specify and design the audio is the best guarantee of having a smooth-running, good-sounding event. This is because live sound engineers perform best on equipment they already know, and they know the pros and cons of different audio techniques and technologies better than anyone else. In addition, they know better than anyone else what tools they’ll need to effectively perform any live sound task.

2) Having a single point of accountability for all audio-related aspects of your event ensures nothing is overlooked.

3) I don’t own a huge amount of audio gear - instead, I source whatever is needed from the most qualified local vendor. This means I’ll be supplying a sound system that is truly a good fit for your event and budget, rather than trying to move gear I already have. Also, by using local vendors I keep trucking costs and rental days down.

4) As much as possible I stick with vendors I already know and who have outstanding track records for quality control. If I must use a new vendor, I put them through a rigorous screening and reference process.

Here are some photos from just a very small (and random) sampling of shows I've designed audio for:

Latvian Song Fest at UIC Pavilion (Chicago), July 2002. These dancers were just one part of a show that ran several days. It was capped off with a 1200-member choir, backed by a 40-piece orchestra. Not shown is the choir mic'ing, which was done with both ground-supported and flown mics. The house was set up in reverse to accommodate the choir, who were in the mezzanine-level seating sections opposite where the stage usually would be for a concert. To fly the mics, we ran tie line from the catwalks to the balcony handrails above the choir.

Since the house was reversed, we hung a PA off the ends of the catwalks, above and just downstage of the choir. The house central cluster was used as a point delay, with drivers firing the wrong way turned off.

The German-American and Lithuanian-American choir associations did similar concerts at this venue, with essentially the same audio, within a few years of this event.

latviansongfest
Fashionshowstage

 

Gala opening fashion show for the downtown Chicago Nordstrom store, September 2000. The PA consisted of Martin F1 top boxes for mains and first delays, with the low boxes under the stage. Second delays are Martin CT-2s, which are a passive two-way design with a 12" coaxial driver - great-sounding little boxes; I miss them. This show took about a week to build.

Mixposition

 

Mix position for the Nordstrom gala opening. Nordstrom's music editor preferred cassettes (remember this is still 2000), hence the stack of cassette decks. System EQ (Klark Teknik DN360s) is out of photo, to the right of the cassette decks, so it would be out of the music editor's way. (I didn't actually need it because of the parametrics in the Yamaha O1V.)

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Copyright 2010-2014 by Samuel Patrick McCarthy

Last updated 11/3/2014

Thanks to Carl Miller and Elena Papastefan for site development and design assistance