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Sound Engineer Conner Ivie Dials in the Right Mix

By David Goe


Conner Ivie side-stage at Lollapalooza in Chicago 

In the past, I’ve spent plenty of time discussing music from a fan’s perspective and from the creator’s perspective.

I’ve sprinkled in stories here and there about recording engineers and concert promoters, but for the most part I’ve overlooked the people working behind the scenes.

As it is a new year, I made a resolution to focus on these unheralded members of our music community.

When writing about music, the glory always goes to the musician, but the music community is filled with unsung heroes.

For this column let’s turn our focus to sound engineers and one specifically: Conner Ivie.

Owner of Concert Design Innovations, Ivie has worked as a professional sound engineer for 11 years, however, he has been around the industry virtually his entire life.

“I grew up backstage,” Ivie said. “My dad worked in the production industry, although he was more theatrical oriented. He worked concerts as well, so I have been around (the industry) since I was 4 or 5.”

Ivie’s work takes him all across the country. From big festival stages such as Lollapalooza and Riot Fest to small local events like the Fruita Fall Fest and KAFM Zombie Prom, Ivie is omnipresent, dialing in audio for national headliners and local bands alike.

Ivie and his crew at Concert Design Innovations are the people working behind the scenes engineering the acoustics for live sound. As a fan, you probably don’t notice them but their work is vital to your concert experience.

They are the ones running cables, adjusting speakers and tuning the room for the show. A good sound engineer’s work elevates a band, making them sound better than they probably are, but a bad sound engineer can single-handedly ruin a concert with a poor mix.

“The one thing I wish people knew about audio engineering is that when it comes to the finished product, it is more of an art than a science,” Ivie said. “What you hear at any given show is simply that engineer’s interpretation of what all the individual noises he is given to work with should sound like mixed together, or what we think the majority of people will find most pleasing.”

For an engineer like Ivie, details are everything when starting production for a show. Elements such as temperature, humidity, elevation and wind play just as important of a role as speaker and microphone placement.

When recording an album, sound engineers spend hours or even days controlling the atmosphere to get everything sounding right. For live sound, engineers they try to do the same thing, only in real time.

“Acoustically every show is different from the soundcheck,” Ivie said. “Many of the micro adjustments we make go unnoticed, but enough of them together can be the difference between good sound and great sound.”

The work of a sound engineer often is thankless. It starts when a band loads in and it doesn’t stop until the band plays its final notes. The work also is physically and mentally grueling.

Not only are engineers constantly lugging around sound equipment, they are expected to know the science behind sound and acoustics in order to get the best results from their gear. And finally, on top of all that, they need to have an experienced and tuned ear to make the whole environment harmonious for the fan.

“You can own an amazing sound system, but if you don’t know how to set it up properly then it won’t sound good,” Ivie said. “On the other hand, if you don’t have a good ear, then you are going to make an amazing sound system sound awful.”

Ultimately, sound engineers help facilitate that critical connection between the musician and fans.

As a band showing up to a new venue, there is nothing more comforting than knowing a proper sound engineer is there to put you in the best possible situation to sound great.

As a fan, you should be thankful that someone such as Ivie is sitting behind a mixing board engineering the set. A great-sounding set resonates just as well with the band and fans as it does on the engineer.

COMMENTS

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I have been following your blog for some time now and have found it quite informative and also interesting kerajinan tembaga and you have very nice way of expressing the article.The author clearly describe all the parts of the article with good language and information.Looking forward to another article.

This blog is all about the professional experience of Conner Ivie in the music industry. buyessayclub.org can be used to get more information about this blog. He worked as a professional engineer for 11 years.




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