Mixing Live Concerts & Shows

michael_spiess_foh_engineer_S6l

Michael Spiess mixes concert and live performances of music groups various genres. He is touring as a FOH (Front Of House) artist’s live sound engineer in Europe and worldwide.

As a live sound engineer of today I use modern technologies, and at the same time I rely on traditional core values of live sound engineering.
A long-term and close cooperation-ship has developed with some artists over time. My work as a live sound engineer is made up of the following areas:

  • Mixing live shows for music groups and artists as “Concert Sound Engineer” (FoH Engineer).
  • Rehearsing with the artist in order to work on the mix and sound design, and also to develop the live setup on stage prior a tour.
  • Partly production management in audio and PA sector, as well as direct communication between local production companies and the artists’ production requirements.
  • Preparing technical production requirements prior a tour.
  • Preparing of live mix sessions for a further treatment by a studio.

Tools for the job

venue-s6l

One aspect of my job is choosing the best equipment possible for the type of show and size of venue. However, budget and transport conditions often mean that certain compromises has to be made.

My console of choice is a Avid VENUE S6L system. I decided for the console that offer beside software agility and hardware flexibility also the clarity, warmth, and presence throughout the signal path for mixing music. Beside of that  I like to work with my own personal tools whenever it’s possible. My currently used setup gives me the best overall package these days:

  • VENUE S6L mixing console
  • Pro Tools Ultimate for record and virtual sound check
  • SoundGrid enables the Integration of WAVES Plug-In processing directly into VENUE S6L.
  • API2500 and Rupert Neve Portico II complete the peripheral devices for the master bus.
  • Lake LM44 Audio System Processors gives me a perfect management to deliver the feeds to the PA sound system. And also D/A conversion if required
  • Smaart V.7/8 let me monitor the frequency response and interaction ( PA system and room ) and volume ( SPL in dB(A) ) during the concert

Waves Live - Interviews & Articles

waves

Greg Price ( FOH Engineer Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath ) Presents:
FOH Michael Spiess, Interviews & Articles WAVES

Hi, my name is Michael Spiess. I work mainly with Hard & Heavy Bands, mostly from the ‘80s, and I do live engineering for them worldwide.
To make them sound good and is of course the main goal. To also sound equal to their records is another one, and this has been very difficult or impossible in the past. This music has a lot of facets, energy, tempo and effects changes throughout…
 >> Read the full Interview <<

Story of how it started

Michael Spiess has begun as a musician, he started out in 1992 with the audio engineering

Before he got first time his hands on a mixing console, he had to learn the basics step by step. First as hand for rental companies in their stores, later as a stagehand on smaller productions.
Beside of that he studied audio engineer at a private institute. Technical literature, electrotechnic, acoustic, sound reinforcement technology, and others by his self-instruction.
The years after were mostly freelance jobs for rental companies, clubgigs, professional meetings for industry and media, and small demo recordings and sound reinforcements, before his work shifted to a band’s own sound engineer…
Due to this hard path over years and a slow development, he can look back on a wide range history of the audio industry. Today he is working with international artists, bands and groups as their live sound engineer on concerts, world wide.