Conversation With Audio Engineer Marty Keller

As always, spelling, punctuation, formatting, etc. of the original message is left intact.

Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 18:54:38 -0800
To: "marty" <>
From: Ron Pellegrino <>
Subject: Re: sounds like?

Hi Marty:

Thanks for the note. Of course, you're absolutely right. There's a large segment of the live music culture (musicians, audiences, presenters, etc.) that's already deaf and they demand more absolute level just so their relative levels meet their needs (the point of my "...Enemies of Your Ears" piece.) If you check out my reviews you'll see that my concern is with the engineers doing gigs that call for what you describe as "the golden rule" - "reinforce the sound coming off stage for a smooth audio spectrum balance". There are too few folks out there that know the rule and and even fewer know how to apply it. But the fact is that I'm definitely hearing improvement over the past few years. That has to be because more people like you are working the boards. Keep up the good work and spread the word.


Ron Pellegrino

Mary Keller's original post:


I left the arena of pro live audio for those very reasons hit upon in your article. I was suffering hearing damage(tinitus/It has subsided not dissappeared) and decided to get out of the biz all together.. some points's not only the engineers who have to watch it.. its also the bloody musicians and their amplifiers cranked up to ridiculous levels.. (sometimes they even turned 'em down when asked!) and drummers? Ha! 99% of them have no understanding of volume dynamics. Its also the punters themselves..many a time I've had audience members telling me to crank it up! BECAUSE ITS NOT LOUD ENOUGH! they scream... finally some reponsibility must rest with the venue..they have a duty to their patrons.

In my 10 years as a engineer in the studioÊonÊthe road and as a inhouse systems operator (as well as playing music myself for 20 years) I've come across all sorts of styles of music from death metal to tanzanian folk music and to me the golden rule has always been "reinforce the sound coming off stage for a smooth audio spectrum balance" now I occasionally do small gigs with a 2x2way 600(total) watt vocal PAand about 200 watts of foldback on these rare occasions whenÊI do a gigÊI have no problems from anyone...

cheers Marty Keller

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