Mixing live sound is both the most exciting/stressful thing I've ever done. Exciting, because you are creating a unique performance. Blending voices, music and effects to create a sonic experience that will never happen again. You have complete control over what the audience hears.Of course, the things that make it so exciting are the same things that make it so stressful. Sound is always expected to be perfect, even though it usually takes a backseat to lighting and staging (especially in theater).
When you do it well, you don't get a lot of comments (from the audience or the artists). But when something goes wrong, everyone wants you to know!
Live sound is similar to studio recording in that one is basically solving problems that stand in the way of great sound. The difference is you can't sit down, have a coffee and think about solutions. It must be handled immediately, but you still have to mix the rest of the performance.
It's like being an air traffic controller, but the consequences of failure aren't quite as dire.
House of Pop
Each year at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, one of the hottest tickets is Mr Jone's House of Pop. A mixture of music and dance, featuring the best the school has to offer.
It's a particullarly intense show to mix, up to eight lead vocalists at a time, up to 30 backing vocalists, a full band with a Steinway Model D (I only mention it because of the challenges a huge piano present in a live situation!) and close to two dozen tunes.