An Evening with John Cooper

Central Indiana – July 18, 2019

Meeting Topic: An Evening with John Cooper

Moderator Name: Michael Petrucci

Speaker Name: John Cooper, freelance FOH mixer for Bruce Springsteen and other noted artists

Other business or activities at the meeting: It was announced that Section elections will commence at this time. Nominations are open and should be submitted to the Secretary. Voting will be done electronically (via special website). Results are expected on/about August 20, 2019.

Meeting Location: ESCO Communications, Indianapolis, IN

Summary

This evening’s guest presenter has been an FOH engineer/mixer for Bruce Springsteen since 2001. He has also worked as FOH engineer/mixer with other numerous other artists, including: John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, and Lionel Richie. 

John talked about his approach and experience in mixing for major, live music performances. Some of the things he highlighted included: 
• Understanding and maintaining the proper gain structure. 
• A result that sounds good/acceptable, not something that reads ideally on a meter. 
• Having appropriate backup equipment and a strategy to deploy, when necessary. 
• Be cautious of level limits with digital consoles. Some people are using analog matrices to do certain mixes in order to work around these issues. 
• Use of delays to achieve some stereo effects from a mono source. 
• Protools can provide a virtual sound check. 
• The teleprompter is a key element in this scale of road show — everyone uses it to know the where they are in the show. There could be as many as 20 displays. Related to this — many shows are automated. 
• The entire stage is on UPS. 
• There is a definite difference in energy level between an afternoon rehearsal and an evening performance. 
• Bass guitar balance (with the rest of the band/orchestra) is a very important consideration. 
• Front fills are important, especially for the performer to be understood. Balance can be tricky and important. 
In regular business, biennial elections for the Section were announced and the process will commence promptly. The value of AES membership was highlighted, including product discounts (Apple, Dell, Sound Particles and Focal Press) plus career resources (profiles, forums, and job board postings from sustaining member companies).

Written By: Barrie Zimmerman, Secretary

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