These positions are often called babysitting gigs, as in you are babysitting the FOH or Monitor Engineer. But every engineer knows how important it is to have a great tech and all have had experiences with less than helpful techs.
The basic job duties are setting up and looking after the mixing console or consoles and processing and assisting with the tuning of the system. Techs may also be responsible for walk-in music, announcements, mixing the opening acts, recording the performance, etc. FOH and Monitor Techs should have extensive knowledge of consoles and outboard gear and should be able turnaround consoles quickly in festival situations. In monitor world, techs are often responsible for RF coordination for IEMS. FOH and Monitor Techs are often the system techs as well – increasing their overall workload and responsibilities.
These are just the basics though there is much more that goes into being a tech that engineers request or want to work with for several years and across different tours. We will be starting a series on system techs and getting their tips and advice on what it takes to be a great tech.
Our first interview will be with honorary SoundGirl Kevin McKenzie. Kevin McKenzie is a twenty plus year veteran of live sound. Working as an audio engineer and system technician for several sound companies including Kingston Audio, Rat Sound Systems, and Clair Brothers. Kevin has toured as both the FOH and Monitor Tech (not simultaneously) for Pearl Jam for over twelve years and was the FOH tech for The Eagles on their Long Road out of Eden tour. Kevin recently oversaw the design and integration of analog gear into the FOH touring package for Queens of the Stone age.
We encourage everyone to send in their questions about being an FOH, Monitor, or System Tech. Engineers, we would love to hear from you as well. What do you want and need in a tech? Email questions to Soundgirls.firstname.lastname@example.org