I love my job. Every night I turn the knobs and get a great show. Ask me anything.

Proof 1: https://imgur.com/0hvNVc7

Proof 2: https://imgur.com/wh3REUj

Proof 3: https://imgur.com/3IrbAtp

Comments: 188 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

Buggy3D90 karma

How does own end up working this field? Do you just get to school and apply? Or is it mostly a person you know kind of field?

andrewstereo91 karma

I live in Germany. Here you can study this profession at the university. I have successfully completed the study and then started my own business.

Qu1kXSpectation23 karma

What does the course of study cost? Asking with warm regards from US.

andrewstereo29 karma

Per semester about 200 Euros

Qu1kXSpectation14 karma

Thank you for the reply! May I inquire the university?

andrewstereo16 karma

The university of applied sciences is called "Fachhochschule Düsseldorf".

redshoeflower8 karma

is there a entrance exam to clear to get selected as a process ?

andrewstereo35 karma

Yes there is an entrance exam. You have to perform three pieces of music from different eras and take another exam in music theory. This is because the sound engineering program in Germany is a mixture of music studies and technical studies.

LowestKey17 karma

Public universities are free in Germany afaik.

andrewstereo13 karma

No, there are tuition fees, they're just not particularly high.

Qu1kXSpectation6 karma

Would that apply for foreign students also? Or dependent on school

andrewstereo7 karma

Foreigners can also study there. However, there is a very difficult entrance exam.

andrewstereo2 karma

No, there are tuition fees in Germany, they're just not particularly high.

formerPhillyguy9 karma

If you are in the US, you can join the marines. This is true. Back in the early 90's, someone I worked with wanted to be a professional audio engineer and, I guess, couldn't afford the school, so he joined the marines with the understanding they would train him to be the engineer for their bands and orchestras. He still had to go through basic training, but they kept their word. After leaving the marines, he worked for Claire Brothers, one of the largest touring audio companies in the industry. He is now the lead audio engineer for one of the Vegas casinos and has worked with Springsteen, Sting, Manilow, Bette Midler, and I don't know how many others.

andrewstereo2 karma

Wow, that's impressive.

AMillionMonkeys33 karma

Are you doing the same show every night like Broadway, or different acts?

andrewstereo29 karma

We have our own production, which runs about three times a week. And then we have guest artists in between.

gartacus31 karma

How many seats? How’s the load in?

andrewstereo45 karma

It is a small theater with 200 seats. But it is known all over Germany. It was the first theater in Germany for comedy, music and literature after the Second World War.

slinky27 karma

And the load in?

andrewstereo11 karma

Sorry, my English is not so good. What do you mean by "load"? Can you use another word that I understand?

ruinevil20 karma

What’s your favorite show you’ve worked on?

andrewstereo57 karma

My favorite show is our own production. It's a funny play about four parents who are sued by their children for climate change.

D5KDeutsche15 karma

Do you find all live productions that you're not involved in to be too distracting for you because you can't "unhear" things you'd do differently?

andrewstereo25 karma

Yes that's right. I always listen analytically, I can't turn that off.

Squeezer9999 karma

your proof seems not very proof-y

andrewstereo3 karma

How do you think proof that I am a sound engineer should look like?

Mr-and-Mrs5 karma

A pic of you licking some audio knobs?

andrewstereo3 karma

Yes I could do that :-).

yaboy_691 karma

show us your DAW

nah just kidding i never need to see pro tools again 👍

andrewstereo3 karma

In the theater, we use Ableton Live and Qlab for sound effects.

johnmcl697 karma

How big is the theatre? And what type of gear do you rely on the most for your productions?

andrewstereo17 karma

It is a small theater with 200 seats. We use a Beringer X32 mixing console and Sennheiser microphones.

space_monster1 karma

do you use Dante at all?

andrewstereo2 karma

You mean Dante virtual soundcard? I haven't used it yet, but a colleague always raves about it to me.

inot725 karma

Do you have a favorite band or musician that you really love to work with?

andrewstereo8 karma

selftitleddebutalbum4 karma

What's your favorite audio to play once you have your settings?

andrewstereo2 karma

The albums of Alan Parsons Project have an excellent sound.

gravyveins3 karma

When does a knob become too big to turn and retain its function?

andrewstereo8 karma

When does a knob become too big to turn and retain its function?

Controllers don't get bigger or smaller, but they can break. If this happens during the show, it is unfortunately very unpleasant.

Destinator83 karma

What type of microphone set up would you recommend for a low-resource community theater? I played in the pit for a local theater which was using aging headset-style mics that had unbearable static. Is there anything to look for to be efficient and cut down on the cost of new mics?

andrewstereo4 karma

You can use headsets from Monacor. They are relatively inexpensive, but have an acceptable sound.

rossmosh853 karma

How do you confirm the sound in the booth matches the experience for the audience?

andrewstereo1 karma

It always depends on the sound mix. I try to make it as homogeneous as possible.

andrewstereo1 karma

How do you confirm the sound in the booth matches the experience for the audience?

Sorry, I misunderstood the question. My English is not so good. I don't sit in a booth when mixing but sit open to the audience and the stage.

smashey2 karma

Is it me or do shaded line array systems sound really flat and bad?

andrewstereo2 karma

I have not yet had this experience.

Holeysox2 karma

Speaker boxes. I can't find anything that can tell me why certain designs are better than others. Do you have any textbooks that would pertain to the subject or know where I can find sound related equations (other than the speed of sound)?

andrewstereo1 karma

I'm sorry, but I'm not a specialist when it comes to loudspeakers. When I have to judge speakers, I listen to them very carefully. I think that's the best way to find out what you prefer.

asthmaticpunk2 karma

What is the hardest instrument to mic?

andrewstereo1 karma

I would say a drum set.

NicomoCosca42 karma

What’s your salary?

andrewstereo3 karma

I get 200 euros for each show. One show usually lasts 120 minutes.

jakexmfxschoen1 karma

Follow up question: is that enough for you to live off, or do you have a day job as well? This is something I wanted to go into about a decade ago when I graduated high school, but my small town, Midwestern dad refused to help pay unless I went to a "real school."

andrewstereo3 karma

I can live very well from it, but I also have a small recording studio where I work and earn money.

NoSpoonz2 karma

Have you ever pooped your pants on the job?

andrewstereo3 karma

Once almost. I had diarrhea and ran out to the bathroom during the show. I had to wait for a moment when I had nothing to do.

SeBAGeNetiC2 karma

Have you been told told you look like a good guy version of Kevin Spacey?

andrewstereo3 karma

Thank you for the compliment.

JoakimSpinglefarb2 karma

How often do you have to assure your acts that the mix will sound less bright when the venue fills up with meatbags?

andrewstereo3 karma

Almost every time. And then we all laugh about it.

Started-blasting2 karma

What console do you have in there?

andrewstereo2 karma

X32 from Behringer.

gocougs1913 karma

Do you have any recommended tutorials or resources for that console?

Our school has one but between the tech department who ran the wiring install and a poorly-aging building/electrical system, we can’t tell when we are struggling with operator inexperience or systemic issues.

It’s been months and I have forgotten what issues gave us trouble last time I ran the board.

Kosrei1 karma

Seconded on this! We’ve been having issues with our x32 and feedback coming out of the mains - would love to find material and dig into how it works better!

andrewstereo1 karma

Feedback usually has something to do with the microphones. They occur especially when you use microphones with omnidirectional characteristics. You have to filter out the interfering frequencies at the mixing console.

andrewstereo1 karma

Do you have any recommended tutorials or resources for that console?

No, unfortunately not. Even from Behringer there is no satisfactory user manual.

3sides2everyStory1 karma

Every night I turn the knobs and get a great show.

Ah!. you got a Knob Job! Noice!

So what's your favorite knob and why?

andrewstereo4 karma

Sorry, my English is not so good. By knobs I mean faders and sliders.

ToasterUnplugged1 karma

Did you go to graduate school, or the Germany-equivalent of graduate school after university?

andrewstereo1 karma

In Germany, we do not have the concept of "graduate school". I have a diploma in sound engineering, which is equivalent to a master's degree.

hotsprings12341 karma

Sounds like you have a fun job?

andrewstereo1 karma

Yes very. I often get a funny show.

hometown451 karma

What is more difficult to balance, a choir or a soloist? And Why? With orchestra of course.

andrewstereo3 karma

A choir is harder to mix because you have to balance a lot more signals.

Bn_scarpia1 karma

How do sound engineers that work in largely acoustic/non-amplified arts (e.g. opera) manage to keep stage and side monitor sound from bleeding into the house? It seems that many opera/concert houses are built for natural amplification (e.g. Hollywood bowl, Beyreuth, et al.)

andrewstereo2 karma

One option is to position the monitors so that they do not echo into the audience. The second option is to make the monitor sound as quiet as possible. There are not many more possibilities. The only thing I can think of are monitors that have the narrowest possible beam angle.

DjMafoo1 karma

As someone who also did audio engineering for a while during school and involvement in small theatre. I have had my fair share of stupid but funny things that went wrong. My favourite being the time a 5 year old turned off the power to one of our amps between acts, had a 15 minute delay after having to close the curtain due to not being able to hear 1 of the leads.

What’s your favourite “shit show” story?

andrewstereo1 karma

A colleague once forgot to disconnect the talkback connection to the stage. During the show, everything he said could be heard on stage. He was commenting on the show and flirting with a female sound engineer at the same time. The actors on stage had to be very careful not to burst out laughing.

Blasto_Brandino1 karma

I was looking at the Sennheiser e945 mic for my computer for use with my decent but no phantom power. You have experience with them? You like them? It’ll be for basic voice communication but I would like good clarity and fullness

andrewstereo1 karma

I unfortunately have no experience with the Sennheiser e945 mic, but Sennheiser is a very good company in my opinion. We often work with Sennheiser microphones in the theater.

closetothesilence1 karma

This year I got my first real live sound gig recording classical piano concerts in a small hall converted from an old two-car garage and workshop space. It's got a baby grand at one end and is probably 30' to the back wall. It's been a learn-by-doing experience for me as to how to mic up the piano to record the performances. I've got a pair of pencil condensers inside the piano near the hammers (panned hard left and right) and I've been cycling through my mics to get room ambience at the back of the house but it's a pretty dead room. It all goes right into logic and being a small hall there is no PA to worry about. I don't know if these are the right mics for this application or if I should have different mics on different strings or something with a larger diaphragm. I guess my question is how you would approach a single piano in a weird rectangle of a space like this?

andrewstereo2 karma

In the theater, we get very good results by using boundary microphones that we stick to the inside of the lid. However, the lid must be closed for this. If the pianist wants to play with the lid open, this method doesn't work so well.

WalyLama1 karma

What's the best ground score you ever found after a show?

andrewstereo1 karma

Sorry, my English is not so good. What do you mean by ground score?

Eckleburgseyes1 karma

Do you find it debilitating in your everyday life, not being able to count higher than 2?

andrewstereo1 karma

Is this supposed to be a joke question?

switchblade10201 karma

What is an insider trick for getting clarity on vocals in a challenging room?

andrewstereo1 karma

By challenging room you probably mean a room that is very reverberant. Here it helps if the actor or musician speaks or sings as close to the mic as possible. Otherwise, you can help a bit with an equalizer.

Leader3421 karma

Have you ever been responsible for, or at least witnessed, a hilariously awful sound related technical error? I’m a sound engineer too and everyone working in a theater setting is bound to slip up at some point.

andrewstereo2 karma

Sure, I've also made mistakes during the show. Fortunately, if people notice it at all, they find it rather amusing.

ruinevil1 karma

Do you have more knobs or more sliders?

andrewstereo1 karma

I haven't counted, but I think it about balances out.

EngineeringDevil1 karma

Do you ever have to deal with artist not showing up and not telling anyone like some horror stories you hear about madonna and a few other divas?

andrewstereo1 karma

No, something like that hasn't happened to me yet, fortunately. But I have had bitchy female artists who have bullied us sound engineers.

keepitcleanforwork1 karma

Is it necessary to adjust the eq settings on a modern car with a good sound system?

andrewstereo1 karma

As a rule, yes, because each car has its own acoustics and should be adjusted accordingly.

Juryman_1 karma

What's the best way to handle random lapel mic popping?

andrewstereo1 karma

If the lapel mic accidentally pops, it's usually the cable's fault. You should check if it might be broken. If it pops during explosive sounds, then you can help yourself with a pop shield.

OmenVi1 karma

Do you use any Wenger products at your theater? They’re US based, so maybe not, but they do have an international sales channel.

andrewstereo1 karma

No, we do not use Wenger products in our theater.

Setagaya-Observer1 karma

How do you stay updated?

Regarding Sound/ Sound Design

(So much is going on but now I am lost)

andrewstereo1 karma

Yes there really is a lot going on in this area. But I'm not going crazy about it. I have a couple of favorite companies like Native Instruments that I get information from on a regular basis.

bdhubbard1 karma

Have you ever used the famous "Wilhelm Scream" in a production?

andrewstereo1 karma


audiophallus1 karma

What’s in your personal work box?

andrewstereo1 karma

Sorry, my English is not so good. What does "work box" mean?

Pachyderm_Powertrip1 karma


andrewstereo1 karma

Haunted? What do you mean?

GeneralMcGrath1 karma

So THIS is what audio guys do all day...

JK.. serious question now... How'd you manage during Covid? Lots of my friends in our industry weren't as lucky as me to have a back up plan

andrewstereo2 karma

The theater I work for unfortunately had to close during Covid. I was unemployed for a year, so to speak. But I had financial reserves from which I lived. There was also support from the state for the self-employed.


Can you suggest decent quality, but not very expensive sound deadening? Trying to get my home theater to not echo as much

andrewstereo1 karma

Sound deadending is unfortunately always expensive. The absolute cheapest solution is egg cartons. But they are, unfortunately, not very aesthetic. We built the absorbers ourselves in our studio: cover a wooden frame with fabric and fill the interior with sheep's wool.

doug19721 karma

Has any actor used the bathroom facilities and actually left the microphone on, like in Naked Gun?

andrewstereo1 karma

Yes, but unfortunately it was my fault, I had forgotten to mute the microphone after he left. But he only spoke innocuous stuff.

Mr2mrcityzen1 karma

What board do you work on?

andrewstereo1 karma

Sorry, my English is not so good. By "board" you probably mean the mixer? It is a Behringer X32 digital console.

AsparagusNo29550 karma

What's your favorite dinosaur?

redshoeflower1 karma

how about t rex screams, do they impress you.

andrewstereo1 karma

Yes they do :-)

andrewstereo1 karma

What's your favorite dinosaur?

I don't have a favorite dinosaur.

jimbronio-1 karma

Why didn’t you go into something more useful like lighting? ;)

andrewstereo2 karma

Why didn’t you go into something more useful like lighting? ;)

I am also a lighting technician.

universe93-3 karma

Your proof isn’t proof of your job at all. For all we know you’re making everything up

andrewstereo1 karma

I have added new proofs to my post.

andrewstereo0 karma

Why should I lie? What would I gain from pretending to be a sound engineer?