Accomplished FOH engineer Pooch – who is currently on the road with ZZ Top – has worked with the likes of Iron Maiden, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Kiss and many more over the course of his career. Here he discusses how IEMs are allowing for better front of house mixes, and offers some of his top tips and tricks for mixing live shows.
What projects have been keeping you busy recently? And when did you get your initial break working in live sound?
I’m out touring with ZZ Top at the moment; we’ve been on the road since July, so I feel very lucky that I’ve had a few months of work here. I was a producer and engineer in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. I was always a studio guy. The band that asked me to mix their live stuff was a band named Warrant, who had a hit record back then called Cherry Pie. After just one day working together in the studio, the lead singer asked if I would mix their live show, and so the next day I found myself mixing an arena show for 10,000 people.
I just fell in love with the instant gratification of live sound, with people giving you that constant feedback as you’re mixing.
You’ve been sharing live mixing masterclasses on your website; what kind of tips and tricks do you share through these tutorials?
I was very, very lucky – early on in my career when I moved to Los Angeles – to work with some of the best recording engineers in the world.