Engineer Profile – Ben Hammond
Live sound and recording engineer, Ben Hammond (Deaf Havana, At The Drive In, Young Guns, The Veronicas, Saxon), talks to Allen & Heath…
How did you get started in the industry?
As a teenager, my band singed a record deal and had the opportunity to make a record with the legend that is Chris Tsangarides. After spending a couple of weeks in the studio with Chris I was hooked. Suddenly, I no longer wanted to make it as a drummer but was much more interested in making it as a sound engineer!
What tours have you worked on?
Too many to remember! I have had the pleasure of mixing (among others):
At The Drive In, Don Broco, Duff McKagan, Saxon, Skid Row, Of Mice & Men, Ugly Kid Joe, Lawson, Atreyu, Deaf Havana, Skindred, Lower Than Atlantis, You Me At Six.
How did you first hear about Allen & Heath?
Having used Audio -Technica mics for several years, they suggested I try an iLive when they took on distribution of the brand. I used it with Skindred when we headlined the Jagermeister tour, and I’ve never looked back.
What’s your mixer of choice and why?
Currently, it’s my trusty dLive S5000 system. After years of being in love with the iLive, moving to dLive was the obvious step. It’s got all the classic iLive sound/FX/flexibility but with about 800 times the power!
How do you see the future of live sound changing?
To me, it looks like one guy having to do more and more jobs! These days, nearly every FOH engineer is also the live recording engineer, looking after the multi-tracking of the show, and in a lot of cases the mixdown after the show! So many up and coming bands now own their own IEM systems but do not necessarily possess the knowledge to run them correctly – this also now falls upon the FOH engineer.
With everyone else in the industry now adjusting to digital technology and understanding the advantages, speed is more important than ever. Knowing how to get your band to sound as good as possible, as quickly as possible, makes console choice more important than ever.