Engineer Profile – AJ Sutherland
How did you get started in the industry?
I was working at The Plug music venue in Sheffield and one of the touring acts offered me a place on their tour. I joined a month later with a show at Glastonbury then travelling the UK on a tour bus playing Academy-sized venues. From there I met more bands and crew and found myself with a career in the touring music industry.
What tours have you worked on?
That first tour was with Chipmunk. Since then I’ve toured a lot with Alex Clare, Modestep, Gorgon City, Screaming Maldini, Kiesza, Enter Shikari, Bonzai and others.
How did you first hear about Allen & Heath?
I first started mixing church bands on a GL2400 so Allen & Heath was there right from the start of my career. It felt like every school and church had a GL - it is a fantastic console to learn on.
What’s your mixer of choice and why?
For a long time, I used the GLD-80 as my monitor console with acts like Gorgon City and Enter Shikari. It is compact, fully-functional and great value, which meant we had a consistent monitor mix on all shows, even when we flew to America, since it was always affordable and logistically easy to tour. It held its own on tiny club shows right up to headline shows at Glastonbury, Download and The Roundhouse.
How do you see the future of live sound changing?
Now digital technology is widespread, the next step is portability. Bands want the same sound (and therefore the same equipment) on all shows, so consoles that fit in a van or even on a plane are getting much more popular. Also, as lighting setups get bigger, smaller audio systems mean more space on a tour for the flashy stuff. Plus, as technology advances there is no longer a need for a huge mixer since the same
processing power can fit in a much smaller chassis and engineers are happy to use automation and layers rather than wanting lots of knobs and faders.