Engineer Profile – Jay Allgood
Jay Allgood | FOH | Thailand
How did you get started in the industry?
I started getting interested in sound from the age of 11 y/o. I used to follow bands around when they were playing close to my house and helped wherever I could - usually loading gear in and out, but I tried to learn from the local sound guys too.
After starting high school, I began playing in the school band but as I still had an interest in sound engineering work, I was performing and mixing at the same time. A teacher pushed me to develop my skills and study more so that I could turn my passion into a career. At that time, it was extremely hard to learn because I lived in such a rural location.
After graduating high school, I went to university to study music. As there were no courses dedicated to studying sound engineering, I got as much experience as possible from working with my friends bands and sometimes working in the university studio. There were only a few of us interested in the field at that time so we were able to gain a lot of experience both with live sound and studio work.
During the second year of university, I also had the opportunity to work on a tour for some Thai bands and since then, i've always enjoyed working live sound more than studio.
What tours have you worked on?
I have done many tours as a FOH engineer with different national and international artists, all of which vary in genre, so for each artist i've had to learn and develop the artists sound, both in terms of the musical style and adapting the equipment for that particular artist.
Of course, on a tour, the job specs are different at each location; whether it be the size and shape of the location itself, the equipment provided or the supporting systems available. Each show also varies in terms of what's required from us, we often have to be quick to analyse and solve problems in all situations but I've been extremely lucky at this point in my career to have acquired a lot of experience, skills and knowledge to help in my everyday work.
How did you first hear about Allen & Heath?
The first time I came into contact with Allen and Heath was probably using the ML4000 when I was working FOH for a local tour. I was impressed from the first moment; the character and tone was extremely warm and welcoming and as the console was so intuitive, it's kind of stuck with me throughout my career so far.
When entering the digital world, I came to experience iLive-T112 & iDR48. At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use it, so I downloaded the manual to learn as much as I could - and coming up to the first event using it, I was extremely nervous! But, as soon as I got my hands on it, I just had to say “wow!”. It was extremely quick to learn all of the functions and to get comfortable with the mixer. None of the functions were complicated as everything was available directly in front of you.
What’s your mixer of choice and why?
The mixer I use depends on the style of the show, whether it be an event, conference, seminar, small or large concert or theatre work - with the right tool, the work is easy!
For theatre work, for example, I use the dLive S5000 and DM64 MixRack for the sound quality and the plug-ins, which help convey a sense of drama in some scenes to aid the audience’s imagination. For this kind of work I also use the Dante cards to perform Live Multi-Track recordings and also for Virtual Soundchecks. It also makes distribution to broadcast or video extremely easy.
I use Allen & Heath because of the flexibility and freedom in the way of working, plus the easy workflow! Regardless of the show, it can perform any task required by the user.
How do you see the future of live sound changing?
As I've been working in this field for over 20 years, I've seen a lot of development in the field already. There are many advancements now that both improve the quality of the sound and make our jobs easier.
From my perspective, future work on plug-ins will allow the transition from the studio to live performance to be absolutely seamless and will even allow new experiences for the listener in a live situation, which are currently not possible to achieve in the studio. I also see the 3D audio becoming more and more popular in the future and I'm excited to see control possibilities for this and object-based mixing in the future.