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So You Want To Be A… Live Sound Engineer

Lance Krive

Lance Krivé is a live sound engineer who’s worked alongside his fair share of legends. Yep, that’s him up there with Fleetwood Mac’s renowned frontwoman, Stevie Nicks – a musician he’s known for over three decades. Krivé has learnt a thing or two from his tenure in the music industry, and he’s now imparting that wisdom on a daily basis as Abbey Road Institute’s Senior Trainer and Sound Production Specialist. Before the school year kicks off for 2016, we chatted to Krivé about his illustrious career and learnt a thing or two about his day-to-day life.

If you’ve ever had a niggling feeling that you were supposed to be forging a career in music, don’t just sit there. Take the plunge and hit up a college like Abbey Road – there’s still time to join the intake for 2016.

How did you get your start in the music industry?
I wanted to be a guitar player, but I knew that I wasn’t an Eddie Van Halen so I wasn’t going to make money out of it. I decided that I wanted to do something in the music industry and I became real interested in doing sound for bands as there were a lot of bands playing in my town. It seemed to me, the guy that did the sound was pretty cool because he had the band in his hand. He could make the band sound really good or really bad.

What does your day-to-day job involve?
It involves Monday through Friday teaching at Abbey Road Institute, all the kids that want to learn all about music production and audio. On weekends I still go out and do sound for bands. When I do sound for bands it involves going down to the club where the bands are playing, and I set up all the microphones and get the band all set up so they are feeling comfortable. Then basically I do a sound check with them so that it sounds really good for them and it also sounds really good for the audience. Then it’s catching up with peers and networking. When the show comes around it’s doing sound for the show and making sure everybody is happy.

What have been the highlights of your job?
The highlight of my job has been the artists that I’ve worked with. I used to have pictures of Stevie Nicks on my wall, because I thought she was the rock goddess and to be able to work with her for over 15 years has been awesome. To work with Madonna, Michael Jackson, and all these artists means that I have been able to live my dream. That’s something not a lot of people can say, but if I look back on my life I can honestly say that I’ve achieved the unbelievable.

Can you describe some of the more trying times you’ve experienced in this job?
Touring is tough because you can’t be sick. There are no such thing as sick days, so if you’re throwing up in a bucket, you’re still mixing the band. And it’s hard because you’re trying to sleep, but you don’t get a lot of sleep at all, so you’re really working from sunrise all the way through the night and then you try to catch a few hours of sleep if you can. So I’d say that’s the most trying thing about it. Working in the studio you’re isolated from the outside world and it can be stressful; you know you need a break when you start replying to your own questions.

Tell BLUNT one thing about your job that most people would never guess.
That’s a tough one! It’s not all play and fun, it’s actually a lot of work. Glamorous at times, however, exhaustion even dulls that at times. But, I love what I do so for me it’s actually fun.

Who has been your favourite artist to work with?
I have to say Stevie Nicks. I’ve worked for her for a very long time and she has a heart of gold. She’s been really cool and done a lot for me.

What would you say sets Abbey Road Institute apart from other music colleges?
I believe Abbey Road does it right. We’re teaching what the kids really want and need to learn, not what classroom academics think they should be learning. It’s all about the students going out there and actually being prepared for the real world. I know that Abbey Road really prepares them for that.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer to someone looking to pursue a career in the music industry?
To be like a sponge and to soak it all in, to get out there and see what’s going on and ask questions. To learn as much as you can about the industry you want to be in. The more you learn the better it’s going to be for you and networking is obviously vital.

For more information on one of Australia’s newest and most respected musical colleges, head to abbeyroadinstitute.com.au.

Abbey Road Institute

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