Seven of the Best Live Sound Engineers in L.A.

Brian Haught

Monik HaughtBrian Haught

When you see a show, you're not just hearing the band. You're hearing the hard work of the live sound engineers. It's a thankless job, done often in anonymity.

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And it's not just about learning how to operate the sound board: Every room is different. What works at The El Rey isn't going to work at The Echoplex. But the good part is that L.A. sound engineers are a community: While there's a competitive element to it, live sound engineers tend to celebrate each other's successes.

Here are seven of the best that Los Angeles has to offer, in no particular order:

Brian Haught

Age: 45

Venues: The Dragonfly, The Joint, The Opium Den, King King, The Garage, The El Rey, Henry Fonda Theater, The Viper Room, Roxy, Troubador, Key Club.

Years in Town: 18

Years in the Biz: 12

Gig Pet Peeves: Tardiness. "When you're in the studio you have all the time in the world. That's not true when you're playing live."

Favorite Piece of Gear: Any digital mixing console. "It allows you to be fluid and fast."

Tomas Wolfe

Courtesy Tomas WolfeTomas Wolfe

Tomas Wolfe

Age: 31

Venues: The Viper Room, Echo, Club Nokia, Fonda, The El Rey

Years in Town: Native

Years in the Biz: 4

Gig Pet Peeves: "When the audience is telling me how to mix."

Favorite Piece of Live Gear: Venue profile console

Shawn London

Courtesy Shawn LondonShawn London

Shawn London

Age: 47

Venues: The Roxy, The Whiskey, The El Rey, The Fonda, The Opium Den, The Key Club

Years in Town: Native

Years in the Business: 24

Gig Pet Peeves: "Bands that are late. Bands that have their input list and it's completely wrong."

Favorite Piece of Live Gear: Midas XL8 or a Heritage.

Jerry Lopez

Courtesy Jerry LopezJerry Lopez

Jerry Lopez

Age:  38

Venues:  The Fox Theater Pomona, The Glasshouse, The Mayan, The Viper Room

Years in Town: 18

Years in the Biz: 18

Gig Pet Peeves: "Miscommunication, abusive employers, underpayment, people that don't get their shit together and still get pay for it."

Favorite Piece of Live Gear: X32 Midas/Behringer, Ableton Live and Waves Plug ins.

James Young

Courtesy James YoungJames Young

James Young

Age: 45

Venues: 14 Below, The El Rey, Fonda Music Box, King King, Key Club, The Viper Room, Glasshouse, Club Nokia

Years in Town: 15

Years in Biz: 25

Gig Pet Peeves: "Line checking band over the PA in front of an audience. Use your cans!"

Favorite Piece of Gear: SM 57 microphone.

Matthew Andrade

Courtesy of Matthew AndradeMatthew Andrade

Matthew Andrade

Age: 35

Venues: The Viper Room, Whisky-a-Go-Go, House of Blues Sunset, Club Nokia, Fox Theater Pomona, Troubadour, Roxy, Key Club, Avalon, Fonda Theatre, Greek Theater

Years in Town: 7

Years in Biz: 7

Gig Pet Peeves: "Not getting to work with the best bands. Unprepared and unprofessional bands."

Favorite Piece of Live Gear: In-Ear Monitors (IEMs)

Leonard Contreras

Courtesy of Leonard ContrerasLeonard Contreras

Leonard Contreras

Age: 39

Venues: The Whisky, Roxy Theatre, The Viper Room

Years in Town: 22

Years in the Biz: 18

Gig Pet Peeves: "Tune your instrument."

Favorite Piece of Live Gear: Behringer X32 and waves Maxx BCL

See also: If Your Band Wants to Sound Good You Must Give the Sound Guy $20

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