A Cappella Engineering

I do high quality sound engineering for a cappella concerts.

a cappella setup

When I engineered my first a cappella show on December 1st, 2012, I had no idea that I would fall madly in love with the genre.

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Are you in a college a cappella group?  Take a second to read about why that’s a problem.  You know now that my specialty is to make your shows awesome; to translate your countless hours of rehearsal into the top-notch musical experience that your audiences deserve.

I have engineered many a cappella concerts over the past few years, and have invested thousands of dollars into equipment tailored for the task.  If you’re putting on a high quality showcase, you’ll want to hear what I can offer.

Actual concert recordings.  Take a listen!

Let’s start with the end product. I create a high quality recording of every a cappella show I engineer: you get a clipped version of each song in MP3 format for mobile listening, and a full-concert “CD Quality” version that you can use if you take a video of the concert. Here are some examples:

UCSC’s Cloud 9: Fireflies:

UCSB’s InterVals, select members:

UCSB’s Naked Voices:

UCSC’s Acquire:

UCD’s The Spokes: 

And here are a few links to playlists of concerts I’ve engineered and recorded:

HellaCappella 2018
Cloud 9 2017 Spring
Naked Voices 2017 Spring

InterVals and Naked Voices 2016 Fall
InterVals 2017 Winter
InterVals 2017 Spring
Acquirefest 2018
Acquirefest 2017
Acquirefest 2016
Acquirefest 2015
Vocal Motion 2017 Spring
Hightones 2015 Spring
Hightones 2014 Winter


I’m always working to improve my techniques and reinvesting in better technologies and resources to provide the best quality.


What I currently include with all shows to make your concert an awesome experience:

  • All sound equipment provided.  Very high quality gear!
  • Tailored to your particular group’s sound, with techniques developed over 14 years.
  • Mixing and balancing parts during the whole show. Lots of engineers like to “set it and forget it,” but I stay with you in every moment.
  • High quality multi-track recording of your concert.
  • Facility/venue research, special equipment rentals, transportation, housing (if long-distance); all included. When you hire me, that’s the last arrangement you have to make.
  • Friendly, positive attitude: concerts are a great time to be happy!

Standard setup as follows, but can be beefed up or scaled down to fit your needs:

  • 3 wireless solo/lead mics.
  • 1 wireless Vocal Percussion mic with special processing for that VP edge.
  • 1 wireless bass mic.
  • 2 high quality area mics with special processing so that we can actually hear the ensemble, and well. Positioned low and visually unobtrusive.
  • Main speakers with ribbon drivers: very clear and smooth sound for vocals.
  • Sub-woofer speakers for that extra thump (looking at you, VP),

Extra options:

  • Wireless mics for the entire ensemble (16 or more? Sure!)
  • Louder/bigger speakers for larger audiences
  • If you have a desire, I’m sure I can fulfill it.  Just ask!

A comparison

It’s difficult to get a good recording of how a live concert sounded. But to give a comparison: listen to these two examples of the UCSC Hightones, both recorded with crappy camcorder audio.  It’s clear which one has finesse and which one sounds like open mic night.  (Sorry that there’s a key change between them):

Can you tell which one was a product of the school’s audio support services?  Again, I don’t mean to bash anyone, I just want your show to be the best it can be.

Another comparison with UCSB VocalMotion, taking me back to my high school years with this song:

And again, you were hearing camcorder audio.  This doesn’t fully represent what my shows sound like, but you can get a sense of the quality I love to deliver.


Here’s a list of a cappella groups I have engineered for, including those as openers or in collab shows:

UC Santa Cruz
Cloud 9
The Hightones
Acquire
Slugz 2 Men
Taza Tal
Isang Himig
UC Santa Barbara
InterVals
Naked Voices
Vocal Motion
BFOM
Ravaani
UC Davis
The Spokes
Lounge Lizards
Liquid Hotplates
Afterglow
UC Berkeley
UC Men’s Octet
Cal Jazz Choir
Dil Se
Santa Clara University
Supertonic
San Diego State University
SoundWave
Stanford
Fleet Street
University of Oregon
Divisi
University of Colorado Boulder
On The Rocks
UC Irvine
Uniting Voices
Chapman University
ChapTones


I would LOVE to come do sound for your next concert.  Please contact me, and let’s set it up! My schedule fills up pretty fast, so get in touch as early as you can, even if the date isn’t set. I do everything I can to accommodate everyone.

 

 

Call it shameless self-promotion, but here’s my final thought: