A Cappella Engineering

I do high quality sound engineering for a cappella concerts.

a cappella setup

Are you in an a cappella group?  Take a second to read about why that’s a problem.  Now you know 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. (Samples Below!)

What I 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 recording of your concert (info below).
  • 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/circumstances as follows, but can be beefed up or scaled down to fit your needs and budget:

  • 3 wired solo/lead mics.
  • 1 wired beatbox mic with special processing for that VP edge.
  • 1 wired 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 speakers for that extra THUMP (looking at you, beatboxer),
  • Accommodates audiences up to about 300-400.
  • Need at least 2-3 hours for setup. More time = more finesse, better quality.

Extra options:

  • Wireless mics, for solos, bass, and beatbox
  • Wireless mics for the entire ensemble
  • Louder/bigger speakers for larger audiences
  • If you have a desire, I’m sure I can fulfill it.  Just ask!

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

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.  Don’t be distracted by the 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 highschool with this song:

And again, that was just camcorder audio.

Actual concert recordings.  Take a listen!

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:

Here’s a few links to playlists of concerts I’ve engineered and recorded:

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

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

UCSC Cloud 9
UCSC Hightones
UCSC Acquire
UCSC Slugz 2 Men
UCSC Taza Tal
UCSC Isang Himig
UCSB InterVals
UCSB Naked Voices
UCSB Vocal Motion
UCD Lounge Lizards
UCD Liquid Hotplates
UCD Afterglow
UCB Men’s Octet
UCB Cal Jazz Choir
SCU Supertonic
SDSU SoundWave

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: