A Day in the Life of an OSA Technical Engineer
So there I am dancing at an event such as Homecoming or the Fall Country Concert, jamming to the flawless groovy sounds and feeling the rhythm, not even thinking about the work that goes into putting this amazing event together. But someone has to put the microphones and speakers out right? Right, and those amazing people are our OSA Technical Engineers or better know as “Techie Magicians”.
When asked to describe the day in the life of a technician, Richard Grouser said, “The life of a sound tech is an interesting one. The hours and the jobs are constantly changing and things never seem to go as planned. As a tech, you really have to be quick on your feet and able to adapt.” Boy, was he right. After hearing about the various hiccups and challenges that went on during the Fall Country Concert, I can’t help but to be impressed and thankful for these “Magicians”.
First, the technicians started setting up for the Fall Country Concert at 12:30pm. This includes hooking up four towers, four subs, four to five monitors, microphones, stands and much more. After everything was set up, they had plenty of time to double check everything and ensure that the new digital board would work fine in its first live setting usage. Thankfully, everything was set up and ready to go at 4pm, so the group had time to go eat, but it was at this time that they found out that the first act, Clayton Anderson was not coming, which was in Richard’s words, “a blessing and a curse”. They had extra time to relax since they did not have to have a sound check until 5:30pm, but on the other hand, they had to totally rearrange the equipment into the set up that the opening act, Chris Cavanaugh, wanted.
As Chris Cavanaugh arrived, the technicians helped the group load their equipment on stage, set up everyone’s microphone, and ran through sound check. While most of the process went smoothly, Richard did have some issues with the new system and getting all of the monitor mixes. Then, just as everything was finally worked out, Clayton Anderson called and said that he was going to make it and would be there by 10pm. This news meant that the technicians would have to quickly get everything set up and ready to go for a band that they had never done a sound check for.
The concert finally began and everything was running smoothly. Jocelyn Faro opened and Chris Cavanaugh followed behind. However, during Chris Cavanaugh’s performance the technicians found that they had to fix the volume levels for each instrument and vocals for the perfect blend, despite having had a sound check earlier. Then, Clayton Anderson arrived and the technicians ran into another problem: they did not have enough floor monitors, but they managed to work everything out and Clayton Anderson’s performance went great. So great that the technicians had some calls from the local police responding to noise complaints, which in Richard’s mind meant that the concert was a success!
After the concert, the technicians have to clean up, which isn’t exactly their most favorite thing to do since the concert ended at 12am and they had been working since lunchtime. They pack up all the equipment and put it away for safekeeping and are finally done with the Fall Country Concert at 1am.
Despite the stress and challenges of being an OSA technical engineer, the technicians express their love for the job, as they get to meet new people, have the perks of meeting bands, playing with bands, and see different campus activities and events. Also, they get another family unit, as they all become very close. As Michelle Coleman said, “Some might think of it as just a job with rules and employees and bosses, but I don’t see it that way. I think of my team as my family comprised of a bunch of goofballs.” With all this in mind, the next time I go to an event, I will definitely be thinking about all the hard work that went into its set up and how thankful I am to have amazing technical engineers working for the Office of Student Activities.