Being a live sound engineer means combining technological skills with art. There is the art of deciphering notes and pitch, which is the basis of music theory. There is also the technical skill of understanding the engineering tools needed to deliver pristine sound. Clay Hutson skillfully combines the two and straddles the line often, not just as a sound engineer but as a show producer, tour manager, and events manager.
Clay Hutson’s advice on the best sound equipment comes from years of experience, after working with legends like Marilyn Manson and Grammy-award winner Maxwell. His experience over the years also means he has perfected his technique. Working with different musicians means different instruments and different voices. Working different venues means having to adapt to venue inconsistencies and still produce high-quality sound.
As an audio survivalist who consistently delivers quality sound at live shows, Hutson relies on DiGiCo’s console system. From small shows to larger venues, Hutson wants to give 100% and needs console systems that deliver. On Maxwell’s tour, Hutson went with DiGiCo’s SD7 console. It’s the console Eminem, Jay-Z, and Rihanna favor.
When DiGiCo’s SD11 console came out, Hutson wanted to debut it on frontman Aaron Lewis’ tour. Clay Hutson used the SD11 to match Aaron Lewis’ acoustic instruments. He had no hesitations about what the console would deliver as he was already familiar with the SD7 and SD8 consoles, also from DiGiCo. The console, Hutson says, allows him to deliver impeccable sound engineering no matter the varying details in voices or instruments. What’s also handy about the console, Hutson adds, is its size: it can be checked as baggage on flights and it can efficiently be tucked away on a tour bus.
Clay Hutson continues to wear different hats. He has worked with musicians Guns N’ Roses, Kelly Clarkson, Maxwell, Marilyn Manson, and OneRepublic, working in departments such as sound design, sound engineering, tour manager, and music producer. On a complicated technical show by OneRepublic, Hutson served as an automation operator. The “automation is crucial,” Hutson says, “in revealing the sponsor LED wall in between sets.” From rigging to booking shows to engineering, Hutson has done it all.
Learn more: http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/digicos_inaugural_sd11_makes_world_debut_on_tour_with_staind_frontman_aaron/