The 9 best live sound engineers in the Twin Cities

Erik Hess

Live sound engineers are the unsung heroes of this song-and-dance routine we call rock 'n' roll. They show up first, leave last, and sometimes don't even get paid as much as the bartenders they work with. Their work day consists of battling complex and fickle equipment, soothing volatile egos, and hours of attentive listening, all at volumes that would make a construction worker reach for a pair of earplugs. Not to mention, if things go wrong, they're often an easy scapegoat for critics and laypeople who wouldn't know an XLR cable from an RCA but still feel like they know "good sound" when they hear it.

So, in tribute to those hard-working men and women behind the boards, Gimme Noise has crafted this list. It's by no means a complete one, as there's a whole host of fantastic techs in the Twin Cities, but it's the least we can do. From the folks who set up two microphones and a chair, to the crack teams who manage hundreds of channels of audio at stadiums and festivals, this is for you. Thanks for all the great shows.

Courtesy of Chris Frymire
Chris Frymire

Chris Frymire

Regular gig: The Cedar Cultural Center, with his company Modern Minstrel Mixing
Age: 52
Years in Town: 40
Years in the Biz: 34
Gig Pet Peeves: Broken, or bad-sounding instruments and/or equipment. If you bring it to the gig, make sure it works and know how to hook it up correctly, otherwise, just leave it at home. Folks who bring too big an amp to a small room, and cannot seem to get their "tone" without being the loudest player in the room. Incorrect Tech Riders. Out of control egos.
Favorite Piece of Live Gear: Analog Midas Consoles, Earthworks Mics.
Favorite Local Act: There are so many good local acts to choose from, but any show with Dean Magraw in the mix is on the top of my list.

Courtesy of John Brown V

John "JB" Robert Brown V

Regular gig: The Triple Rock Social Club
Age: 35
Years in Town: 32
Years in the Biz: 15
Gig Pet Peeves: It can vary, usually I find being laid back and not getting caught up on little things is the best way to run a show.
Favorite Piece of Live Gear: For everyday throw-and-go shows I like the TC Electronic M-One Dual Effects Processor.
Favorite Local Act: The one with that drummer...

Tom Rimarcik
Ryan Olcott

Ryan Olcott

Regular gig: The Kitty Cat Klub
Age: 39
Years in Town: 19
Years in the Biz: Sound tech for 10 years
Gig Pet Peeves: Stinky people
Favorite Piece of Live Gear: Shure SM58 Mic
Favorite Local Act: Professionally neutral. I leave my taste at the door.

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