Mike Andrade has a such a varied music career it’s hard to know where to start. He got his taste for music back in high school playing drums, to making electronic music in the pre-DAW days. He’s worked in some legendary studios and with some legendary artists. Now you can find him behind the boards for Tribal Seeds on the road.
Do you do FOH or Monitors or both?
I do both, on this year’s summer tour I ran FOH for one of the direct support bands called The Expanders, as well as Monitors for Tribal Seeds.
Can you tell us a little about the specific challenges of each?
FOH - Dealing with a poorly tuned room and/or an acoustically challenged room with a terrible mix position. Working on an old analog board that hasn’t been properly maintained.
Monitors - Dealing with artist who are two shows away from being deaf. Balancing stage volume with monitor volume on a small stage. Maintaining clarity in a very busy and dynamic monitor mix.
What kind headphones did you use when you started out?
I used Sony MDR-7506 and Pioneer HDJ-1500, only cause I had them from DJ'n.
How did you discover Ultimate Ears?
Seeing bands that I’ve worked with using them.
How do you think using IEMs have changed how you work?
The ears allow me to hear exactly what each band member is hearing so I can literally stand in their position and dial each mix exactly to their liking. So, I would say working with in-ears has improved my accuracy when adjusting something in someone’s mix whether it be eq'n or tweaking dynamics. It also improves my ability to troubleshoot and isolate buzzing/ground/RF issues.
Have you noticed any differences in the amount ear fatigue?
Yes, I feel my ears are less fatigued at the end of a show due to the amount noise cancellation the in-ears have and the minimal amount of volume needed to monitor everyone’s mix during the show.
Do you have one piece of advice for someone starting out in the business?
Mix with your ears not your eyes.
Read the full interview here.