Remember the first time you played an album? Doesn't matter if it was on vinyl, cassette, CD or mp3. How about the first time you saw a live band play and it made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Remember how it sounded? Those guys and/or gals really were talented and knew what they were doing, right?
Right... well, sort of. How about the first time you saw live music and couldn't hear the lead singer? Maybe that particular time the music didn't affect you the same way. Welcome to the world of a sound technician. The nonstop job of making sure the band is happy on stage and making sure the same sound is projected out into an audience.For those who play music live or have ever recorded, we fancy a Marvel Comics superhero movie one day about the friendly, neighborhood "SoundMan."
While Dusty Robinson of Tulsa is a humble and quiet guy by nature; trust me when I tell you it's not as if he has nothing to say. He's more the technical type. He works a job that often times goes unnoticed, unfortunately-- the head coach of the concert, if you will. On a good day, he works tirelessly to provide a product each band can be proud of. On those days, everything goes smoothly and when it's all said and done-- the band is kind enough to give a shout out to Mr. Robinson-- even though he's probably still too busy to take a bow.
Your mic stands right where you need them to be, your monitors just right, the bass line smooth, the lead guitars set just right with the vocals, the audible, but not overbearing rhythm all meshed perfectly with the beat. All this on the good days when the equipment cooperates, the bands show up on time, everybody is prepared and he doesn't have to take a wild guess what sound you're looking for.
That's "SoundMan" for you. A man that wears many hats in live music venues and studios turning your music into a masterpiece even if he doesn't know you or has never heard of you before. The guy who has to grin and bear it even if you're not very friendly or any of a hundred other things aren't going so swimmingly. "SoundMan" is not Dusty's name; nor is it his nickname-- it's his profession and one that he takes very seriously. Remember that he doesnt do it to get filthy rich... he does it for you and for the love of music.
Dusty works in music as a true profession. That's right, it's not a hobby. It's his life in many ways, save maybe a day or two every now and then working on a car he wants to restore. His time, his effort and his resources go to the cause of music and making what's already one of the most awesome things about life even better. Being that sound is a huge part of his life, naturally it comes without surprise that he is quite a musician in his own right.
"Guitar, bass, drums, a little bit of everything and all genres" he said of his skillset away from the soundboard and equipment. He's been a part of many bands and grew up with music the way you might have grown up under the hood of a car, remodeling homes or playing sports. It's safe to say it's in his blood now. He's played with and worked with outstanding artists for years incuding one Aretha Franklin.
Yes, THAT Aretha Franklin.
He's head honcho of his own recording studio, Dirty Rotten Music and can be seen playing everything from his own project "The Boogie," coming out to show support for all of us trying to make it out there or just doing his own thing hanging out at some open jam sessions around town. If we haven't driven the point home yet, Dusty knows his stuff writing, playing and mastering music. Our interview with him tells a little more of his story and we would like to save a little bit of the pleasant surprise as to who he is, what he's about and to explore what he's created with the links we've provided. Also, we'll remind you that if ever you feel like a show is stressful, remember that you're there to have fun and that you're on stage doing what you love while he's behind the scenes working hard to make your dreams come true, one note at a time.
You can check out some of Dusty's handy work in a few places