Motionless in White might be one of the hottest metal bands around, but a band really only sounds as good as their sound engineer allows. And when it comes to tearing up venues all over the world with ridiculous vocals, chugging riffs, and nasty breakdowns, you want Logan Beaver at the helm of your mixer.
Logan Beaver is the front of house mixing engineer for Motionless in White (opens in new tab). He’s the mastermind behind the scenes making MIW sound so amazing live. And we got to talk to him in his element: behind the mixer at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City just before a MIW show! We asked all about gear, his mixing strategies, and a little about his background in the live sound space. Check out the video here:
The gear that makes MIW sound so, so good
As a bunch of gear nerds, we can’t help but ask every musician we come across about their gear preferences. And Logan was nice enough to give us a detailed rundown of his rig for Motionless in White.
Logan’s typical approach is to use the same gear in the studio as he does live. Well, whenever possible. In the studio he tends to lean toward digital plugins, while in live situations he prefers the “real” stuff. Physical gear, in Logan’s opinion, is better live because you can set it and forget it, knowing it’s exactly where you need it to be for every show.
At the heart of Logan’s setup is his massive Allen & Heath mixer. He originally swapped to Allen & Heath because the band liked it, but he admits that he has come around to their way of thinking. According to Logan, it’s a console that can definitely handle any-sized show. Plus, it makes the workflow super easy — which is something any mixing engineer can appreciate!
As far as rack effects go, Logan likes gear from Rupert Neve Designs, Universal Audio, and Manley Labs:
On the stage, Motionless in White uses wireless systems for their microphones and monitors. Like many bands, they like to use Shure wireless systems for the vocals. They’ve also started to phase in some Sennheiser G4 wireless monitoring systems, which have worked out great!
And finally, if you peep under the workstation, you’ll find a PreSonus subwoofer. Logan has a pair of headphones to help him monitor, but he much prefers to hear what the audience hears when it comes to dialing in a mix. Since Motionless in White likes to drop-tune their guitars and play low, rumbly music, Logan likes to have a subwoofer nearby. It really helps him keep tabs on that all-important low-end.
Mixing a different venue every night
Here at AMS, we like to ask the hard-hitting questions. And to a sound engineer, there’s no scarier situation than when you roll into a new venue and don’t have time for a proper soundcheck. What are you gonna do!?
With over a decade of mixing experience under his belt, super-pro Logan Beaver doesn’t sweat it. He says as long as you get the center vocal, kick, and snare working, you can mix the rest on the fly.
From his experience, people mainly want to hear the lead singer and dance to the beats. So as long as the center mic and two main drums are bumping, nobody will notice a thing if it takes you a minute to dial in the rest of the mix on the fly.
One of the biggest challenges of any touring sound engineer is adjusting levels to match the different venues. Each venue has a different size, different acoustics, and a different PA (unless you bring your own). All those things need to be accounted for to create an awesome show.
In a pinch, Logan likes to play a recording of the band through the venue’s system. That way, he can get an idea for what it’ll sound like in the space and make any major adjustments. He can always do the fine-tuning once the band takes the stage.
A brief history of Logan Beaver
Logan Beaver, audio mixing extraordinaire, began his professional musical journey right out of high school. He originally wanted to be a graphic designer — and even went to school for it. Well, for one day… After day one, he realized that wasn’t actually what he wanted to do and left school to pursue music.
He had a lot of friends in bands, so he used the rest of his savings to buy some recording gear and started recording local bands. He also used Facebook to build connections and find new bands to record.
Eventually, he landed a live sound gig and fell in love with live sound mixing. One of his childhood friends was a drummer and joined Motionless in White around 2013. It wasn’t long after that Logan was asked to join the band as their front of house sound engineer — and the rest is history!
Logan has been working with Motionless in White since 2016 and killing every second of it!
Tips to get started as a sound engineer
Do you love faders? Does the sight of a waveform get you excited? Well, you might be ready to become a live sound mixing engineer just like Logan Beaver. And he has some tips for the up-and-coming sound engineers out there:
If you want to enter the live sound space, the best thing you can do is to go to shows at local venues. Find small venues, large venues, and everything in between. Then, talk to the person running sound. Ask if you can watch what they’re doing or even shadow them. Find out as much as you can about live sound mixing from the people doing it.
And it definitely helps to stay local. Building your local network is super important for the next step of the process. Because if anyone in the industry knows you’re interested and can have the skills, it won’t be long before someone calls out sick and you land your first sound gig. Nail the gig, and the venue or band might take notice and ask you to join. All of a sudden, boom! You’re a live sound engineer.
However, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Whether you go to school or take a more “street-smart” approach to your mixing career, it’s all about the knowledge, networking, and of course, the passion.
Logan Beaver: keeping Motionless in motion
We’d like to give a big ol’ AMS thanks to Logan Beaver for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about the wild world of mixing for one of the most popular bands around. With over eight years at the helm of Motionless in White’s live sound, Logan is certainly a driving force of keeping Motionless in motion.
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