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Sound Advice: Introduction and Tips on Live Monitoring for Guitarists

Hey! I was asked to write a column and give some info about who I am, and in the future, some tips for all you live-playing guitarists!

My name is Matt Brown. I'm a producer, engineer and guitarist for A Pale Horse Named Death (featuring members of Life of Agony, Type O Negative, Biohazard) and Seventh Void (featuring members of Type O Negative). I'm also a touring sound engineer for Lou Reed, among many others. When I'm home, you can find me working on the Local 1 crew at Best Buy Theatre in New York City.

Getting around in the music business is about making good friends. I went on tour opening for bands like Type O Negative and Life of Agony right out of high school, playing in a band called Uranium 235. That's how I became friends with my bandmates in APHND and SV.

The engineering side is no different. I was working on a stagehand crew in New York City and became really good friends with Stewart Hurwood, an amazing guitar tech who works for the stars. Stewart was the one who brought me into the Lou Reed camp eight years ago.


Don't like the sound of your guitar in the stage monitors? There are many reasons, but I have only so much space in this column. Here's a cool thing to try on your next gig: Stand right in the middle of the stage between your guitar speakers, facing the crowd, and with the stage monitors facing the stage.

Ask for your guitar with no EQ in your stage monitor and have the engineer stop when the volume in the monitor is even with the volume of your amp. This works out great because you will be able to hear your amp behind you and have even coverage in front of you. When you change the volume of your amp, it will follow evenly in the monitors.

Still don't like the sound? To match the sound of your guitar in the monitors to the sound of your amp, try moving the mic around. The center of the speaker is the brightest spot. Moving the mic away from the center will darken the sound. With a little attention, I think you will find that magic spot and, because the sound will be even, you might not have to run your amp volume as hot. (I did say "might").

Let me know if you have any live sound questions!


Matt will be doing a regular column for as long as you guys keep the questions coming, so post your questions in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

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