News from SSE HIRE

Feb 01, 2017

Engineer in Focus - Jon Lewis

With a list of clients that includes Travis, The Feeling, and King Charles, 2016 was a busy year for Front of House Engineer Jon Lewis. SSE Hire caught up with him as the year drew to a close.

Front of House Engineer Jon Lewis with the compact Allen and Heath dLive S3000

How did you get started in the industry?

I actually started by being in a band. I played keyboards, and also did sound! Eventually I went to just running the sound. I then did a sound technology course to get my feet on the ground and then went on to work for a PA company and have slowly built from there.

  Travis FOH Rack
FOH Rack for Travis
Travis Set Up at SSE Hydro
Travis Set Up at the Hydro in Glasgow
d-Live for King Charles
d-Live S3000 for King Charles

What is the strangest gig you have ever done?

This has to be a show I did in Azerbaijan. It was a corporate show for around 100 people,  but it was in a 2000 capacity room... a strange atmosphere to say the least!

Have you ever had any gig disasters?

Actual gig disasters... I think I have somehow managed to avoid! There have been plenty of hairy moments though.

What is most challenging about what you do?

I think the challenges are very different depending on the size / type of show that you're doing. For example on the smaller tours the in-house equipment may not be up to scratch, or work at all!...which is always a challenge. On the larger scale shows you have all the right gear but you're dealing with bigger spaces which can sometimes be extremely problematic. No matter what the show, being able to deal with these different situations and environments in the right way is the biggest challenge.

Whats the most important thing you take with you on tour?

Just the usual stuff really, headphones, sharpie, LX tape. I now also take a lead vocal mic with me everywhere, just in case!

How do you see the future of live sound changing?

I think already it has changed so much in the last 15 years, with the rise of digital consoles, PA systems getting smaller and easier to set up etc. We are now seeing consoles that don't even have physical faders! But I believe that at the top level, engineers are always going to want something physical to mix a show on, you can't beat having a fader!

How did you first hear about SSE?

I heard about SSE through a colleague, Dave McDonald. He introduced me when I was looking for some equipment at a venue I look after. I immediately noticed the quality of the gear being provided. Having experienced this, it made perfect sense to get in touch when needing gear on the road. The quality and upkeep of the equipment is of an exceptional standard, knowing it is going to work properly day in day out is fantastic and so important. Support whilst on the road is also vital, knowing there is someone on hand to deal with any issues you might have is very comforting! SSE were also one of the first companies to stock the new Allen & Heath dLive, my number 1 choice of console. The dLive is so flexible, having used it for FOH on one tour to then running FOH + 4 ways of stereo IEM's and 4 wedge mixes, all in a surface that takes up less than a square meter! It also sounds fantastic! Being able to get this desk from a company like SSE guarantees that it is in full working condition, maintained properly and again the support is there should it be needed.

If you could give your 18 year old self some advice on how to get into the industry, and what to expect, what would it be?

Don't be afraid to get involved, be confident and trust your gut, and ears!

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