30 Under 30: David Loy, FOH & MON Engineer

In celebration of LDI’s 30th anniversary—1988-2018—Live Design gives a shout out to 30 Under 30: thirty young movers and shakers who are changing paradigms, looking at things from new angles, and rapidly rising to the forefront of their field. From scenic, lighting, projection, and costume designers to technicians and programmers, as well as those who work for manufacturers, production companies, or rental shops, our 30 Under 30 are the harbingers of tomorrow.

What were you doing when you were 18? If you’re like most of us, you were still trying to figure out what you wanted to be when you grew up. But David Loy is not like most of us. This young gun was already mixing live sound professionally in his teens, thanks to getting an early start at his home church in North Carolina, where his father was the music pastor. Although Loy had already been serving the church in a musical capacity, the church director began training him in audio technology. He got the bug, and he never looked back. After Loy graduated high school, he was weighing four-year programs and trade schools when he got an opportunity to shadow Blackbird Academy founder John McBride at a Martina McBride concert. That pivotal moment led him to enroll at Blackbird, and when he graduated in 2015, he went across the street to Clair Global and landed a gig mixing FOH for Aubrie Sellers, and later, toured with both Kane Brown and Sturgill Simpson. Loy says much of his successes have come from rolling up his sleeves and digging in: “Just being able to make shows happen on the fly, and travel in a van, and putting in the work…very early on, my career has grown and grown, and I’ve been touring ever since.”

Name: David Loy

Age: 22

City, State of residence: Nashville, TN

Position/title: FOH & MON Engineer

Employer: Freelance

Current Projects: FOH Engineer for Kane Brown

Most Notable Achievements:

  • FOH engineer for multiple ACM-nominated artist Kane Brown
  • FOH engineer for Grammy-winning artist Sturgill Simpson
  • Featured in FOH magazine’s December 2016 Issue for Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth Tour

When I started in this industry: I started mixing professionally in the fall of 2014.

How I got into this industry: My mentors at my home church and audio companies I interned at in NC gave me opportunities to mix and to learn under their teachings.

Influences: Robert Bull, John McBride, and Toby Francis.

Worst advice I’ve ever heard: “Do what’s best for you and no one can blame you.” Whereas this advice isn’t inherently wrong, it can be dangerous when interpreted too literally. I’ve damaged relationships in my career “doing what was best for me” but not being considerate of the other parties as well. Be thoughtful toward your clients and consider all possible options even when you have hard career decisions placed in front of you.

Best advice I’ve ever heard: “Let it breathe” was some mixing advice a PM once gave me about my FOH mix. This was in reference to how much compression I was using. He encouraged me to let the music “breathe” by not squashing all dynamic range out of it. If you don’t need compression, don’t use it! Let the band ebb and flow!

My favorite thing about the production industry: We’re all one big family. Everyone knows everyone, and if you’re a nice person and you watch out for others, they’ll watch out for you, too. The production industry takes care of each other, and it’s fantastic getting to do shows with everyone from time to time.

Favorite technical trick: Blend settings on compressors. Referencing back to the “let it breathe” advice…This is my way of compression, but with transparency. If a compressor has a “blend” or “mix” knob on it, I’m sold. Any time I can compress inputs or output groups this way, it immediately helps glue my mix together.

Plans for the future: Continue touring and see where it takes me. My goals would be to continue to do this as long as it’s feasible and then move into a more permanent Audio Director position at a local church that I am a member of.

Other interests/side gigs: I love production management. Any time I can help smaller acts put audio rigs together that are powerful, small, and effective, I do. I also have a passion for serving at my church as an engineer and keyboardist on occasion. In my off time, I enjoy hiking, swimming, and exploring the outdoors around Nashville.

Awards, Honors: Platinum Award from The Blackbird Academy Live Sound class of June 2015

Organizations, memberships: AES Nashville

Check out Live Design/LDI's other 30 Under 30: