30 Under 30: Joe McCarthy, Production Manager/FOH 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.

Production manager/FOH engineer Joe McCarthy was drawn to the world of audio technology at an early age, when as a young guitarist, drummer, and piano player, he followed his desire to write and record his own music.

Chris Janson live on Kelly and Ryan

McCarthy’s broad academic accomplishments reflect his passion for many facets of the music industry: He attended both The Blackbird Academy in Nashville and Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; after graduating from CMU in 2013 with a BAA in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts and a double minor in Advertising and Media Design, Production, and Technology, he went on to earn a Social Media Certificate from CMU in 2014 and a Studio Engineering Diploma from Blackbird in 2015.

Since relocating to Nashville, McCarthy has worked for a variety of organizations, including Blackbird Studios, Tommy’s Tracks, Encore Event Technologies, the Nashville Predators, and several A/V companies. Just a few years out of school, he’s already found himself mixing at such iconic venues as the Ryman Auditorium, Red Rocks, and Madison Square Garden.

McCarthy, who currently serves as production manager/FOH engineer for country star Chris Janson, says he finds great personal satisfaction in helping artists reach their full potential: “Capturing the true essence of their music and creating a well-produced sound is my ultimate goal each time I walk into the recording studio or live venue,” he says. “The artist’s experience should be influential to their musicianship, not an obstruction.”

Name: Joe McCarthy

Age: 26

City, State of residence: Nashville, TN

Position: Production manager/FOH engineer

Employer: Freelance

Current project(s): Chris Janson

Most notable achievements: Mixing at the Ryman, Madison Square Garden, and Red Rocks Amphitheater

When I started in this industry: 2016

How I got into this industry: Determination, attitude, and networking through The Blackbird Academy

Influences: John McBride, Mark Rubel, Kevin Becka

Worst advice I’ve ever heard: “Play it safe.”

Best advice I’ve ever heard: “It’s all about your attitude.”

My favorite thing about the production industry: The sense of community/family

Joe McCarthy on Chris Janson stage

Favorite design/programming/technical trick: Parallel compression

Plans for the future: Continuing to strengthen my skills as a mixing engineer

Other interests/side gigs: Recording

Awards, honors: Cum Laude and Broadcast and Cinematic Arts Award at Central Michigan University

Organizations, memberships: CMA, ACM

Website: www.joetmccarthy.com

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