LDI 2018 Speaker Spotlight: Robert Scovill


As we gear up for the LDI Show, we’re profiling speakers in our Sound Tracks series of panels aimed at live sound engineers. This week we’re pleased to introduce you to live sound veteran Robert Scovill, who will be hosting “Why You Need to be Recording Live Shows.

Award-winning live sound engineer Robert Scovill has spent much of the past four decades touring with top acts such as Prince, Rush, Def Leppard, Matchbox Twenty, and most famously, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, in a partnership that lasted a quarter century. By day, he’s Avid’s senior specialist for Live Sound Products, where he was instrumental in the launch of the Venue line of live sound mixing consoles and acts as a technology visionary and brand ambassador to the touring industry. Scovill is considered a pioneer of the virtual soundcheck workflow and modern multitrack archival in live sound.

Sarah Jones: What has most influenced the way you think about sound?

Robert Scovill: Well, music really is the answer. Without music, frankly, I could really care less about “sound.” It just wouldn’t hold much interest for me. I was always fascinated why music sounded the way it did and why it sounded so different depending on the style or genre of music you were listening to.

SJ: What kind of technology is having the biggest impact on the way live sound engineers work right now?

RS: Well, that has to be digital consoles. That technology has been a major disruption in our industry, and we are still trying to get our legs under us, not only as users, but as manufacturers as well. We’ve got a ways to go yet before it really settles in, in my opinion, and we’re 20 years into it already!

SJ: What can attendees expect to learn about in your panel? 

RS: This year’s discussion is really about trying to solidify how important recording live events is, not only to the artist, but to you as a mixer, and how it can positively impact not just what you do, but how you do it. It’s a workflow revolution in progress, really.

SJ: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? How about the worst?

RS: Oh my gosh…best piece of advice? That would probably be, “believe in who you are first, and allow that to build belief in what you do. Don’t base your personal worth on the opinions of others.” Easier said than done, by the way. The worst piece of advice? “You should probably sell your Apple stock.”   

SJ: What are you most excited to check out at LDI?

RS: All of my friends who will be there!

The 30th annual LDI Show takes place October 15-21 in Las Vegas.

Sarah Jones is a writer, editor, and content producer with more than 20 years' experience in pro audio, including as editor-in-chief of three leading audio magazines: MixEQ, and Electronic Musician. She is a lifelong musician and committed to arts advocacy and learning, including acting as education chair of the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy, where she helps develop event programming that cultivates the careers of Bay Area music makers.

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