JEFF ZAHOS

Dance Musician | Audio Engineer | Sound Designer

AUDIO MAXIMS

I have a few specific ways that I like things done in my “shop”.  These things save time during setup and strike, increase efficiency, make sound check easier, keep people safe, keep gear functioning well, reduce stress and frustration with misplaced things, project an image of professional operation, and extend professional courtesy to co-workers and the people who use the space and equipment next.

Onstage

  • Excess cable is coiled under the mic stand to which it belongs, or by the monitor to which it belongs - this saves time if something needs to move (and things WILL need to move)

  • Mic cables should NOT be wrapped around mic stands, they should fall loosely from the mic, and coil or pass beneath the stand.  If you’d like, you can loosely loop the cable over a knob on the stand.

  • Use subsnakes onstage to reduce mic cable run length and keep the stage tidy

Load-in, load-out and storage

  • Microphone stands are stored with the counterweight up, near the pivot joint, with the stand feet flush with the bottom of the main shaft. 

  • Use wheels if you can to move equipment, especially heavy equipment.  Avoid lifting and carrying as much as possible.
  • Microphone clips stay with their microphone!  This keeps clips from getting damaged in storage, and eliminates situations where you can't find the right clip for a mic.

  • ONLY use console tape (or "artist's" tape) on the console, rack cases, cables or any piece of audio gear. DO NOT use gaff, masking (blue or any other color), duct, or ANY other type of tape!

  • If a piece of gear is moving, it should be in its case, a rack, a bag or a tub.  If it is moving, it should have SOME kind of protection.

  • Lift cables over rolling cases, not the other way around!

Pro Audio Acumen

  • Clear/zero the mixer/console and any outboard gear.  Return the knobs, faders, switches and input and output patch to the neutral state when the show is completed.

  • Patch one-to-one whenever possible.  If needed, cross-patch at only one point, onstage or at console.

  • Return the patch room patch to it’s neutral or normalled state when show is completed.