Rose Durbin, front-of-house engineer

 2 August 2012

Rose Durbin is a front-of-house engineer, responsible for running the sound mixdesk at live concerts.

"Keep up-to-date with your industry."


I'm from Manchester.

What job do you do?

I'm a front-of-house (FOH) engineer, responsible for mixing the band for the audience at concerts. I also teach live sound and production at the Manchester College.

What previous jobs have you done?

I've been a musician since 1979 and an engineer since 1990. 

Aside from being a musician myself, I've been a monitor engineer and I've worked in stage management. I've worked as a merchandiser - selling T-shirts for a Leeds-based band called Cud.

I've also worked in a recording studio for three or four years.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a HND in jazz studies with a specialism in piano.

I am a self-taught sound engineer and have no qualifications in live sound or engineering. I'm also now a qualified teacher.

"Keep up-to-date with current developments in your area of industry."

What do you do at work?

It depends on what I'm doing. If I'm working on a gig, we get up, load the truck with the gear, and head to the venue. Once there, we load the gear into the venue, set up, line check, and soundcheck.  

We have a break, do the gig, pack away, load out, and unload the truck. We then either go home, or go to the next gig.

If I'm teaching, I'm usually teaching my students how to do all of the above.

What's the best thing about your job?

Having the privilege to work with incredibly talented musicians and travel the world. I also love getting a really good mix for a cracking gig!

How can I get into music?

My five tips would be:

  1. Work hard, and be prepared for long hours
    Unsociable hours and hard physical work are often part of the job.  Live music can be physically demanding.
  2. Recognise opportunities
    When chances are presented to you, take them.
  3. Be punctual
    Reliability is key.
  4. Keep up-to-date
    Stay on top of current developments in your area of industry.
  5. Make sure you enjoy yourself!

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