With 30 years working with A-list clients that include Earth Wind & Fire, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, and Beyonce, Rick Camp is considered one of the preeminent mix engineers in live sound. Now, his Master Mix Live school, based in Las Vegas, offers a hands-on education to small classes of aspiring A1, A2, or live audio engineers utilizing technology such as Sony DWX and DWZ-series receivers, transmitters and microphones.
Now, with Master Mix Live's 20-week program, Camp is offering a unique and semi-private learning environment covering live and recorded audio topics and techniques, including etiquette, acoustics, microphones, mixing, and more. His course covers the nuts and bolts of audio engineering and mixing, including changing capsules, controlling the whole microphone, naming inputs and output and using tablets in conjunction with wireless audio.
Camp brings vast experience to his teaching and offers courses in an area with a dearth of educational outlets. With one graduated class and another forthcoming, Camp has found his business growing exponentially through word of mouth from current and former students and has had inquiries from across the globe.
Before he came to the craft, Camp was a professional musician who studied trumpet at the prestigious Berklee College of music. While performing, he was always a "gearhead" interested in the technical side of delivering excellent sound to audiences. So when he switched from the stage to the mixing console, he brought a pair of finely tuned ears. Over his career, he's witnessed the incredible evolution of live sound that brings us to today's digital technology.
"When I started, everything was strictly analog. Now, with digital, it's definitely gotten much, much better not just in terms of sound quality but also the ease of use," said Camp. "Things were cumbersome to adjust and program. Still, today's plug-and-play digital environment has its drawbacks. The simplicity can give you the idea that you can become an expert effortlessly. But there's a whole lot more to this, and that takes time and talent."
Back in the day, many acts relied on wired mics. But in today's performance space, it's more than just sound and wireless is a necessity.
"Concerts are now produced for video, and so the musicians are moving all over the place," said Camp. "So you've got to be wireless to pull that off."