Meeting Topic: CRAS Graduate Interview: Kevin McElvain
Moderator Name: CRAS AES Chair - Andrew Castillo
Speaker Name: Kevin McElvain, Assistant Producer and Board Operator for the Mike Broomhead radio show
Other business or activities at the meeting:
New Officeholders: Jenna Velasquez and Luke Halligan
Meeting Thursday: CRAS Graduate Interview - Alex Pasco, a five-time Grammy Award-winning audio engineer, mixer and producer
Meeting Location: Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, Gilbert Az via Zoom
McElvain brought experience in live radio and extensive advice for the students attending the meeting. He began with walking through his daily routine: a morning run through of events, splicing the audio for the day, reviewing the schedule, and then a last minute channel assignment and the show begins! He discussed the high intensity, fast-paced, and extremely time specific nature of his job. Being prepared for any event and multitasking through the day, he emphasized the skill of listening critically through a technical and a creative lens. Also listening to people, when you connect with someone pay attention to them and what they are saying, then follow up!
The number one piece of advice and focus of his talk though always traced back to signal flow. Learn signal flow. "Learn to love signal flow," he said, "and if you don't; too bad. Love it anyways." In all audio, knowing where sound is coming from and how it is getting out through your speakers or onto the air is an immeasurably important aspect. If something were to go wrong on air you must know how to edit/mute/fix that signal from the source. Knowledge about the metering is important as well so if anyone were to bring an issue to you, knowing exactly what is happening on your end can help troubleshoot whether the issue is on their side.
Elvain used a few pictures to exhibit the control room he works in and the equipment he works on. He brought up a clip of audio as well where he is speaking, mixing, and listening to the producers all at the same time. He also shared about the software he used: AudioVault. "I wish it had more slots... I wish it did more." On top of this though it is taking the knowledge acquired and applying it to the equipment and scenarios you are thrown in. He mentioned a "go bag" which would hold everything that could be handy to anyone you are working with. Some things Kevin keeps in his bag are adaptors, XLR cables, data cables, guitar picks, drum keys, and an RJ45. Then sharing about networking, Elvain brought a lot of encouragement: "be the yes-man" and talk to everyone, be nice to everyone, and really listen to everyone.
Written By: CRAS AES Secretary - Jenna Velasquez