EP 2 | Behind the Scenes with an Audio Engineer from The Set Up Podcast | Behind the Scenes in Music
00:00:00 Sydney: Hey everyone, and welcome to my second episode! I invite you to tune in while I host a new guest to share their experience working in the music industry. We will be discussing audio engineering. My name is Sydney and this is The Set Up Podcast.
00:00:21 Sydney: Yasmine Mifdal is an audio engineer who has been touring with Xavier Omar. Thank you for joining me. How's it feel being back in Chicago? And I'm sure it's an adjustment for you in a tour bus.
Yasmine: Yeah, it's nice, we have like 2 or 3 weeks off.
00:01:21 Sydney: What does your day look like?
Yasmine: Nights are pretty late..I will usually start moving on the Bus Around 8 a.m. I fall asleep around like 4 a.m. I get up around noon and will be in the city between 10 and noon. But this time we started working at 2pm. So I usually take 2 hours to set everything up. I was running the monitors in front of house for this band. So I set up all the equipment like the drum kit, my console and make sure my recording is ready to set up and then we'll do an hour-and-a-half sound check until the doors are open. So I'll leave a playlist on for doors and then usually get like an hour and a half between door and the actual show. We had some great openers with us.
00:02:21Yasmine: depending on whether or not I was mixing the opener. I would either start working or I'd go grab my laptop. Usually the engineers will take care of the support artists if they're not hiring.
00:03:03 Yasmine: It is the busiest part of my day because I need to make sure nothing got unplugged.
00:04:13 Sydney: Have you ever experienced any challenges?
Yasmine: During Coachella, I had been trying to calibrate my program with the console that they have because all festivals supply all the audio consoles and if you want to bring one, you can but I wasn't traveling with my own. It was not cooperating with the board and the board reset itself.
Sydney: Do you work festivals through the artist?
Yasmine: So basically whenever he goes to a festival he travels with most or all of his team.
Sydney: Okay. And then how did you get connected with Xavier?
Yasmine: Both of those are like friend of friend things, which is weird. I met his music director at another party. For Xavier, I have like a lot of mutual friends and he was like looking for someone and they recommended me.
00:07:14 Sydney: What is that like touring with so many different people?
Yasmine: Yeah, I think in general honestly, both of the team's I like to ride on a tour bus with. I haven't had any real issues with the team. I have issues when I'm visiting a venue and I clash with those personalities because I come in and I'm like very firm about what I do.
Sydney: What does the flow of the day look like with venue management?
Yasmine: So usually at the beginning of the day, I'll try to get everything out of the way as soon as I get there.
00:08:14 Yasmine: Xavier had a couple songs He liked at the end of the show. We had a couple songs as a group that we love to turn up to them. I would play the same five songs. Sydney: What's the biggest production you had a hand in?
Yasmine: This summer, I actually broadcast audio for NASCAR.
Sydney: How do you fall into that?
Yasmine: So my mentor in college installed tracks and has a bunch of contracts with a few different tracks. It's funny because I never ever would have pictured myself doing this and it's like me and 45 + white men on my team. They're all great and I learned a lot from all of them.
00:09:14 Sydney: Can you go over what sub mix is?
Yasmine: Each announcer is an input and the music is an input, which actually you think all these at racetracks have their own playlist but that's me. It'll either come directly to me or someone else. I'm downstairs actually mixing it and they'll send me their feed.
00:10:14 Yasmine: I am in charge of sending them out to all the places they need to go. So like the TV truck needs their Sound Mix and they are all different. So it's not like I can just send the same feed everywhere. The announcers and the music and the TV trucks aren't going to need the same things.
00:11:13 Sydney: Do you collaborate with the artist you tour with and what does that process look like?
Yasmine: I like to get a good idea of their aesthetic and they're sound. With Xavier, It was really great to have them in the studio for rehearsals. I could take my time and then I could re-enforce what they're doing and amplify their sound. I could work with Xavier effects for vocals because he has a lot of slow songs and he has the big Echo sound and I have worked a lot on his effect work. he would let me know if there was something he could hear that He wasn't super into or if he wanted me to change something. It's not always like that. But with him, it was great it to be able to kind of like working on that.
00:12:25 Sydney: How did you guys get connected?
Yasmine: The merch guy on Smino's tour is his tour manager and we became really good friends on this.
Sydney: How did you get your start?
00:12:54 Yasmine: I was going to double majo in recording science at Columbia. It's like one of the only schools besides Full Sail in Belmont that has a real live sound degree program. So I had a couple friends who were also in my recording classes. I met my mentor who's the department head.So I changed my major role in so I was offered a teaching assistant then start taking gigs. I think that was like the biggest difference between me and a lot of the kids that graduated with. So by the time I graduate, I don't have to do internships and unpaid shows for a long time. I was also working at House of Blues. I kept doing monitors and I was already getting bigger show experience.
Sydney:Tell me how you got to where you're at Now.
Yasmine: I was very involved in a lot of the shows and things that involved travel. I just started taking more traveling games as they came. When I met Smino he asked if I have the next 2 months free and I was like, yeah I do. So, let's go.
00:15:54 Sydney: What advice would you give someone who is looking to be in the role that you are in right now?
Yasmine: At first, say yes to everything. I said yes to literally any job that is relevant experience. But within reason. Don't let people take advantage of you. Don't let people not pay you. Say yes to any type of music or any type of programming like I've worked shows for the Baha'i Temple and AT&T and I work for NASCAR and a bunch of rappers.
00:17:54 Yasmine: I Would never ever dream of being able to have what I have in my life if I hadn't toured. It's made that space for me.