Our very own reporter Tõnu had a peek into the hard work of our birthday boy – our sound director Kaur Kenk. Read what he has to say about the gray cardinal of the music scene.
The music industry is ruthless and the volume of Social Media is significant in every person's life. Musicians are working literally 24/7 and 365 days a year. We have rehearsals, meetings, various sessions, interviews, challenges and whatever else is necessary. This is to enjoy one short moment on stage where we can prove that we are still human beings and our main trigger is emotion.
There, however, next to the audience and the artists, there is a gray cardinal, whom we hardly notice. He is in the middle of us, standing either under a tent or sometimes walking among the audience with an iPad in his hand and secretly holding the true power of the event under his fingers. In fact, even in plural: the powers (Ed. In Estonian, the word “power” is the same as “amplifier”, hence the joke powers=amplifiers) placed behind the speakers into which pre-amps are directed. The whole band runs through his fingers. On average, one band has about 8 channels for drums; guitars have at least a stereo, i.e. it takes 2 channels on a sound console, and bass usually takes one, because it is monophonic. Then there are the synthesizers, the vocals, the clicks, and we get about 15-20 separate channels that run to the sound console, with which our sound-wizard does his magic, because all this, in turn, has to reach not only the general speakers but also the personal monitoring of each musician. All this, in turn, requires quite a lot of technical savvy, but also a huge amount of concentration and patience. He's like a goalkeeper in a football match – doesn't seem to have to run very much, but after the game he's just as tired as everyone else, because he's responsible for virtually everyone else.
In short, our gray cardinal is responsible for ensuring that the sound reaches all the hundreds and thousands of people who have gathered, including the artists on stage. Many call him a sound engineer, but in the music business we know him as a sound director. He is the one who actually has the power and the volume button. Kaur Kenk! It’s his birthday this month, so that’s why the warmest hugs and kisses go to him!