Columbus State University student runs sound for bands at Iron Bank Coffee Shop
CSU sophomore Tate Abdullah first began doing theater in elementary school, and in her sophomore year of high school began to run sound for theater performances as well as orchestra and band concerts.
In her senior year, Abdullah was scenic designer head, student technical head, sound designer, and a member of the set construction crew for her school’s theater department. At the International Thespian Convention during her senior year of high school, she auditioned for theater tech/design scholarships and school programs, including those at Columbus State University.
She was one of two students to receive the scholarship at CSU. In addition to being a talented sound designer for theater performances, Abdullah has been in charge of running sound for Friday and Saturday night live music performances at Iron Bank coffee shop since the end of her freshman year.
During spring semester of 2017, she noticed the sound board used in Iron Bank is similar to the one she used at her high school and began to talk to the sound technician, Ian Crabb. Abdullah shadowed Crabb for a while, running sound by herself a few times, and then took over as the sound technician at the start of fall semester 2017. Abdullah said she is “excited for it and loves it because [she] cannot do sound until the spring” if she only auditions for positions in Columbus State University theater productions.
Sound design and operation for theater and live music have their differences, however, and the issues that arise in either setting challenge her to use both design and engineering. While theatrical sound design requires more editing, sound effects and mic changes, Abdullah said the hardest part of working with live musicians is “never really knowing what the artist will bring with them.” Without having a defined knowledge of what each performer has with them, Abdullah has to be prepared to set up extra equipment or add the artist’s equipment with what she is already working.
Another challenge she faces in her job is making the majority of her work go unnoticed. “Sound design and operation tends to get overlooked because you don't notice unless it's messed up,” said Abdullah. “It's supposed to be seamless.” Because we are constantly surrounded by it, people tend to expect sound design to be perfect, or forget that somebody is controlling it all.
One of the best parts of the job is the learning experience and practice. “There are just certain things that you don't get to learn in a classroom,” said Abdullah. The job forces Abdullah to use her engineering skills more than she does in a classroom setting, and allows her to be more independent in her work since she is the only person working with the equipment.
PHOTO CREDIT: MARISOL PENA
April 26, 2018
Cougar Radio Teams up With Local Shelters to Host “Rent-A-Pup”