About Buford Jones
Who am I?
Buford Jones and Trax Studio is owned and operated solely by myself. This award winning audio engineer from Texas is here to serve you, all work will be done directly by me. Currently living in TN near Nashville where I stay up to date with technology and willing to travel.
For a steady 37 years I has been sound mixing live shows for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry- David Bowie, Pink Floyd, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Prince to name a few.
I have traveled the world with internationally known legendary music stars using the best equipment money can buy, and would love to share this experience with you!
What is the difference between being a studio sound mixer and a live sound mixer?
The "rewind" button!
In the studio you’re in a static environment but on a live stage the acoustical environment is constantly changing and therefore dynamic. One day it can be very difficult to make things sound good and on another day it’s quite easy. That alone is a major challenge but it’s something you learn to cope with in the live audio world.
In tour sound mixing, You have one chance (showtime) to get it right! Quite a challenge!
When some studio mixers go on the road they find it very disruptive not to have the sounds the way they are used to. The other thing with touring is that you only get one shot to get the sound right on any given show night. In the studio, you have the option to stop, rewind...go back and clean things up and keep cycling through it until you get it right. On the road it’s much more challenging. You get to do sound checks but on the road you’re lucky if you even get one sound check to prepare yourself for what’s going to happen in a live show.
What are the most important personal characteristics associated with being a live mixer?
A love for music is the number one. All the technical aspects are extremely important to understand and how to manipulate the equipment but it goes so way beyond that. I think that if you have a musical background it helps. I look at the musical console as an instrument. It’s your own way of playing a musical instrument. When you have that desire to play music and you collaborate with the artist you almost become like a band member. You have to understand musically what they are thinking and what they require. When you find that musical slot and you fit into it that’s when the true magic comes out.
Can a live performance be greatly enhanced by the work of a sound engineer?
There’s some things that we can add to, to sweeten the cake, but I think when we overdo that we are taking away from the originality of it all. I remember in the mid 70’s I arrived in New York city and a cab driver asked me what I was doing in town and I told him I was in the live concert touring business, that I mix sound. And that I was mixing sound at that time for Linda Ronstadt. And he said, ‘ah,she bakes the cake and you serve it’. I’ve used that analogy ever since. In fact if I ever write a book that will be the name of it: ‘They Bake the Cake and I Serve It’.